Whip the cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl with a hand mixer until smooth. Carefully beat in the confectioners' sugar, then add the vanilla and milk. Beat until the glaze is smooth. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Beat the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla and vinegar together in separate bowl until smooth, then stir in the red food coloring (See Note 2). Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Heat a cast iron pan, griddle, or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray or a dab of butter. (See Note 3). Use paper towel to wipe the butter and coat bottom of skillet.
Pour 1/3 cup batter into the middle of the skillet. I use a 1/3 cup measure as we want a 1/4 cup batter per pancake and not all pours out as batter is thick (See Note 4).
Look for bubbles to rise to the pancake surface, flip and cook the other side until golden brown.
Remove from skillet and keep warm. Repeat until all batter is used. Serve with butter, glaze or syrup of choice.
Have buttermilk at room temperature so melted butter does not harden as you whisk batter.
Red beet powder can be substituted for the red food coloring if that is a health issue for you.
My gramma used a dab of Crisco lard to melt and cook the pancakes in every 3-4 pancakes. She said it made them brown better than butter.
When pouring the batter into a hot skillet, be sure use the bottom of the measuring cup to smooth out in a circular motion the 4-5 inch pancake.