Chocolate, cherries and coconut together in a magical vegan pancake stack.
A while ago I shared my frustration with the fire alarms in my apartment building – specifically, the alarms went off whenever some guy on the first floor took a shower. Not cool, especially considering the unusual showering times of the man in question (who takes a shower at midnight!?).
The good news? Since then, the fire alarm has only sounded once. This time the guy was showering at 7pm, and no one bothered to evacuate (so we’re all lucky it wasn’t a real emergency).
The bad news? The fire alarm in the building across the street has been malfunctioning. And every time that alarm sounds, it’s three in the morning. Ugh.
Sometimes the universe is out to get you.
But then a few hours later I can stumble into the kitchen in my half-asleep, zombie-like state and make pancakes. And everything is right with the world again.
Usually I top my pancakes with maple syrup and little else (with Banana Split Pancakes being an obvious exception). But pancakes named after a cake need something a extra special. So I consider the toppings for this pancake stack to be über important.
Sitting on top of this stack of pancakes is a large dollop of coconut yogurt, shredded coconut, dark chocolate chips and – of course – a cherry.
I highly recommend using coconut yogurt rather than dairy yogurt here. Coconut yogurt doesn’t curdle when placed on something warm, whereas dairy yogurt often does. That being said, you could opt for ice cream instead.
Regardless of whether you use coconut yogurt or ice cream, I also suggest digging in right away. If you’re like me and take a million pictures, then expect it to start melting.
Melting, melting, like the Wicked Witch of the West.
These pancakes are soft and moist despite being butter/oil-free, thanks to my good friend, pumpkin puree. Technically I used butternut squash puree, but they’re basically the same vegetable. (And when I retested the recipe, I used regular pumpkin puree).
While I used fresh squash/pumpkin puree, I’m sure canned would be fine. The first time I made these, I just happened to have some extremely bland butternut squash on hand. The squash looked perfect, but once cooked was completely tasteless!
But, as the saying goes: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you bland butternuts, make puree.
And when fire alarms rob you of sleep, make pancakes.
- For the pancakes
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup frozen cherries (~ 6 cherries)
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup coconut or almond milk
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Coconut yogurt
- Shredded coconut
- Dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Cherries (fresh or candied)
- In a blender, combine the rolled oats, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, frozen cherries, pumpkin puree and coconut (or almond) milk. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, shredded coconut and chocolate chips. Mix until just combine. Let the batter sit for 10 - 15 minutes.
- Preheat a skillet over medium-low heat. Grease with cooking oil spray, and then add a scant ¼ cup of batter for each pancake. If necessary, use the back of a spoon to shape the batter into circles.
- Cook for about 3 - 4 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface and the edges are dry. Flip the pancakes, and cook for 1 ½ - 2 minutes on the other side. Adjust the stove heat as needed.
- Top the pancake stack with coconut yogurt, shredded coconut, chocolate chips and cherries. Enjoy!