Monday, August 6, 2012

Carrot Cake Pancakes

I have a confession. I don't really like pancakes. I think they're kind of boring and bland and if I go out for breakfast I am much more likely to order something savory. With bacon. I do, however, LOVE cake. It's one of my favorite things in life and carrot cake is definitely in my top five of cakes. It's spicy, it's nutty, it's carroty and it's delicious. The cream cheese frosting it's typically paired with ain't too shabby either.

I can't remember if I saw this recipe on Pinterest or if I saw it somewhere else and pinned it immediately, but it piqued my interest straight away. Sure they're pancakes, but carrot cake for breakfast? Okay! It just so happens that my mom came to visit this past weekend and her visit gave me a perfect excuse to make brunch. Only problem? I had never made pancakes before. Operation pancake commenced.

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 salt
1/8 ground nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups finely grated carrot
Cooking spray

Making pancakes really cannot be too difficult, I thought. Just mix the batter, plop it on a skillet, wait for the bubbles, flip and you're good to go, right? I'm happy to say I was right!

First things first, I set about grating the carrots. I didn't peel them because it's really not necessary and who doesn't need a little extra fiber in their life? Just as I did with the zucchini in my zucchini nut bread cookie sandwiches, I put the grated carrots in a colander and let them sit in the sink for a bit just to get out any extra moisture. I also chopped and toasted the walnuts and set them aside until I needed them.

There are really only two steps to mixing this batter. First, mix all the ingredients from flour through ginger and whisk to combine. I did not have any ground cloves on hand and I wasn't about to pay $10.99 for a tiny little jar of them at Shaw's (What's up with that price?) so I just left them out. The pancakes weren't lacking at all.

Next, in a separate bowl, combine all ingredients from brown sugar through eggs and whisk to combine. Add the sugar mixture to the flour mixture and stir until everything is combined and the lumps are minimal. Fold in the two cups of carrots. The proportion of carrots to batter will look ridiculous and at this point I obviously thought I had done something wrong. There were so many carrots and so little batter! But I started folding and they combined beautifully. Phew!

I sprayed a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and set it to medium heat. Nobody likes a burnt pancake. Since this was my first time (A pancake virgin, if you will.) I decided to do a test pancake first.

I scooped out the batter using my 1/4 cup measure and spread it out in the skillet with the back of a spoon and waited for the bubbles to appear (about 2 minutes). They appeared and I flipped.

Success! I made a pancake. I cooked it on the other side for about another minute to a minute and a half, checking to make sure the bottom was golden brown.

My pancake confidence grew after my test pancake came out perfectly so I did three at a time next. A big step, I know. I'm happy to report that these were also a success!

That's a lovely stack o' pancakes! The recipe called for these to be served with honey butter and I thought that would be a perfect accompaniment. Syrup would have overpowered the flavor, but if you like syrup then have at it. For the honey butter I just took 2 tablespoons of softened butter, added 1 tablespoon of honey and stirred to combine them.

In addition to the pancakes I grilled up some sweet apple chicken sausages and made a fruit salad with fresh peaches, raspberries, and strawberries. Whenever I make a fruit salad, I always add a little sugar and let it sit for a while. The sugar will bring out the juices in the fruit and they'll all blend together and taste even yummier.

These pancakes are awesome! They taste like carrot cake, but they're light and fluffy like pancakes. The spices aren't at all too much and the nuts add a great texture. My mom loved them too and I don't think she was just saying that because she's my mom and she loves everything I do! Well, mostly everything.

I know I'll be making these again some time because my sister is a pancake AND carrot cake freak and I know she'll love them.

These may have just converted me into a pancake lover! Or at least a carrot cake pancake lover. I'm happy I tried something new. I love accomplishing new things in cooking even if it is something as simple as pancakes. Do you like pancakes? What's the most fun pancake combination you've ever had?


  1. nom nom nom I WANT SOME. Very sad to have missed these. And am wondering if there is some way we can incorporate the cream cheese part of carrot cake into them? Hmm..

    1. I don't think it could go in the actual batter, but you cold definitely top them or stuff them with it.