I’m not much of a coffee drinker. Actually, that’s an understatement. While I love the smell of coffee, many friends and boyfriends have all be unsuccessful in trying to convert me into a morning coffee drinker.

Oh sometimes I’ll order a cappuccino if Walker is pushing the issue, and then I’ll load it up with two packs of sugar to hide the coffee’s bitterness.

So for a long time I never had any real desire to try tiramisu, the coffee flavored cake from Italy which has become a very tired dessert at most Italian restaurants in the States.  It’s not that I’m a fussy eater, but once I get an idea in my head about food, I’m slow to forgive it for my own assumptions. And I have to say I’m still not willing to forgive traditional tiramisu at those restaurants.

But Walker for the last I-don’t-know-how-many weekend mornings has suggested making pancakes. Plain pancakes, blueberry pancakes, and banana pancakes. I am very tired of plain old pancakes.

Knowing the issue would come up again this past weekend I went out in search of an alternative. A fun alternative, but really any alternative that would allow me some more creativity in the kitchen.

Then I found Tiramisu Pancakes. Not only would it let me use up the marscarpone which was sitting in the fridge with no real purpose, it would let me get a little creative and finally give the tiramisu flavors the fair chance they deserved.

The consensus? Walker initially thought they would be too sweet for breakfast, but fortunately that didn’t stop him from cleaning his plate once he’d tried them. The cream is just fantastic, and we actually had more than we needed. Don’t skip the glaze. It makes the pancakes so very delicious. And yes, it takes a little time to assemble. But if you put the pancakes in the warm oven as you finish the rest on the griddle, you can keep everything warm while you do a bit of an assembly line at the end.

They were delicious and there wasn’t a single pancake left at the end of the morning. And bonus, because of the cocoa in the batter, they brown so very beautifully.

Tiramisu Pancakes
from Steamy Kitchen
Makes four stacks of pancakes


For the pancakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, slightly rounded, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
a generous pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cups sour cream
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons coffee – we used Yunnan coffee and it tasted great

For the glaze (optional):
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur

For the cream:
4 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur
2 tablespoons maple syrup


1. Start by preparing the cream and the glaze. For the cream, beat all ingredients together and whip until you have soft peaks. Set aside in the refrigerator. (Tip: this cream tastes amazing, and is what really makes these pancakes. If you like generous amounts of cream on your pancakes, you might want to make a double portion.) The glaze is optional, but very, very (and I mean very) good. Simply combine the ingredients well. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make sure the cocoa powder is well sifted, so that it will dissolve evenly.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the milk and sour cream until smooth (it helps to slowly dilute the sour cream with the milk while whisking, which reduces the chances of clumps). Add the instant coffee powder and mix well until dissolved. Whisk in the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until you have a slightly lumpy batter but without any large clumps of flour. If batter is a little runny, add a tablespoon or two of flour.I like to transfer my batter to a measuring cup or something else with a spout, for easier cooking.

4. Let the batter sit while you preheat your griddle. When griddle is hot, drop batter in portions desired (I always use my 1/4 cup dry ingredient measure to make a consistent size) onto the greased griddle. When bubbles come up and edges look cooked, gently flip to cook the other side. Once pancakes are cooked, transfer to a plate in the oven, set on a very low temperature, just enough to keep them warm.

5. To assemble Spread a small amount of the maple glaze over the top of the pancake so it soaks in while still hot. Continue with the remaining pancakes.

6. Dollop a generous amount of the cream in between layers of pancakes. Top with more cream, and then top with shaved chocolate, or a light dusting of sifted cocoa powder.

7. Serve with extra cream and/or glaze on the side for dipping.

Critic’s Comments

“Kate’s pancakes were the first pancakes I’ve had since I left the US in 2008. Not normally a sweet breakfast/brunch gal, I must admit I enjoyed these babies and devoured them quickly. The pancakes were surprisingly moist, with a subtle sweetness from the cacao and complementing so nicely with the buttery mascarpone cream. As always, Kate makes everything seem too easy!”

Natasia Kawi