The Coffee Dilemma

Buon Giorno!

Happy Pancake Sunday my lovelies!

A couple of weeks ago, after a chilly morning at the farmer’s market, I returned home with a perfectly dunkable cookie. It only made since that I got my first coffee craving in months so I decided to go with it and indulge in a warm steamy mug. Without any thought to the fact that it had been nearly TWO MONTHS since my last date with dear ol’ Joe, I brewed up a cup and got my dunk on!


The flavor was just how (if not better than) I remembered it…smooth yet strong, rich and nutty. Somehow, I managed to savor that single mug far longer than any from my past and when it finally came time for that last sip, I’ll admit, it was bittersweet.

Less than an hour later…

I felt like I was having a heart attack.
Nervousness…heart palpitations…cold sweats?

What? No! How could this be?! Before I started having my morning ACV cocktail, my relationship with coffee was practically religious…each and every day…at the very least, a single cup was enjoyed. How could I deny all those mornings where I was gently awakened by the robust flavor running over my palate, instantly bringing a smile to my face as it warmed me from the inside out…

What could this possibly mean for the upcoming winter?!Β 

So I got to thinking…there had to be a way…a way to satisfy my taste for coffee without leaving me wanting to peel my face off.Β With Sunday right around the corner, obviously you know where most of my thoughts were pointed…so I guess this really should come as no surprise.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you…

Tiramisu PROTEIN Pancakes!

Light and fluffy protein pancakes FULL of coffee flavor, layered with a sweet “cream” filling and dusted with just the right amount of cocoa powder.

Tiramisu Protein Pancakes

By: Heather @Β Kiss My Broccoli

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10-12 minutes

Keywords: blender fry breakfast high protein no sugar added low-sodium protein powder oats coffee bananas Pancake Sunday Italian winter summer spring fall

Ingredients (Serves 1)

For the Pancakes

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 scoop (30g) vanilla protein powder*
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed cold coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coffee extract

For the Sweet “Cream” Filling

  • 1/3 cup low-fat no-salt-added cottage cheese
  • 1/2 large banana
  • 1/8 teaspoon coffee extract
  • unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting


For the Pancakes

1. Heat a non-stick skillet or pancake griddle over medium heat.
2. In a small food processor or blender, ground oats into flour.
3. Combine oat flour, protein powder, ground flax, and baking powder in a bowl.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk egg white until frothy.
5. Add coffee and extracts to egg white, stir and add to dry ingredients.
6. Stir until flour is incorporated.
7. Let batter sit at least 5 minutes before continuing.
8. Spoon batter onto skillet surface, forming 3 medium-sized pancakes.
9.Cook 5-6 minutes per side, or until golden brown with crisp edges.

For the Sweet “Cream” Filling

Combine cottage cheese, banana, and extract in a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

*Originally, I tried the recipe with chocolate protein powder, but unfortunately the chocolate covered up the taste of the coffee…which of course was NOT my point!

Powered by Recipage

The banana has only the faintest taste beneath the flavor of the coffee extract and lent the perfect amount of sweetness to the creamy layer between the cakes.

Dare I say, it was bordering richness?

Nutrition stats on the left are for the pancakes only…the right includes the
sweet “cream” filling which you really wouldn’t want to go without:

I’m sorry, does that say 46g of protein? Why, yes…yes it does! πŸ˜€

Everything you love about classic Tiramisu…

Well, except for all the saturated fat, simplex carbohydrates, and oh yeah…an obscene amount of sugar!

But the best part?
I got my coffee “fix” without feeling like I was coming out of my skin! πŸ˜€

Do you like the flavor of coffee?

Are you sensitive to the effects of caffeine?

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72 Responses to The Coffee Dilemma

  1. julie says:

    oy! that is a major dilemma girl! i’m drinking a mug of cookies & cream coffee right now and i just can’t even imagine not having a cup every morning. you have a created a coffee addict who needs to get off dream with those pancakes – and holy protein batman!

