Breakfast and Brunch, Dessert, Food, Pancakes, Waffles & French Toast

Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Nicoletta April 12, 2016

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Dorayaki are the japanese pancakes, light and pillowy soft. Filled with a chocolate hazelnut spread they are becoming my new favorite breakfast.

Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up where we started. – Haruki Murakami, 1Q84

I am a little ashamed in confessing that I have never made pancakes. Before, in what I call my “previous life” in Italy, they were not in the picture, and they were never included in my breakfast (nothing to be proud of). Since my “landing” in Canada few years ago I started adding new items to my breakfast and pancakes became one of my fave. I deeply and truly love them but I still never make them myself. Why, I hear you’re asking. Simple, ’cause my awesome husband is the one who always and regularly prepare them for me. They are the best pancakes in the city and out. I’ve tasted and tested pancakes from friends, cafés, or restaurants, but his still remains outstanding. Dorayaki are similar to pancakes, and since I am still in Italy and cannot appreciate my husband’s pancakes, I decided to give them a try.


Weeks ago I made the traditional japanese Dorayaki with the anko filling. I froze them singularly in plastic wrap and enjoyed them greatly in my breakfast. The anko paste, though, made with red beans and sugar, is a little too sweet for my taste, you all know my passion for anything chocolate, so the adjustment to a chocolate hazelnut spread was inevitable. If you have Nutella, feel free to use that, I bought the organic, less refined “sister”, made with real hazelnuts and cocoa, which is less sweet and oily than the original (that I still consume once in a while).

Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

It is easy to make Dorayaki. To fill them with a Chocolate Hazelnut spread, even easier.

Dorayaki are quick and easy to make, with few basic ingredients like eggs, flour and sugar (plus honey, water, and a little leavening agent like baking soda). The texture of the batter is a bit thicker than what one would expect of regular pancakes. It is not as runny, resulting in the thickness we see in dorayakis while regular pancakes tend to flatten out more.
In this recipe I changed the sugar, switching from the white, refined, granulated sugar, to a more natural, raw, cane sugar. Of course the texture and color turned to a warmer, brown-ish hue, and a denser consistency. I couldn’t wait to spread some chocolate hazelnut on one, sandwich it with another pancake and give a big bite. Not before dusting some icing sugar on top.

Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

The cake-like texture of the dorayaki is soft, fluffy and moist, the flavor is great. The lightness of the pancakes compliments the richness and creaminess of the chocolate hazelnut spread, making this confetionary a pleasant revelation. My parents were the taste tester and I got their seal of approval. Especially my mom’s who has a sweet tooth like her daughter 🙂 .

Anyway, Japan is on Loreto’s and mine bucket list. One day, hopefully soon, we’ll go and try the best authentic Dorayaki in one of Tokyo’s long-established dorayaki stores.

Song of the day: “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics.

Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 small pancakes 1x


  • 100 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 g sugar (I used dark brown sugar and they were still very fluffy)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Peanut oil for the pan
  • Chocolate spread (or Nutella) as it takes
  • Icing sugar (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk together flour, eggs, sugar, honey, baking powder and water until smooth.
  2. Dip a paper towel in oil and coat the bottom of a frying pan with the oil. Then remove the oil completely
  3. Drop small ladlesful of batter to make medium sized dorayaki. Cook for about 30 seconds on one side, then turn them over and cook briefly on the other side until golden brown.
  4. Spread about 1 tablespoons of chocolate spread (or Nutella) on one pancake, then cover it with another to make a sandwich.
  5. Dust with icing sugar (optional) and serve warm.


For perfect golden brown pancakes, make sure to wipe off all excess oil on the frying pan’s surface. Wrap leftover dorayaki individually in plastic wrap to keep them moist.


  • Serving Size: 4 dorayaki servings
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Ricetta in Italiano:

Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Dorayaki con crema di cacao e nocciole

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 16 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 dorayaki medi (3-4 imbottiti) 1x


  • 100 g farina 00
  • 2 uova
  • 50 g zucchero semolato (io ho usato zucchero grezzo di canna)
  • 1 cucchiaino di miele
  • 1 cucchiaino di lievito
  • 2 cucchiai di acqua
  • olio d’arachide per la padella
  • crema di cacao e nocciole (o Nutella), per il ripieno, q.b.


  1. Pesate tutti gli ingredienti, poi metteteli in una grande ciotola, sbattete con le fruste elettriche per un minuto o a mano fino ad ottenere una pastella omogenea.
  2. Riscaldate una padella con un goccio di olio di arachide, a fiamma bassa, e con l’aiuto di un mestolo, versate un po’ di impasto nella padella in modo tale che si allarghino in maniera uniforme creando un cerchio.
  3. Cuoceteli 1 minuto circa su un lato e poi sull’altro.
  4. Metteteli in un piatto, farcite un dorayaki con la crema di cacao e nocciole (o Nutella) e ricoprite con l’altro.
  5. Spolverizzate di zucchero a velo e serviteli caldi.
  6. Per conservarli, avvolgeteli nella pellicola, rimarranno soffici.
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Dorayaki with Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

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  • Avatar
    Reply Shashi @ RunninSrilankan April 12, 2016 at 11:57 am

    I’m so glad to have stumbled by because before today, I had never heard of dorayaki. Thanks so much for this recipe and info!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 13, 2016 at 12:18 am

      Thank you for stopping by! Glad you like the recipe, it is easy to make and they are really good 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Jolina - The Unlikely Baker April 12, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I love Japanese desserts…do pancakes count?? And with Nutella. That’s just so much goodness in one bite! I will definitely be making these one of these weekends.

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 13, 2016 at 12:22 am

      Thanks Jolina! I know, I love your Japanese Cheesecake! And yes, I think pancakes count as dessert, especially if they’re filled with Nutella or any chocolate hazelnut 🙂 .

  • Avatar
    Reply Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop April 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    This looks like a really great pancake. I really like chocolate and hazelnut and it goes perfectly in pancakes!

    • Nicoletta
      Reply Nicoletta April 14, 2016 at 12:29 am

      Thanks Kathy! These are fluffier and denser than regular pancakes, but I really like that texture. Filled with a chocolate hazelnut spread…mmmm….. 😉

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