Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Butter Hearts

Red velvet cake is a beloved classic – it has many different variations, but all of them include the key ingredients of buttermilk, cocoa, and red food coloring.  The flavor is enhanced by adding buttercream or cream cheese frosting.

After trying Red Velvet Pancakes recently at a restaurant in Seattle, I couldn’t wait to try my own version. Cream cheese butter is the perfect addition, and can easily be molded into a variety of shapes using candy molds.

These pancakes were dense rather than the light and fluffy ones I’d hoped for, but still tasted great.  If you have a favorite buttermilk pancake recipe you’d like to use instead, just reduce the amount of flour by 1/4 cup and use 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder in its place.

If making the cream cheese hearts, you may want to prepare these before starting the pancakes so they’ll have time to set in the freezer.  I had to fill the mold several times to use up all the butter.

Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Butter Hearts

Red Velvet Pancakes Recipe
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk egg, buttermilk, vanilla and oil.  Slowly add dry ingredients and whisk together, but be careful not to overmix.  Heat a greased griddle and drop 1/4 cup of batter on griddle when hot.  Cook pancakes until puffed around edges and top is set enough to flip, then cook other side until finished.Top with Cream Cheese Butter Hearts.

Cream Cheese Butter Hearts for Red Velvet Pancakes

Cream Cheese Butter Hearts
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened at room temperature but not melted
3 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
Candy mold
Cooking spray

Blend the butter and cream cheese well, then gradually stir in the confectioner’s sugar until smooth.Grease the candy mold lightly with cooking spray and spoon into the mold.  Make sure each mold is full and without air bubbles by pressing down from the back.  To avoid overfilling, take the flat side of a butter knife and scrape across the back of each shape.

Place the mold in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.  Once the hearts have hardened, flip the mold over and pop them out by pressing on the backs.  If they don’t pop out easily, run a little hot water over the back.

If making the hearts ahead of time, they should be kept refrigerated.  They’ll hold their shape at room temperature, but will be too soft to transfer from a serving plate.

Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese Butter Hearts
For a festive place setting, line plates with paper doilies and add a cupcake topper to each stack of pancakes.
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