These Paleo Chocolate Cherry Pancakes will turn breakfast into a real treat. They’re quick and easy to make and will please anyone with a taste for something decadent in the morning without the sugar rush.
These Paleo Chocolate Cherry Pancakes are a real indulgence, but they’re also completely healthy for you. They’re full of fiber-rich almond flour, and they have NO SUGAR! They’re sweetened only with stevia. Yes, you can have your treats and feel good about eating them, too.
This recipe was inspired by pancakes I ate more than 15 years ago at an amazing brunch spot in Chicago called M. Henry. They served these outstanding “Belgian Chocolate Cherry Pancakes”, and they were thick and fluffy, just the way I love my pancakes. I think I only had them once, but they made such an impression that I have been dreaming about how to recreate them ever since.
And now I have.
The tricky part here was getting the flavors in the right balance. Too much chocolate overpowered the taste of the cherries. And what kind of chocolate? And which cherries to use? There was a lot of recipe testing, and I have to admit that there were several (yes, several) batches that were sadly scraped off the griddle straight into the bin.
Pancakes are one of those foods that are deceptive. They look simple, and everyone makes them, but there’s a reason why every supermarket has a whole shelf dedicated to boxed pancake mixes. They’re not easy to get right, and they’re not the most forgiving baked good, either, since they’re thin and they have to cook fast.
My conclusions after lots of testing were that just a little bit of cocoa powder is necessary to give the pancakes a delicate chocolate flavor that pairs with but doesn’t overwhelm the fruity sweetness of the cherries. A note on the cherries: always use dried SOUR cherries for baking. The sweet cherries will bake up way too sweet. The sour cherries are just right.
As for serving, put whatever you like on your pancakes. In our home, we tend to eat them plain. Maybe a little Earth Balance buttery spread on top, or some raspberry jam, or even maple syrup if you can tolerate it. I have no judgment. But I also want to say that it’s okay to eat pancakes without butter or maple syrup, and they are still so delicious. You don’t have to deprive yourself of pancakes just because you can’t eat the whole kit-and-kaboodle. Eat the parts you can and make your own breakfast traditions.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- Gluten Free
- Completely Sugar Free
- Easy to make
- Super fast to make
Ingredients for Paleo Chocolate Cherry Pancakes:
- almond flour
- kosher salt
- baking powder
- baking soda
- cocoa powder
- liquid stevia
- coconut cream
- vanilla extract
- white vinegar
- dried sour cherries
Notes on Ingredients:
Almond flour – Pancakes are tricky little things, and almond flour works best to make a fluffy Paleo pancake. Plus, almond flour is full of fiber and protein, so even when breakfast is a special treat, you’re still doing your body good.
Kosher salt – Salt is necessary for flavor, but it’s also helpful in this particular recipe to counteract the cocoa powder’s slight bitterness.
Baking powder and baking soda – These are your leaveners that make the pancakes rise and turn fluffy inside of becoming chocolate hockey pucks.
Cocoa powder – I used an unsweetened cocoa powder that is also not alkalized (not Dutch processed). Non-alkalized cocoa powder tastes a tad sweeter, so I prefer it here since we’re not using any sugar.
Eggs – The eggs are the binder and also the leavener. They hold everything together.
Liquid stevia – I always use liquid stevia and not powdered stevia. It’s easier to control the sweetness and to get just the right amount of sweetness without any bitterness.
Coconut cream – I added 2 Tbsp. of coconut cream, because the batter needed just a bit more fat to make the pancakes more tender, but if I used coconut milk instead of water, it was too much – the pancakes became too soft and almost mushy. So just a bit of coconut cream gets us the result we’re looking for.
Vanilla extract – Vanilla gives that smooth flavor that helps to tie all of the other flavors together.
White vinegar – Adding an acid like vinegar helps to make the pancakes fluffier. Traditional pancakes that are super fluffy tend to use buttermilk which is acidic, but since I have yet to find a dairy-free buttermilk, we can get the same effect just adding a little vinegar.
