Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

These pancakes — they’re problem solvers. Of course pancakes, by nature, are pretty good at solving things. I’m pretty sure they have healing powers, especially when they’re stacked high and smothered in maple syrup and bits of bacon. But these particular pancakes solve a few specific problems for me. Before I get into that, let me explain a little bit more about these things. They are, in their simplest form, made with only two ingredients: bananas and eggs. “Whaaa?” you say? Yep. That’s what I said when I saw Izy’s post back in January. Mashed bananas + eggs = pancakes. Pretty healthy pancakes, at that.

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

OK, back to my problems. When it comes to pancakes, I have never been able to make it through a stack. Tall or short, it’s not happening. I’ll eat half at most, then I’m tired and full, and still stuffing bacon in my face like a champ. But these, I ate them all. No problem. I’m guessing that’s because they’re made mostly of bananas, not flour. Second problem: I tried desperately during my childhood to like chocolate chip pancakes, to no avail. And I could not understand why. I mean, friggin’ chocolate chips in pancakes FOR BREAKFAST! That’s a kid’s dream. But now that I’ve eaten these, I understand what the problem was: texture. See, I’m one of those weirdos that doesn’t like melty chocolate bits. Chocolate chip baked goods require a good number of hours of post-oven rest before I can enjoy them to the max. (Sending a *high five* to my dad, who shares the same preference. Apparently its hereditary.) But the cacao nibs remained crunchy and delicious, and totally rocked my world.

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

eggs, cacao nibs, bananas

I decided to make a few additions, based on Izy’s suggestions and our mutual addiction to these muffins, which she got me obsessing about again after this post from the other day. A little bit of baking powder, some buckwheat flour, spices, and cacao nibs all made it into the mix. The additions still keep the pancakes gluten- and dairy-free (solving more problems!). And the result was so ridiculously good. I mentioned that I ate all of these already. But when I ate them, they were post-photo-sesh stone cold. And that stuff on them that looks like maple syrup? It’s not. I realized I was out after I’d already made all the pancakes, so I decided to mix together agave and molasses to get something that looked and poured like maple syrup. (It actually wasn’t that bad!)

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

Also, Eva of Adventures in Cooking has started up a book club called Adventures in Literature over on Goodreads! And Izy, Linda, Brianne, and I will all be moderating along with her. We’re going to be reading lots of awesome things, and you should definitely join us! You can find more details (and delicious popsicles) in this post on Eva’s site.

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

(inspired by and adapted with suggestions from Top With Cinnamon)

makes: 1 serving

1 large banana (between 1/3–1/2 cup mashed)

2 eggs

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp buckwheat flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp nutmeg

pinch of cloves

1 heaping tbsp of cacao nibs, plus more for sprinkling

Peel and mash banana, then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Grease skillet and heat over medium low.

Pour 1–2 tbsp of batter onto skillet. Cook for about 1 minute, or until underside is nicely browned, then flip and cook for about 30 seconds more.

Serve topped with maple syrup and additional cacao nibs.

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs


    • says

      There’s definitely a bit of banana essence happening in these pancakes. : It’s cut a little by the flour and the spices and all the syrup, so it’s not overly banana-y. But it’s there. (Too bad unripe bananas don’t mash up super easy! That would cut the flavor down a bit, I think.)

  1. says

    We regularly make the two-ingredient pancakes during the week, and 100% buckwheat pancakes on the weekends – never thought to try combining the two but now I certainly will. I think we’d love the cacao nibs in there as well. Beautiful photos!

  2. says

    What? That’s just crazy! I have the exact same problem with pancakes- they always feel so starchy and empty, unless you make them yourself with lots of fruit and whole grains. (Banana buckwheat is my favorite!) I will have to try these to believe them! Love the additions of cacao nibs and buckwheat, natch! Gorgeous pictures, as always, and I love that you combined molasses and agave to make maple syrup look-alike – clever!

    • says

      I still cannot get over how good these things were! I mean, I do love normal pancakes, but it pains me that I can’t eat more than a few bites. (Whenever I go back home and we go out for breakfast at the sap house on Sunday, I regularly order one small pancake with the rest of my breakfast [which is usually something crazy like a couple over easy eggs, a handful of homefries, one slice of rye toast, two pieces of bacon, and one sausage patty, because I want to eat everything], and I’ll wind up with a pancake that has four bites cut out of the center, and the rest is left uneaten.)