  2. Lee says:

    I’m not sensitive to caffeine at all. I could literally drink a cup of coffee and take a nap. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing!

    Also – I just spent a large chunk of time looking at your pinboards. Some great recipes there.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I used to be the SAME way! And I would seriously go some days drinking more coffee than anything else…shots, lattes, frappucinos…it was ridiculous!

      Thanks dearie…I NEED to get to actually making some of those pinned recipes! #imahoarderofallthings πŸ˜‰

  3. katie says:

    AMAZING!!!!! One of my favorite desserts pancake style!

    I love coffee, no caffeine problem here!

  4. Iris Lee says:

    Oh my GOSH! Those pancakes look amazing! I love tiramisu. πŸ™‚

    And I found the same thing happened with dairy – I cut it out because I thought it might be causing my digestive problems, then when I decided to give it another go after two months, I felt so sick (even though my “symptoms” before the elimination stage were very mild)!! Kind of a bummer, but I’ll make do! Glad you found a way around your coffee issue!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you Iris! And you know, I think the same thing happened with me…I started trading out my regular cow’s milk for almond milk and then when I tried to go back, I realized I’d developed a bit of lactose intolerance. All I can say is thank God for Lactaid! I don’t know what I’d do if I had to give up fro-yo! :-/

  5. Lauren says:

    Totally making these one day this week! They look and sound absolutely amazing! You rock girl!

  6. Oh.My.Holy.Tiramisu. You are my dreamboat! Awesome recipe πŸ™‚ Once I restock on cottage cheese these are getting in my belly!

    xo Emilie @ Hungry Delights

  7. Those are some of the prettiest pancakes I have ever seen! πŸ™‚ They look great, and they sound delish. I <3 tiramisu.

  8. Thankfully, I don’t seem to be sensitive at all when it comes to caffeine… I can literally drink a cup of strong coffee and fall asleep 30 minutes later. The only thing that coffee does is mess with my stomach, so I’ve been getting my caffeine fix in the form of espresso shots in my cappuccinos and lattes, which the belly seems to tolerate just fine. I’m feeling you on the sensitivities, though… You remember how much I used to love my oats? Yeah, not anymore. Anytime I’d eat oats, I’d get the exact same reaction as you got to coffee. Sad times πŸ™ But I guess it’s all the more reason to start making pancakes, right? πŸ™‚

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Wow, so it was like jitteriness? I remember you saying you had trouble with oats, but I didn’t realize it was a reaction like that…that’s crazy! And yes, ALL the more reason to whip up some pancakes! But I have to say, you do know how to make one gorgeous bowl of cereal! πŸ˜‰

      The acidity of coffee use to bother my stomach too until I switched to a cold brewing method…it cuts like 60% of the acidity!

  9. purelytwins says:

    we adore coffee, luckily for the most part our bodies seem to do well with it.
    we made tiramisu pancakes a few years ago, and loved it, we need to make again as yours looks AMAZING πŸ™‚ as we love a little bit of coffee kick in our breakfast

  10. Omg these pancakes look amazing! And I absolutely love coffee. I really can’t imagine my morning without it. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside πŸ™‚

  11. I was actually really surprised this didn’t happen to me when I started drinking coffee regularly again a few weeks ago. Not sure if this is a good or a bad thing haha…

  12. Kristen says:

    I was having the same problem! I hadnt had coffee in a long time and when I finally did the other day I was like a kid that had a dozen Hershey bars!

    What do you think about the pumpkin coffees lately! I hardly go to DD or Starbucks because I dont like that artificial sugar flavors, but I just got some pumpkin spice for the spice shelf- think it will be the same with a dash of that in my cup of joe??

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Finally! Good to know I’m not the only sensitive sistah out there! πŸ˜‰

      I LOVED the pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks when I was in college, but since I don’t have the same sweet tooth I used to have I just can’t handle them anymore…even when I order less syrup! I have sprinkled some pumpkin spice over my coffee grounds before brewing a pot of coffee and it seems to infuse the flavor pretty well. Add a little steamed milk and maybe a bit of stevia and you’ve got yourself a pumpkin spice latte! πŸ˜€

  13. Ahhhh!!! I’ll be making this this week. Wow. You are brilliant, my friend.

  14. I have that exact same problem! I love coffee, but every time I drink it (even just 1 cup in the morning) I seem to have trouble sleeping at night. πŸ™ So tea for me it is then.

