I remember when I tried my first German pancake. It was just a plain pancake topped with fresh berries and dusted with powdered sugar but I loved it. Since then I've been experimenting with different flavors including a pumpkin version and a savory one with smoked salmon. Today I decided to make a chocolate German pear pancake with fall spices. It's fantastic for a decadent breakfast or dessert!
Chocolate German Pear Pancake
- 1 cup milk (250 ml)
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (28 grams)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (74 grams)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (15 grams)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons butter (42 grams)
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar divided
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 pears peeled, cored, and sliced
- whipped cream for serving optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Combine milk, eggs, melted butter, flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Combine 4 tablespoons sugar with cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle on top of butter. Arrange pears on top. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar on top and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Remove from heat and slowly pour pancake batter evenly on top. Bake chocolate German pear pancake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm with whipped cream if desired.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
So what exactly is a German pancake? It's similar to Yorkshire pudding with a denser center and fluffy edges. If you ever had a Dutch baby pancake, it's the same dish. Unlike regular pancakes, these are baked in the oven typically in a cast iron pan. Fortunately, this chocolate German pear pancake is just as easy as making regular pancakes.
To make the batter, simply combine the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. I highly recommend using a blender instead of mixing it by hand so that you get a smooth batter. It can be harder to fully incorporate the cocoa powder if whisking by hand. It's also much easier to use a blender.
Let the pancake batter rest for 30 minutes while you proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a cast iron pan and sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg on top. If you don't have a cast iron pan you can use another oven-safe pan, pie dish, or round baking dish.
Peel, core, and slice pears and arrange them on top of the butter-sugar mixture. I used Bartlett pears but you can also use Bosc or Anjou. Keep the slices around ½-inch thick so that they keep their shape and don't melt away into the pancake.
Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar on top and bring the mixture to a simmer. As soon as it starts to bubble, remove it from heat.
By now the pancake cake batter should be ready. Slowly pour it over the pears, trying not to disturb the beautifully arranged pears.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the chocolate German pear pancake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Make sure you don't open the oven while it's baking or the pancake will deflate.
As soon as you take the pancake out of the oven, it will start to deflate. But don't worry because it'll still look impressive when you serve it! Enjoy with whipped cream or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
I love that this chocolate German pear pancake is bursting with juicy pears with just the right amount of sweetness. It looks decadent but it's not overly sweet. It's dense in the center almost like a pudding with crispy fluffy edges, just how I like it!
For more pear dessert inspiration check out these spiced pear honey cake!