      I totally freaked out when I didn’t have maple syrup! I figured I could come up with something that looked like syrup, but I was afraid I wouldn’t want to eat the pancakes once I was done with them. So glad it was actually good. :D

      • says

        Ok, now I reeeeally want you to visit SF because you would love this breakfast and lunch place in my neighborhood called Plow. ( They use happy ingredients and everything is drop dead delicious (oh dear, that is not a very good expression, is it?). Anyway, they have a dish called The Plow, which is basically everything you just mentioned – eggs, choice of bacon or sausage, the best crispy rosemary potatoes ever (parboiled, smashed, and deep-fried!!), and ricotta pancakes (that are so awesome, I begged them for the recipe until they relented). You would love it. :)

        • says

          OMG, that place looks soooooo good. I want to eat everything on the menu! Monkey bread! And they have blood sausage — that’s so funny. I guess that’s kind of a trendy thing to have nowadays, though? (I remember my parents telling me about going out to dinner with some friends of theirs years ago, before the gastropub thing had taken off in the northeast. The restaurant [which at the time was the new, trendy sister bistro of New World Home Cooking in Saugerties, NY] had a blood sausage on the menu, and one of my parents’ friends — having spent a lot of time with family living over in England, I believe — got it. And the chef actually came out to the table to see who had ordered it, then chatted with them for a while. :P)

          • says

            Heh, I’d only heard horror stories about blood sausage from Jay, whose folks ordered it in Europe somewhere many years ago. It apparently traumatized them all. Then we took a friend to Plow who ordered it, and I tried it. It wasn’t so bad! Kinda like chorizo. Not that I would ever order it myself, mind you. My favorite dish ever, that they don’t always have, is called Chinese breakfast – some lovely pulled pork thing in a red, gingery sauce over rice. So crazy good! :)

          • says

            Hehe! Yeah, my friend Nicole visited a friend of hers in Finland (I think?) when we were in high school. I remember her harping on two things that horrified her about the trip: “People just pick their noses in front of each other ALL the time, and they eat this HORRIBLE thing called blood sausage!” Aahahaha. :P

            Omg, Chinese breakfast sounds amaaaazing!

  3. says

    I have to get on this crazy banana train, for real. These sound so good! (And ohmygahhh, Izy’s sundae!!) I like that you added a few extras for more flavor…two ingredients is cool and all, but taste and texture is what really matters. I have ravenously eaten my way through many a stack of pancakes in my day, but I feel like I wouldn’t have nearly the post-breakfast slump with a stack of these babies. Seriously, I gotta do this. Yum!

    Question: do you wait until chocolate chip cookies are cooled completely before having one? Since you don’t like the melty bits?

    • says

      Yeah! Definitely a decrease in post-feast slumpage (I vow to never use the word slumpage again). I mean, I ate like eight little pancakes when I wasn’t even hungry AT ALL, and I still felt pretty good. :D

      OK, so even I have a really hard time resisting the fresh-baked cookies. Mostly because they smell so damn good. I usually eat half of one, just to taste it. Then I’ll let them cool completely until I have more (or put a couple in the fridge if I’m really jonesing!).

  4. says

    Wow I never heard of the banana + egg trick! This is awesome. I’ll have to try it, although I’m not sure if I’ll like it with the “banana essence”. And I can’t believe you didn’t like chocolate chip pancakes (I thought that was an impossible feat), but your explanation makes perfect sense and your solution just might be genius. Cacao Nibs will be a new mandatory pancake ingredient in our house.

    • says

      Isn’t that awesome?! I don’t think the banana taste is too overwhelming (at least not to the point where you take a bite and immediately think, omg this is totally made of a whole lot of bananas). The spices do a great job of bringing in some extra flavor, and making everything taste more like spiced banana bread. However, if you want to be sure, you could always crumble a whole bunch of bacon all over them. That would definitely take these pancakes to the next level. :D

      I still can’t get over the cacao nib thing! When I made these, I did so because I’d developed a love of the combo of buckwheat + banana + cacao nibs, but I was actually skeptical about whether or not I’d actually like them in the pancakes based on my dislike of the chocolate chip versions. But as soon as I took that first bite, I was like, “Ooh! WHAT?!” And then I realized what the problem had been all along. Woo!

  5. says

    That’s some pancakes and the kind that I eat without much guilt! Thanks for letting me know of the book club. I read her gorgeous popsicles and totally drooled over it but then missed the book club section. Checking that now :)

  6. says

    oh mah gahhhh! You made them! and with buckwheat + cacao nibs!!!! I don’t think there are enough exclamation points in the world to express my excitement!!!!!

    I’m not kidding, after I’d made the muffins and they’d all gone within 2 days, I was like “I should proooobably not make more muffins” but was still craving the flavours. So I made regular pancake batter and subbed some of the plain flour for buckwheat, and some of the liquid for banana (this was still when I didn’t have any cacao nibs) but THIS is so much simplerrr, I’m such a duh-brain for not doing what you did instead.

    Oh also I was schmoozin around Whole Foods, and saw cacao nibs and was finally like ‘hell yes I’m buying these. I finally know what to do with them’. That was a few weeks ago, and apart from the breakfast sundaes I hadn’t actually paired them with banana. So I think 2 days ago, I made the muffins again with the cacao nibs hahaha (4th time now, it’s changed a bit since the initial recipe..mainly more buckwheat and I use a mixture of almond butter and olive oil in place of the regular oil) AND THEY’RE SO GOOD. Dude, I ate 4 in one day. Okay, banana muffin chatz are over now, I promise.

    • says

      Hehehe! It was kind of crazy how perfectly everything came together for me to make these pancakes. I mean, I was back to the buckwheat + banana cravings, and I’d been wanting to try them as pancakes back when I first made those muffins. Then I remembered the 2-ingredient pancakes, and as I was re-reading the suggested additions, I couldn’t believe how exactly they fit everything that I wanted to do to the pancakes anyhow!

