Two things I love in this world are pancakes and coffee.
So IHOP nearly broke my heart when it discontinued its delicious Latte Lover’s pancakes. But when I found out about these new Tuxedo pancakes I nearly lost my mind. I promised myself for Lent I’d give up coffee, but this was the loophole I had been waiting desperately for ten minutes after I made that commitment.
IHOP describes the new stack as: “One Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Pancake, layered with our world-famous buttermilk pancake and topped with vanilla bean mousse and mocha mousse and sprinkled with chocolate chips.” Surely, I had thought, this would taste exactly like the mocha cream on the Espresso Mocha Cream pancakes and the vanilla bean cream on the Double Vanilla pancakes, which were both around for the Latte Lover’s promotion.
I was half right.
The vanilla bean mousse tastes nearly identical to the vanilla bean cream. On its own, it has a nice vanilla bean flavoring, but is very subtle. I think I would have been able to enjoy it, but the chocolate chips on top are very distracting, especially once the chocolate mousse gets factored in. The mocha mousse doesn’t taste much like mocha and is missing that bubbly mousse mouthfeel. Instead, it feels more like icing. Compared to the mocha cream I had known and loved, this new chocolate mousse is a lot darker, richer, and sweeter.
If I were to compare it to anything it would be dark chocolate ganache, which is delicious, but it’s not the coffee-infused chocolate mousse I was hoping for. Furthermore, the amount of mousse allocated to a short stack isn’t much. So if someone were to order a full stack of four pancakes, the mousse would definitely leave one wanting more.
As for the pancakes themselves, the chocolate, chocolate chip one is delicious but the original buttermilk is boring and detracts from this overall experience. Perhaps if IHOP had used a vanilla bean flavoring instead of plain buttermilk it would have fared much better, but the buttermilk and chocolate pancakes fail to complement each other and are not something worth returning for given all the other, more interesting flavors to choose from on the menu.
Overall, I am disappointed and bored with this new limited time menu item. Those who prefer more straightforward, simple pancakes might find these more appealing. To me, these are dry, lack any real sweetness, and doesn’t do the Tuxedo cake justice.
As a coffee and sugar fiend, these only leave me wanting a lot more. My caffeine withdrawal headache is still here, telling me that whatever coffee might have been in the mousse wasn’t enough for even the slightest buzz.
But, believe it or not, the saving grace is the mocha mousse. Not because it’s mocha, but because dark chocolate ganache makes everything better as far as I’m concerned and was the sweetest thing about this stack. Next time I’ll see if they can give me the chocolate, chocolate chip pancakes with plenty of this mousse layered between each pancake. Now THAT gets me excited!
(Nutrition Facts – Not available.)
Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: Side order of 2 pancakes
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: The mocha mousse tastes like dark chocolate ganache and is very sweet. The ability to now order this mousse on a stack of the chocolate, chocolate chip pancakes without the buttermilk pancakes or vanilla bean mousse getting in the way.
Cons: The mocha mousse didn’t have any coffee flavoring to it, and the vanilla bean mousse was not nearly sweet enough to compete with the chocolate. The buttermilk pancake base did no justice for this stack, it just made it less sweet and flavorful. Felt like I was missing something – perhaps more, or at least a stronger vanilla flavor.