    But these look like the perfect way to get my fix! And what do you know, my mom JUST gave me some coffee extract that she found while shopping in the US. Yes, she loves shopping for food in the states… like mother, like daughter hahaha.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      We are of the minority it seems…but it’s good to know I’m not the only one who has to resort to tea…though I did have a big mug of green tea the other day that got me pretty hyped up! I went on a cleaning spree at work for like an hour after that cup! Lol

      Yay for coffee extract! I just happened to see it at the store a few weeks ago and picked it up just KNOWING I would find a good use for it…it definitely takes these pancakes to a whole new level of yum! You have to let me know what you think! πŸ™‚

  15. I seriously almost made these yesterday, but for the first time in forever, Mark did not have leftover coffee from Saturday in his french press. so I’m going to make these for breakfast this weekend when my sister’s here. πŸ™‚

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Aww, yay…sisterly bonding over tiramisu pancakes…couldn’t think of a better way to spend a weekend! πŸ˜€

  16. Khushboo says:

    Ok Heather, these might actually be your best creation yet- WOW! Do you think choc protein powder would be okay? I’m currently out of vanilla. As much as I adore tea, I look forward to my daily coffee- usually a cup in the morning and another in the evening. Fortunately my body is immune to caffeine – I sleep just fine!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Aww, thanks love! As far as the chocolate protein powder goes…I think it would work IF you use the coffee extract. My first trial run of these a few weeks ago was before I had bought the extract and I used chocolate protein powder, but it really masked the coffee flavor I was going for. Let me know if you give it a whirl, I’d love to know how they come out for ya!

  17. Coffee does the same thing to me!! I want these pancakes… we need to have a pancake date!!

  18. Susan says:

    Have you tried decaf? I made the switch about two years ago after experiencing some similar effects (racing heart, dizziness, jitters) and haven’t look back! I can’t imagine giving it up – the smell, taste, the feel of the cup in my hands is so superior to the mere transmission of caffeine ; )

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I used to drink half-caf coffee, but then I started hearing rumors about how the decaffeination process was bad for you. The last article I read was discussing whether or not the chemicals used to strip the beans remain in the product at a high enough percentage to cause concern. It seemed like it was pretty minimal, but I’m still doing a bit of research before I decide…of course I say that NOW…before the cold months creep up on me and steal every bit of willpower I have to reach for the dark stuff! πŸ˜‰

  19. Those pancakes look ridiculous…in a good way. πŸ™‚ And interesting you bring up coffee. I rarely ever exceed one cup a day, but I’ve been considering quitting it all together. It doesn’t do anything bad to me physically, but it has become such a habit that I drink it even when I don’t want it, which leaves me feeling gross and bloated. I really don’t feel ready to totally give it up (I quite Diet Coke cold turkey), so I think I’m just going to be a more “mindful sipper” and see how that goes!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      That used to be me! I would get up every morning and head STRAIGHT to the coffee pot…mainly out of habit! And most of the time, I was so rushed to get out the door, I never really got to “enjoy” my cup. I started saving it for the weekends so I could have more time to savor it, but then I just kinda lost interest once summer hit and I started drinking my amino/ACV drink. I’m sure the real cravings will start again once the cold weather moves in…there’s nothing like cuddling up on the couch with a hot mug of coffee on a cold winter morning! πŸ˜€

  20. I’m not a huge tiramisu fan, but your cakes look delicious. πŸ™‚ I LOVE the ritual of my coffee. I often don’t think I actually need the caffeine but I love having the flavor and the warmth.

