A Sunday Brunch Treat: Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Pancakes

My Sunday brunch pancakes had two delicious secrets today:

  1. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  2. Homemade raspberry syrup swirl

Or they were secrets, until I adorned them with extra raspberry syrup and a handful of extra chocolate chips. I guess it was fairly obvious that these were no ordinary pancakes.

Pancake stack

This recipe combines a strong breakfast sweet tooth with the best of early summer fruit. It is the first day of summer, after all! Raspberries are everywhere, and I got a pint for a cool $3 at one of the Portland farmer’s markets. Plus, this recipe only uses half that, so you can save the other half for snack times or creating other unique desserts.

Though the inspiration for this recipe was serendipitous (how can I make a fun breakfast with raspberries on their last legs?), it was influenced by a few different sources. The first was the ubiquitous cinnamon roll pancakes over at The Recipe Girl, and the other was the Pioneer Woman’s perfect pancakes. Combine the two, throw in some undeniably delicious chocolate chips, and you have my first original recipe: Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Pancakes.

{Also, if you’re reading this and don’t know who The Pioneer Woman is, go check her blog out first! Then come back. Please. 🙂 }

My overripe raspberries were so ready to start their tasty transformation.

The raspberry sauce is also adapted from a simple go-to recipe from Allrecipes. I found that an extra slow simmering heat helped to break down the raspberry seeds, so they didn’t especially need to be strained. This gave the sauce a fuller body and saved me a cleaning step too! If you find raspberry seeds too crunchy to bear though, you’re welcome to endeavor the lengths of pushing this syrup through a strainer and/or some cheesecloth.

Homemade raspberry preserves

I was pretty content with the easy version though.

…plus I don’t have a mesh strainer. #smallapartmentproblems <- [a running theme in my cooking saga]

For general pancake advice, always test out a dummy pancake first. My first pancake is typically my worst. Anyone who says otherwise needs to teach me their secrets.

Sad pancake

See? Always a bum first pancake for me. But the first pancake is a great opportunity to warm up the griddle and test if the batter is to your liking.

Did you add enough milk? Is the pancake creamy and sweet enough? Has your flour been adequately fluffed?

You can fix all of these problems except for the last one. Really gotta fluff that flour, folks!

So after your first taste, adjust the batter if need be, and then make your first pancake for reals. With the syrup.

The key to an even pour of the syrup is to keep it warm but not scalding. You’ll dump the mixture into a container to cool it off, and once that is cool to the touch you’ll then dump the syrup into a zipcloc bag. Seal off the bag, push all of the syrup down to one end, and cut a tiny sliver off the other end (so the syrup doesn’t come gushing out). Make sure that corner stays propped up until it’s showtime too.

Like so:

Snipped Corner

The steps: Pour batter into hot pan. Gently rearrange the baggy in your hand so you’re ready to paint your pancake canvas. Swirl from inside to out (or outside in, if that’s more natural). Drop chocolate chips delicately over swirls. Resist urge to eat all chocolate chips before pancake making is done.

Swirls on Swirls

Swirls on Swirls

One chip for pancake, one for me, two chips for pancake, four for me…

Or just munch away unabashedly. It’s your Sunday and you’ve earned the chocolate.

The most important part: the flip. As deliciously as these will turn out, raspberry syrup is still just delicious sugar. The filling will stick to your spatula when you pull it off the griddle, so be prepared with a paper towel or similar apparatus to wipe off the warm goop. The heat will cook off most of the moisture from the syrup, leaving the underside of the pancakes coated with trenches of raspberry sugar.

Mmmmm… raspberry.

Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Pancakes
Serves: 2 hungry adults as a main course
Time from start to serving: 30 minutes (if using griddle, more for making individual pancakes)
Raspberry Sauce –

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 pint (or 1 cup) fresh whole raspberries

Pancakes – 

  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • Stick of cold butter, to grease pan
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


For sauce

  1. Whisk cornstarch and water together in small saucepan. Add sugar and lemon juice, and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. When the mixture reaches a simmer, add raspberries. Bring to a simmer again, whisking occasionally to break up raspberries until no whole raspberries are left.
  3. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. While sauce is simmering, prepare the pancake batter.
  4. After 5 minutes, pour syrup into glass container to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. When container is cool to touch, pour syrup into ziploc bag. Squeeze to one end and snip the corner of the other as shown in above picture to make an opening less than 1 cm wide.

For pancake batter

  1. While sauce is simmering, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk milk, egg, and vanilla in a separate small bowl.
  3. Pour wet mixture into the dry, whisking constantly. Ingredients should be combined as the last of the wet mixture is poured in, and may still be slightly lumpy.
  4. Whisk in cooled melted butter.

For swirled pancakes

  1. Ensure the raspberry sauce is ready in bag before beginning.
  2. Heat large skillet or griddle on medium heat.
  3. When pan is hot, quickly butter pan.
  4. Measure an eighth of a cup of batter into the pan for a tester pancake.
  5. When large bubbles appear over most of the pancake, check to see if bottom side is browned. If so, flip pancake.
  6. Cook for another minute.
  7. Sample pancake for flavor/texture.
  8. Adjust pancake batter for sweetness or thickness.
  9. Lightly butter skillet.
  10. Pour a quarter cup of batter into the pan.
  11. Wait for small bubbles to appear.
  12. Pour syrup mixture onto pancake in a steady spiral motion, using caution not to get too close to the edge.
  13. Sprinkle a tablespoon of chocolate chips onto pancake in a swirl pattern.
  14. Flip when large bubbles appear over most of the pancake.
  15. Place onto individual plate.
  16. Repeat steps 9-15 for the rest of the pancake batter.
  17. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce, extra chocolate chips and whipped cream on top.


Today’s cooking song jam: I Wanna Get Better by Bleachers


Time and resolutions

I’ve never understood why we make resolutions in January.

Sure, it’s a new start to the calendar year, and in the human construct of time this minute increase in years helps some create a mental divide between who we were yesterday and who we will try to be tomorrow. 

But let’s be honest.

Are you really going to start running in the snow on Jan. 1? Am I actually going to start cooking clean and healthy foods in the middle of winter, when all I want is rich, fatty foods to keep me lusciously warm? And please. Don’t even get me started about trying to wake up earlier for productivity when the sun’s not even up yet.

So not happening.

But why not start a tradition for mid-year resolutions? This is the time of year when the days are long, the mornings are bright, and the produce is fresh. This is the prime time of the year to look forward with hope when everything in the natural world is blooming around us.

My resolution is to cook more. To eat healthier. To reinvigorate my love for photography. So I’m starting a food blog.

What’s your summer resolution?

So Voodoo. So happy.

So Voodoo. So happy.

I'm a child.

I’m a child.

Oh, I’m Randi, by the way.

If we’ve never met, it’s a pleasure to meet you now. I think about food day in and day out, so it was only a matter of time before I started putting all of these bizarre thoughts into words, and started creating content to add to the wonderful world of food bloggers.

I’ll probably talk about other things from time to time. Like travel, or the environment, and perhaps even politics. These are all important things that bear discussing. But don’t worry – it always comes back to food in the end for me.

I like to think of myself as an adventurer, but not in the traditional climbing mountains and jumping off waterfalls sense. That stuff is scary, and that’s how you break things.

I love to travel. I love to eat. I love to adventure. For me, a life where I’m not constantly engaging, learning, experimenting, adventuring is scary too. As I pay back my student loans from undergrad (…yay), I’m focusing on adventuring within a limited budget. Local travel and kitchen adventures are becoming the best routes to discovery, and I hope to inspire you as well.

So here begins another adventure!