Water – I have tried every other kind of non-dairy liquid out there in pancakes, but water works best for pancakes. Don’t ask me the science behind it. It just works.
Dried sour cherries – Sour cherries are the best for baking (NOT sweet cherries… they’re too sweet for baking - use them for snacking instead). After soaking the cherries in hot water, the cherries are just soft enough so that when you bit into one in a pancake, they’re chewy and just sweet enough with a lovely sour tang.
How to Make Paleo Chocolate Cherry Pancakes From Scratch
Pancakes can be made either on a pan on the stovetop or on an electric griddle. For years, I lived in apartments without much counter space or storage space (one apartment I lived in had exactly ZERO counterspace, no joke - it just had a really old sink and a really old tiny range and a fridge that was shorter than me), and my budget was tight, so I did my baking and cooking with the minimal appliances. No stand mixer, no food processor, no cherry pitter, no egg slicer, no immersion blender.
Now that I am officially in middle age, I am singing the praises of kitchen appliances, and one of my favorites is the electric griddle. I always struggled with making pancakes on the stove without burning them or having to turn the extractor on because the oil on the pan was smoking (and having the extractor churning away is not my idea of a relaxing ambiance for a special weekend breakfast), especially Paleo and Gluten Free pancakes. With the electric griddle, however, the heat is always consistent, and the pancakes cook more evenly.
I also really like that the electric griddle doesn’t need greasing, and it doesn’t take up any space on the stove. So, if I really want to go all out and make a huge weekend breakfast spread, I could have a stove full of eggs and bacon and oatmeal and have the pancakes cooking on the side on the griddle.
If you’re using a griddle, preheat it to 350 F. At the same time, soak the dried sour cherries in a bowl of hot water until they are soft, about 10 minutes. You can leave them longer, too, no worries. Drain them before using.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – the almond flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
Next, add the wet ingredients – the eggs, liquid stevia, coconut cream, vanilla extract, white vinegar, and water. Whisk until batter is completely smooth.
Finally, stir in the dried cherries.
Once the griddle is preheated, spoon the batter onto the griddle forming pancakes about 3 inches in diameter.
Let each side cook for about 4-5 minutes. This recipe only makes 12 pancakes which is enough with leftovers for our family of two adults and one small kid. If you’re feeding more than that, it’s probably a good idea to double the recipe (and it’s never a bad thing to have leftover pancakes in the fridge for a grab-and-go snack!). The thing is, with these pancakes being so full of protein and fiber, a little goes a long way, so you’re likely to feel fuller sooner than you would with the usual wheat flour and sugar pancakes.
Remove the cooked pancakes from the griddle and serve immediately. You can eat these plain or with maple syrup or topped with butter or vegan shortening or coconut oil. You can also put raspberry jam on them or top them with coconut whipped cream. Yum. The options are endless. Indulge and enjoy!
More Sugar Free Breakfast Recipes:
- Paleo Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Paleo Strawberry Lemonade Muffins
- Paleo Blueberry Pancakes
- Gluten Free Belgian Waffles with Yeast
- Sugar Free Chocolate Frosted Donuts
Paleo Chocolate Cherry Pancakes – Sugar Free
- 1 ½ cups almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon liquid stevia
- 2 tablespoon coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon white vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup dried sour cherries, soaked in hot water and drained
- Preheat your griddle to 350 F.
- Soak the dried sour cherries in a bowl of hot water until they are soft, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cocoa powder.
- Add the eggs, liquid stevia, coconut cream, vanilla extract, white vinegar, and water. Whisk until batter is completely smooth.
- Stir in the dried sour cherries.
- Spoon the batter onto the griddle, forming pancakes of about 3 inches in diameter.
- Let each side cook for about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove cooked pancakes from griddle and serve immediately.
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