I can remember the very first time I had carrot cake. It was not good. I mean, carrots in a cake?? Who in their right mind?? Thankfully these carrot cake pancakes have sold even the pickiest of eaters! It is all the classic carrot cake flavors in the form of pancakes!
The drizzle tastes like a straight up piece of heaven. All perfect like a cream cheese frosting but thinned out like a pourable syrup. I mean, whoever said you can’t have cake and frosting for breakfast, especially carrot cake pancakes!
And the best part? Our I-don’t-want-anything-but-your-melt-in-your-mouth-buttermilk-pancakes-and- heaven-forbid-any-spices-in-anything eater totally devoured them and said she loved them. She had no idea it was full of carrots at all! HELLO, WINNING!
Where Does Carrot Cake Come From?
The question is, where does carrot cake come from? Who decided to put carrots in cake? As a kid, this notion just blew my mind! The origins of carrot cake is a bit of a mystery. Most food historians believe that carrot cake most likely comes from Medieval carrot puddings enjoyed by people in Europe. At that time, sugar and other sweeteners were difficult to find and expensive. Carrots had long been used as sugar substitutes because of their inherent sweetness. It’s hard to doubt the deliciousness of something that has stood that long test of time!
Ehh! What’s Up Doc?
Carrots are for Bugs Bunny or any bunny…at least that’s what my daughter thinks! I love carrots! They are delicious in savory dishes like our simple roasted garlic veggies or our 15 minute grilled veggies with pesto. But I have come to recognize their perfect place in the baking world and the fact that they do add a touch of healthy sweetness.
For this recipe, you will want to finely shred the carrot so that it blends right in with the batter and you don’t have huge noticeable chunks of carrots in your pancakes. One large (or two small) carrots is all you need to get a cup. Be sure to place the shredded carrots on a few paper towels and roll them up to wring out as much moisture as you can.
Where Can I Buy Dry Orange Zest?
Once your shredded carrots are ready to go, you whisk together all the wet ingredients (sour cream, eggs and milk) as well as your orange zest. Did you know you can buy dry orange zest? It’s a true story! Sometimes I just don’t have fresh oranges on hand, especially when they aren’t in season, so I always have a jar of McCormick Valencia Orange Zest on hand. While fresh orange zest is definitely preferred, the dry orange zest will get the job done just fine!
Bubbles on Top
The next step is to add the sugar (which is minimal since you are getting sweetness from the carrots) to the wet ingredients and whisk everything together. Then you simply add your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and optional toasted pecans), the carrots and melted butter and you’re ready to cook them! I’m sure everyone knows the secret to knowing when to flip your pancakes, but just in case, here are the dets! When you start to see little bubbles on top of the pancakes, you know it is ready to flip. Then it just needs a minute or so on the other side and they are done! Simple!
Cream Cheese Frosting Drizzle
Let’s just pause and have a moment of silence for the gloriousness that is this cream cheese frosting sauce/syrup. Like I said, it basically cream cheese frosting but thinner so it can be poured all over your pancakes. Angels are singing! Do you hear them??
You will want your cream cheese and butter to be at room temperature. This will ensure that you don’t get lumps in your drizzle. Nothing worse than a lumpy drizzle!! Of course, Philadelphia Cream Cheese is the best for this, but a neufchâtel cheese will also work great. Whisk the cream cheese and butter over medium low heat until smooth and then add in the rest of the ingredients (corn syrup, milk, sugar and vanilla). Serve it hot over your pancakes and cue angels again!!
We like to do something special and out of the ordinary for breakfast on Saturday mornings. They are usually a little slower with nobody rushing off to work or school. I love me a slow Saturday morning with a yummy hot breakfast! These are a new favorite! In fact, I might just even make them Easter morning this year!
Carrot Cake Pancakes Video
Carrot Cake RECIPES
Looking for a few different carrot cake recipes?
- Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Carrot Cake Muffins with Crumb Topping
- Carrot Cake Oreos
More PANCAKES Recipes:
- Buttermilk Pancake Recipe From Scratch
- Meyer Lemon Pancakes
- White Chocolate Blueberry Pancakes
- Cinnamon Burst Pancakes
- Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
- Glazed Donuts Pancakes
- Maple Bar Pancakes
- Melt in Your Mouth Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
- Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- Brown Sugar Peach Pancakes
- Healthy Wild Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes
- Skinny Strawberry Shortcake Gluten Free Pancakes
- Melt in Your Mouth Sour Cream Pancakes
- Blueberry Pecan Pancakes
- All our SWEET BREAKFAST RECIPES here!
Carrot Cake Pancakes
- 1 Cup Finely Shredded Carrots
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 2 Large Eggs
- 3/4 Cup Milk
- 1 Teaspoon Orange Zest or 1/2 Teaspoon dry orange zest
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1 1/2 Cups Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1/4 Cup Toasted Pecan Pieces *optional
- 3 Tablespoons Melted Unsalted Butter
- 6 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 3/4 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
For the Pancakes
- Place the shredded carrots in a few paper towels and roll it up, wringing out the water as you twist the ends. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs milk, and orange zest until smooth.
- Add the sugar and whisk again.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spice and pecans.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the carrots and begin gently folding the batter together. When you've folded half the mixture together, pour in the butter and fold until only a few streaks remain.
- Butter a griddle set to medium heat and once hot use a 1/3-1/2 cup to pour out the pancakes into circles, gently spreading with the back of the cup. Allow to cook until bubbles begin to appear and flip the pancake, cooking on the other side until set.
- Serve with warm cream cheese drizzle.
For the Drizzle
- In a small sauce pan, add the softened cream cheese and butter, whisking over medium low heat until smooth.
- Add the corn syrup, milk, sugar and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth. Serve over hot pancakes.
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These were so delicious! Made them today for Easter brunch! My sour cream was bad, so I improvised with ricotta cheese and buttermilk whipped to a sour cream consistency. Came out so delicious! Thank you for the recipe 😋
I love the improvising! So glad you enjoyed them! Hope you had a happy Easter!
These were lovely! I wanted to make pancakes that had a bit of health to them, and these cooked up so nicely. I followed the recipe as is except I don’t have pumpkin pie spice, so I added plenty of cinnamon + cloves and a touch of nutmeg. We had some homemade whipped cream and pecans to go on top, but I’d love to try the cream cheese topping in the future!
So glad you enjoyed these! They are a new favorite of ours!
I will eat anything with carrots and cream cheese! These are my two favorite flavors! But do the pancakes stay fluffy when you add shredded carrots to it?
Yes! They are fluffy and perfect and that syrup is a dream come true!