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red velvet pancakes with creamy maple sauce

These pancakes are all cake

Crispy, delicate. Tender and soft on the inside.

A little cocoa-chocolate chippy, too.

They just have that red velvet thing that's kind of hard to describe.

I'm not sure which I liked more -- the red velvet pancakes or the creamy, ultra maple-y sauce.

I made these for my sister, Nana. 

I mean, I ate a lot of them. But I made them for Nana.

She's not a big sweets eater like I am.

She's a runner, a Pike's Peak marathoner and such.

A couple of years ago, she ate chunks of my red velvet cake as I put together Jack's first birthday cake.

So I thought that maybe she might like tiny red velvet cakes.

For breakfast. 

To make the little cakes to-go, I poured little rounds of batter in the pan in an interconnected circle (the teenie-tiny separate rounds would be too small for the toaster).

I was thinking -- she can freeze them for later.

The toaster makes them crispy again. The chocolate chips get just a tiny bit melty.

Then, she can just pop off a little round from the circle of cakes and dunk it in the creamy maple dip.

Later, I asked her how all the toasting and dipping went.

I told her to be honest. 

She wrote back:

"Toasting was perfect. LOVED them. So much I should've told you sooner. It was devilish heaven in my mouth. Chocolate chips were great with toasting. PERFECT way to have them. They were amazing!!!!"

Maybe she just wrote all that because she knows what I want to hear.

Nana's really good at that.

I haven't had a chance to toast these yet, but I did eat them right off the pan.

They were so good. Even without the sauce.

But I wouldn't skip that dip. 

The two may seem like opposites, but, really, they're eachother's perfect foil.

They just go together.

Red Velvet Pancakes

adapted from The Confetti Cakes Cookbook, by Elisa Strauss and Christie Matheson via Smitten Kitchen 

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring gel
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Butter, for pan 

In medium bowl, sift together cake flour, cocoa powder and salt.

In large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until combined. Whisk in egg, vanilla, and red food coloring. Alternately stir in flour mixture and buttermilk until almost combined. 

In small bowl or ramekin, stir together baking soda and vinegar until soda is dissolved. Stir into cake batter.

Meanwhile, melt butter in large frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat.

When pan is hot (a drop of batter should quickly sizzle on pan), drop teaspoons of pancake batter onto pan. (See note)

Sprinkle tops of pancakes with a few mini chocolate chips. Flip cakes when they appear dry on the edges and hold together when you slide the spatula beneath them.

Cook for another minute or so, until pancakes are cooked through. Serve immediately with maple cream cheese sauce.

Note: If you want to freeze the pancakes and toast them later, you'll want to make the pancakes larger. Either pour regular-sized pancakes or pour interconnected teaspoon-sized circles (see picture in post). The interconnected circles can be broken into poppable little cakes after they're toasted.

Creamy Maple Sauce 

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, slightly softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 5-6 tablespoons real maple syrup (see note for milk option)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple flavoring
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Beat in maple syrup, maple extract and salt. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until thoroughly combined.

Refrigerate sauce until ready to use.

Note: The maple flavoring was really what made the sauce taste so maple-y, so the maple syrup is probably not so necessary. Next time, I will probably substitute about 3-5 tablespoons of milk for the maple syrup, adjusting for a thick, saucy consistency. 

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