Preheat an electric griddle to 375ºF or a large frying over medium-low heat.
Melt the butter in a microwavable bowl.
Then whisk together the butter into the egg in a medium-large mixing bowl. Whisk in the water, buttermilk, and vanilla.
Add in the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until smooth.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Pour about ⅓ cup batter onto the preheated griddle/pan. Cook until medium golden brown on the first side (about 3 minutes).
Flip and cook one to two minutes further.
Stir together the ingredients for the coconut topping.
Serve the pancakes with a spoonful of the coconut topping.
Makes about 15 pancakes
Make Ahead: Both the German chocolate pancakes and the topping can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
Storage: If you’re making these for later or need to store leftovers, they can be refrigerated for up to 5 days in an airtight container, or frozen for up to 3 months.
To Freeze: Placing pancakes in a freezer bag or large storage container with parchment or wax paper between the pancakes to keep them from sticking together. Make topping when ready to serve.
To Reheat: Reheat your German chocolate pancakes in the microwave, in a skillet set over medium-low heat, or on a baking sheet covered with foil at 350ºF for 5 to 10 minutes. Add topping after reheating.