Cappuccino Pancakes with Mocha Syrup

My mother received a latte maker for Christmas. Though this sounds relatively unassuming, it was a big step for my family. You see, my parents were never coffee drinkers when I was growing up. We had a coffee maker hidden under the steps for when company came calling, but it rarely made an appearance. The coffee maker was aged and yellowed, perhaps even older than myself. Because my family was never part of the coffee culture, I thought people only began their day with a steaming mug on sitcoms and morning talk shows.

It's funny to look back now and see how very wrong I was.


My first taste of coffee was in my second year at university. As a late bloomer in many aspects of my life, it was hardly surprising I had stayed away from coffee for so long. To be honest, after my first sip, I vowed to myself I would never drink that horrible liquid again. Though I've always had a fondness for the coffee's wafting scent, my first taste wasn't terribly different from drinking a cup of gasoline.

Nevertheless, it grew on me. To begin, I could only stomach coffee if it resembled chocolate milk more than its bitter counterpart. With so much sugar and milk, the only way to distinguish it as coffee was the noticeable caffeine hit. Yet, somewhere over the last few years, coffee and I have become friends. I can drink it straight and black, without so much as a flinch.

Yet, with the advent of my mother's latte maker, coffee has become nearly a regular occurrence in my mornings. Without needing to fork over half an hour's pay for a drink at a coffee house, it feels like an elicit treat every single day. It's the frothy milk that gets to me.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that when I was dreaming up new brunch ideas, I looked to the empty bottom of my mug drained of my homespun mocha cappuccino for inspiration.

If you love coffee, caffeine, and Sunday brunch, these Cappuccino Pancakes with Mocha Syrup are destined for you. I spruced up my "old faithful" of pancake recipes with a good measure of espresso powder to give it a well-rounded coffee flavor. Then, like any proper cappuccino, the pancakes are topped with whipped cream and a homemade mocha syrup. Serve these with your next morning cup of coffee and you'll start your day off just right.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Blueberry Ice Cream

Cappuccino Pancakes with Mocha Syrup

Yields 4-6 servings

Cappuccino Pancakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder (or finely ground instant coffee)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, espresso powder, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the egg, milk, and melted butter. Stir together until combined (a few lumps are okay).

Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto a heated griddle and cook each side until lightly browned. Serve hot with whipped cream and mocha syrup (below).

Mocha Syrup
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee (or 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 1/2 cup water)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, whisk together coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir until syrup begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. May be served warm or chilled (and is especially delicious on top of ice cream).