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!

A photo of a stack of four carrot cake pancakes with a thick white cream cheese sauce poured over the top with a few chopped pecans and shredded carrots on top.

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!

A photo of a stack of golden carrot cake pancakes on a white plate with no syrup added yet.

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.

A photo of a stack of four carrot cake pancakes with a thick white cream cheese sauce poured over the top with a few chopped pecans and shredded carrots on top with a bag of Fisher chopped pecans in the background.

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!

A photo of a stack of four carrot cake pancakes with a slice taken out with a thick white cream cheese sauce poured over the top with a few chopped pecans and shredded carrots on top.

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!

A photo of a stack of four carrot cake pancakes with a thick white cream cheese sauce poured over the top with a few chopped pecans and shredded carrots on top.

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!!

A photo thick white cream cheese frosting sauce being poured onto a stack of golden carrot cake pancakes with a spoon.

Weekend Breakfast

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?

More PANCAKES Recipes:

Carrot Cake Pancakes

4.58 from 7 votes
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes


Love carrot cake? Well you are going to go crazy for these light and fluffy carrot cake pancakes with cream cheese drizzle syrup that tastes like frosting!



  • 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.


Left overs can be frozen for 1 month.


Serving: 2pancakesCalories: 402kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 8gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 414mgFiber: 1gSugar: 24g
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Over 200 Favorite Easy Breakfast Recipes
Cuisine: American

A photo of a stack of four carrot cake pancakes with a thick white cream cheese sauce poured over the top with a few chopped pecans and shredded carrots on top.


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