These pancakes are my kids all time favorite treat breakfast. When you cut into them the Nutella squeezes out and that unmistakable chocolatey hazelnut beauty shows itself. When you are cooking them you want to make sure you are watching for those signature popping bubbles of plain pancakes around the edges and wait a bit longer so that you know the center has cooked through and fully melted the Nutella disk.
This is such a special treat for my kids because for 10 years my son was allergic to tree nuts. Our house was completely peanut and tree nut free for all of those years! His allergy doctor had told us we could try a tree nut challenge in the office when he was 10 and so the appointment was set for that time.
When I went to Italy with The Culinary Institute of America for a class trip a couple of months before his tree nut test I was so optimistic about it that I brought home a jar of Nutella. We saved it and used it as the tree nut test at the doctors office with pretzels to dip. We have spent lots of time in the allergists office over the years, but this was by far one of my kids favorite memories. Obviously, there was no reaction and so Nutella became the ultimate treat for our house!
Side note: We tried the container that I bought in Rome with one that I bought here. The recipe for Nutella here is different from the one they sell in Italy. I prefer the Italian Nutella as it has more natural hazelnut flavor while my kids prefer the American Nutella as it is a little more chocolatey.
You can use your favorite pancake batter recipe for these if you want to make them GF or vegan. I haven’t tried a different batter, but it should work the same. This recipe makes about 8 pancakes.
Sheet tray lined with parchment paper
Small spatula or spoon
Nonstick pan or griddle
1/4 scoop or measuring cup
About 8 Tbsp. Nutella
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup AP flour
2 Tbsp. *vanilla sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. *buttermilk
Oil or butter for cooking
1. On your lined sheet tray scoop about 1T of Nutella. Hold the parchment paper to give yourself a solid base and using the back of a spoon or a silicone spatula to flatten it into a disk. Repeat 8 times. If you are making the recipe soon you can just place them in the freezer until solid. If using the next day or beyond, cover loosely with wax paper and then plastic wrap before freezing.* Take out the disks only right before placing them on the batter.
2. Melt the butter in the large pyrex and set aside.
3. In the large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk.
4. Beat the egg and buttermilk, then add to the butter whisking constantly.
5. Create a well in the dry ingredients and using a spatula stir in the wet ingredients just to combine. Do not over-mix!
6. Heat your pan and melt your butter or coat with oil. Take out your Nutella disks. Fill a 1/4c cookie scoop or measuring cup with batter, place most of the mixture on the pan, then place a disk of Nutella in the center. Place the rest of the batter on top, covering the Nutella. You can fit 4 of these on a 12″ pan. Cook until those signature pancake bubbles start popping and take a peak underneath to make sure it’s GBD (golden brown and delicious) before you flip and wait for the same on the other side. Continue until you have used all of the batter.
*Vanilla sugar can be made by placing used vanilla bean pods into a container of plain white sugar and let it perfume your sugar for a couple of weeks. You can continue to add sugar to the container as you run low and leave in the pods as long as they still carry their scent.
*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can use whatever milk you have. Alternatively you can make your own buttermilk if you have a lemon. Place the milk you are going to use for the recipe in a container along with 1 scant Tbsp lemon juice and allow to sit for 15 minutes before you use it.
*If you want to prepare a lot to have on hand you can quick freeze them without wrapping and when frozen solid you can place them in an airtight container or bag to store in the freezer. This way you can have this special treat in a hurry… you never know when you may need this!
I am certain if you have Nutella fans in your house these pancakes will make you very popular! Let me know how you liked them!