      And oh man, I love the idea of upping the buckwheat and using almond butter + olive oil in the muffins!! Almond butter is SO dang good. I can’t wait to try that out next time. :D

  7. says

    I tried the bananas + eggs pancakes a few months ago and was sorely disappointed in the results. I don’t know what I did wrong. And it’s not a dislike of bananas…I LOVE bananas. So…I’m going to try again…and I love the addition of buckwheat, because buckwheat pancakes rock! Great post…and as usual…amazing photos!

    • says

      Thank you, Kathy! I think the flour definitely adds a lot, taste- and texture-wise. The baking soda also does wonders for the texture, making the end result a bit fluffier. I could see how they could have a predominantly eggy texture without the additions — almost like a banana-flavored omelette. :)

  8. says

    I predict that you just made a lot of people very happy (myself included) by coming up with these too-good-to-be-true pancakes. They sound great. Lol about the post-photo sesh eating. I know that all too well. Your shots are completely gorge:)

    • says

      Thank you, Katie! I usually try to hold off on eating until after I’ve cleaned up from the shoot, but these…I could not wait.

      Also, it’s so nice to (e-)meet another Vermont food blogger! Eva of Adventures in Cooking was telling me about how she met you at the KAF Blog & Bake in April (which I would love to make it out to next year). :)

  9. says

    Jeremy has been making banana pancakes that’s just a banana mashed with 2 eggs for breakfast the past couple weeks, he said he found the recipe on “the internet” It must have been on Izy’s blog! That is too funny! I just bought my first bag of buckwheat flour last weekend, but haven’t put it to any use yet, I will have to have him make these once he gets back from his trip (he’s been out of town for work since Friday), I bet it will taste just amazing with the buckwheat and some raw cacao :)

    And the photos! Ladyyyyyyyyyy. These are BEAUTIFUL. You have made pancakes look more glorious than I ever thought they could. Absolutely fantastic!

    • says

      Haha! That is hilarious. They are sooooo good with the buckwheat too. (I keep getting the urge to make them as a mid-day snack or a dessert!)

      I had to try out a new “photo studio” arrangement for these, since the air conditioner in the living room window blocks the light that I’m used to. I think I like it! ;)

  10. says

    I was scanning through my reader the other day and thought it had mistakenly re-marked your banana buckwheat muffins as unread, hence the lateness of this comment. (Well, that, and I sort of took a forced hiatus last week to get our wedding invitations made (which totally reinforced I have no design skills whatsoever!!! But anyway…))

    I can’t get over much these look like normal pancakes!! It seems too good to be true, replacing banana with all the unhealthy stuff in a pancake and still come out with something spectacular and blog-worthy. But if these taste anything like banana pancakes then I’m already a fan. They are my absolute favorite and remind me of the diner I used to live a block away from that specialized in pancakes. I’d always order a short stack of the banana pancakes with wheat germ, and, predictably, be unable to finish them, but only because they were huge. I should definitely add cacao nibs to my pancakes in the future, but um, well, I have a huge soft spot for chocolate chips too. Both could work, right? Along with some wheat germ? :)

    • says

      Hehe! I pretty much feel like I am in a perpetual state of “omg I need to respond to that email / check the blog / write comments,” and I don’t even have a good reason like planning an entire wedding for my distraction!

      Isn’t it crazy how pancake-like they are? When I was pouring the batter onto the griddle, I was wondering what was actually going to happen. They didn’t get the bubbles that I’m used to seeing on normal pancakes while they cook, but they puffed up and browned perfectly! And oh man — wheat germ! I remember my parents used to add that to their yogurt all them time. I tried it once or twice, but always went back to loading my yogurt with chocolate sprinkles/chips. I could see how it would be awesome with banana pancakes! Especially along with chocolate chips/cacao nibs. :)

  11. says

    These pancakes are a dream come true! I tend to overeat pancakes – even when I’m not enjoying them (some sort of misplaced loyalty to things I make from scratch). With only 2 Tbsp. of flour, I’m sure I could inhale several stacks of these without feeling the usual lead-gut.

    *Crushing* on your photos, as usual. :)

    Thanks for the Adventure in Literature link too!

  12. Laura B. says

    My father always made pancakes with whole wheat flour and oatmeal as well as white flour, and I’ve also had buckwheat pancakes at a local diner. I love whole grain in pancakes. Using mostly banana is pretty awesome, too! This sounds like a recipe that’s a little heavier than my usual breakfast, but would make a great and filling brunch on a weekend. Thanks! (By the way, I only recently discovered your blog, and am really enjoying it.)

    • says

      Thank you, Laura! I am the same way when it comes to breakfast. (My breakfasts never usually don’t happen until 10:00 or 11:00, and even then I tend to go for something on the lighter side.) But they’d be a perfect brunch, or even a mid-day snack. ;)

  13. Pea says

    I just made these for my very picky 10-year-old daughter’s breakfast, and she INHALED them! She ate five of them, and her plate is clean! She even asked if I will make them on school days. The only change I made was to use organic cacao powder instead of nibs, and I wazzed it up in my Thermomix. Great recipe.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *