Coconut Chocolate Chip Pancakes for One

Pancakes and I have a strange relationship.

I like it, in fact I really like it, but nowadays I very rarely eat it. In fact, I’ve never made it myself, until now.

When I was younger, I used to love eating pancakes with my sisters. In the Philippines, we call pancakes “hotcakes” – one of my sisters have a slight obsession with these hotcakes, so we often had pancakes for breakfast or even as an afternoon snack. I would experiment with different toppings: maple syrup, chocolate syrup, milk and sugar, condensed milk (don’t knock it till you try it), butter, fresh fruit.  I don’t even remember who used to make the pancakes – maybe my dad, or my mom, or one of the maids, but there were always pancakes at home.

When I moved to the US and didn’t live with my sisters anymore, I stopped eating pancakes. It wasn’t as fun eating it by myself, and frankly, I didn’t really want to make pancakes. I’d rather bake something or roll things into balls or eat out somewhere. And when my friends and I would have brunch out, I always get eggs or something a little more filling.

Then several years ago, I had an ex-boyfriend who loved pancakes, and I started eating pancakes again. He would make the best banana pancakes, sometimes with chocolate chips, and I would eat it plain, with no butter nor maple syrup. He always wondered why I, of the gigantic sweet tooth, would want to eat my pancakes plain (although really, there’s nothing “plain” about chocolate chip banana pancakes). I didn’t really know why either, but at that time that was how I liked my pancakes. After our relationship ended, I didn’t really allow myself to think about him for a very long time. Which means I didn’t really think about pancakes for a very long time, either.

But, life happens and time did its magic. Eventually I started thinking about pancakes again, and everything I like about pancakes: the comforting smell, the chocolate chips, the small pool of maple syrup, the melty butter, the epitome of a nice, leisurely breakfast.

So I made pancakes for me, and I made this batch exactly the way I want: not too flat, not too fluffy, sweetened with bits of chocolate,  with a tropical hit from coconut oil and some texture from shredded coconut. I doused it with real maple syrup, and added a pat of butter on top. (After taking these pictures, I also added a sliced banana.) Coconut Chocolate Chip Pancakes for One.

I didn’t have my sisters laughing with me at the table, I didn’t have a boyfriend wanting a side of bacon. All I had was a glass of cold milk, and extra maple syrup. I didn’t feel sad and I didn’t feel bitter (although I did use bittersweet chocolate without meaning to be ironic).  I didn’t think about any sassy Single Lady comments (there is a time and place for that). But I did smile with each bite of these Coconut Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Because I realized the recipe could also be enough for two.

Yield: 4 pancakes

Coconut Chocolate Chip Pancakes For One (Or Two)


1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter for cooking, and more for topping
maple syrup for topping


  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, coconut flakes, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and coconut oil.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and add vanilla. Mix just until blended, and fold in chocolate chips. (As an alternative, you can also just drop a few chocolate chips into each pancake as it is being cooked.)
  4. In a frying pan or griddle over medium heat, melt the butter and scoop or pour around 1/4 cup of the batter for each pancake. Cook until bubbles begin to form and flip to cook the other side until lightly brown. Serve with maple syrup and butter, or any other topping you desire.

Pancakes and I have been on and off, but I think this time it’s here to stay. Unless I turn Paleo*

*There’s Paleo Pancakes, too.

*Not gonna happen.



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