    I have thought about giving it up, but I don’t really want to…

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I used to think the SAME thing…then when I gave it up, I ended up with headaches for a few days…funny how that caffeine addiction can creep up on you! It’s funny, now that I’ve pretty much given it up, I’m trying to find ways to get it back! Lol

      And can you believe I’ve never actually had a REAL tiramisu?

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  22. Oh yeah, I shared this and linked on my blog for Saturday POW by the way πŸ™‚ Because you rock!

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  35. Ashley says:

    I made these this morning. They were really good, super fluffy pancakes. I have always loved coffee, especially the big calorie bombs like flavored mochas and frapps. But I’ve been trying to lose weight (which I have!) and now I appreciate plain coffee a lot more. I LOVE tiramisu. These pancakes were good, but I was kind of missing the sugar x_x And the coffee flavor wasn’t as strong as I thought it would be, I think I need to splurge on better coffee. Otherwise I couldn’t believe how much food was on my plate!! It was fantastic. I will definitely be making these again, with some minor tweeks. =)

    And your picture looks so much better than what I made! I was so excited I put the sweet cream on when they came straight out of the pan >_> Little runny….but delicious!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Aww, I’m sorry to hear the flavor wasn’t strong enough for you. Did you use the coffee extract? That really is the key! You could always brew the coffee SUPER strong, but with my caffeine intolerance, I’d be afraid the hairs on my head would be permanently on end afterwards! πŸ˜‰ And if you’d like them to be sweeter (I really have NOTHING when it comes to a sweet tooth), you could always add a bit of stevia to the batter and/or the sweet cream! I’d love to hear your thoughts if you make them again with any tweeks…hopefully they can better quell that craving for rich coffee calorie bombs! πŸ˜‰

      PS, you’ve caught me…my secret to picture perfect pancakes: cook the day before and serve cold! Lol

      • Ashley says:

        No, I cheated and tried to make my own with instant espresso and brandy. It was….not coffee flavored x_x I am eyeballing your mocha pancakes like nobody’s business, too, so I will seek out the coffee extract this week for sure!

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  37. JoAnne says:

    OMG, those look RIDICULOUS!!!!! :-O I loooooove Tiramisu, but I hate cottage cheese– wonder if I could substitute ricotta??

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you so much, JoAnne! You might just have to add a bit of liquid (milk or water) to it to get it to the same consistency, but yeah, I’m sure that would work just fine! πŸ™‚

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  39. Ana says:

    May I use instant coffee powder as a coffee extract substitute? I can’t find it in anywhere and it’d take long to arrive here if I bought online.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      It’s not critical ingredient as long as you’re using the coffee so you could omit it if you want…but if you want a stronger coffee flavor, adding a bit of instant coffee would help “perk” it up a bit! πŸ˜‰ Hope you like them!

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  42. Venessa says:

    These looked amazig but sadly they were just OK to me. Oatmeal and pancakes don’t do it for me. They def make them hearty that’s for sure! I too was missing the sugar. The cream was delicious!! I’ll prob make some whole wheat muffins and pour that mixture on top so it won’t go to waste. Thank you for your recipie! I’m always up for trying new things.

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  44. Tara Wisely says:

    I want to try these, I love coffee and tiramisu! Quick question though. The ingredient list says 1/3 cup rolled oats, and the instructions say oat flour. Which is it?

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      It’s actually 1/3 cup of rolled oats run through a blender or food processor until it has the consistency of flour. The measurement ends up coming up a little shy of 1/3 at the end. I hope you like them just as much as I do! Let me know if you have any other questions! πŸ™‚

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  47. Tammy says:

    Oh my gosh! This same thing just happened to me on vacations! I used to drink LOTS of coffee. Stopped about 3 months ago and have been doing ACV drink warmed up in the morning. While on vacation last week I had 2 cups of ‘oh-so-good’ coffee and I started having chest pain and feelings like a heart attack for almost 2 hours. It was horrible. I wonder why this happens…?? Any ideas?
    Anyway… I have decided no more coffee for me. Just tea but now I see a certain pancake in my future too. πŸ˜‰ Thank you!

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