I just celebrated my 32nd birthday. Not much of a milestone for most people, but this year has been one that Ben and I used to cheesily look forward to because it is the year that we have been together longer than we have been apart (we started dating in high school.)  It’s funny to actually be here now, 16 years together, almost 10 years married. We have been through so much in our time together and our rose colored glasses were tossed in the trash quite a while ago. Valentine’s Day holds little significance for us these days. We have zero interest in heading to a crowded restaurant and choosing from a limited and likely overpriced menu.

Still, it’s fun to celebrate a bit, especially with the kids and especially this year since it falls on a Saturday. I asked recently on Instagram what recipes everyone would like for Valentine’s Day and at least a few people asked for kid-friendly breakfast ideas. In our house, waffles or pancakes are pretty much the kids’ idea of a perfect breakfast. Chocolate pancakes seemed like a natural choice, but even with the holiday, I wanted to avoid dessert for breakfast. To balance out the decadence, I used white whole wheat flour to make them whole grain and used fresh strawberry greek yogurt in place of the usual whipped cream. These were indeed a huge hit with the kids, and with Ben and I as well. Even though this looks completely different than I probably imagined our Valentine’s Days 16 years ago, I am more than thrilled with our reality. We are lucky in love, no doubt.

  • Yield about 4-6 servings


For topping:

  • 1½ cups coarsely chopped strawberries
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 cup low-fat greek yogurt
  • Chocolate syrup, for drizzling (optional)
  • Sliced strawberries, for topping (optional)

For the pancakes: 

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4½ tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1¼ cup whole milk


  • 01

    Combine the strawberries and the sugar in a medium bowl and mix well. Let stand about 15-20 minutes to draw the juices out of the berries. Stir in the yogurt.

  • 02

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Whisk together until well blended, breaking up any clumps. In a large liquid measuring cup, combine the eggs, butter, and milk and whisk until evenly combined. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated and no dry streaks remain.

  • 03

    Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and grease the pan lightly with additional butter. Scoop the batter into the hot skillet (about 1/3 cup for each pancake). Cook until bubbles begin to form in the top of the batter, flip once and cook just until set and cooked through. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining batter.

  • 04

    Use a heart shaped cutter to cut hearts out of some pancakes, if desired. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and layer with the strawberry yogurt as desired. Serve immediately.