These carrot cake pancakes, whether arranged in a magnificently towering stack or just stacked on your plate, are a (sorta) healthy breakfast indulgence made with carrots, pecans, and raisins stirred into buttermilk pancake batter. If you wish to gild the lily, slather them with mascarpone frosting.
This carrot cake pancakes recipe creates a majestic stack of sorta healthy deliciousness on a cake stand. And it’s relatively easy to make. Truth be told, you could simply flip some of these pancakes on plates and call it a day and no one will judge you for adding just a smidgen of butter and omitting any other embellishment, including the mascarpone frosting and fancy carrot curls. But since when has a lack of need ever stopped us from indulging before?–Renee Schettler Rossi
☞ Table of Contents
Carrot Cake Pancakes with Mascarpone Frosting
For the carrot cake pancakes
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
- 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted, plus more for serving
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups carrots finely grated on the small holes on a box grater (do NOT shred in a food processor)
- 1/2 cup toasted pecans chopped
- 1/3 cup golden raisins chopped
For the carrot curls (optional)
- 3 or 4 fat carrots
Make the carrot cake pancakes
- Grab a large bowl and stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a slightly smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla.
- Gradually stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until the dry ingredients are completely moist and barely any trace of flour remains. Gently fold in the carrots, pecans, and raisins.
- Use a 1/4-cup measuring scoop to dump blobs of batter onto a hot, buttered griddle heated to 350°F (177°C) or a large, preferably nonstick, skillet over medium heat. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until the tops are covered with bubbles and the edges look dry and cooked. Flip and cook until done, 1 to 3 minutes more. (If you want to make the towering stack of pancakes in the photo, you’ll need to make pancakes of varying sizes from as wide as your skillet to about 3 inches in diameter. Adjust the cooking time accordingly.)
- Either make stacks on plates and pass immediately or place the pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet and keep them warm in a 200°F (93°C) oven for up to 30 minutes.
Make the mascarpone cream (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk the mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla just until blended. (Yes, we mean a standard whisk that’s powered by your biceps rather than a plug in the wall.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a largish bowl with a handheld electric mixer, beat the heavy cream on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. You should have about 2 1/2 cups.
Make the carrot curls (optional)
- Reach for your vegetable peeler and peel the outer layer from a big fat carrot. Use a sharp knife to trim the ends. Toss those peels and the ends in the compost. Continue to peel the carrot without rotating it to create wide, paper-thin slices. Toss these in a bowl of ice water until they curl, at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Serve the carrot cake pancakes
- Set a short stack of pancakes before each person at the table and pass butter, maple syrup, confectioners' sugar, and/or the mascarpone cream on the side.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These carrot cake pancakes made a nice change to Saturday morning pancakes. They were rich and tender but hearty with nuts and carrots. The fragrance of vanilla and cinnamon perfumed the house as they were cooking. It was a perfect incentive to get the family out of bed and to the breakfast table. If you do most of your prep work the night before, you can have your pancakes on the table in virtually no time.
I like my carrot cake with lots of spice, so I would add nutmeg and ginger and increase the cinnamon. I was afraid the carrots would be crunchy, but they were not. They gave a nice body to the batter, but not in an obtrusive way. I didn’t make the mascarpone cream. We were having these for breakfast, and I thought that might be a little over-the-top in terms of richness. We put a bit of butter on them. Then we tried various things on individual bites. Maple syrup was too sweet. A dusting of confectioners’ sugar was pretty but not necessary. The pancakes were lovely with just a touch of butter, but the optional mascarpone topping would be just the thing to gild the lily.
These are a lovely brunch treat, and I didn’t feel they needed the additional sweetness or richness of the optional mascarpone cream. I served them with butter and maple syrup on the side, like traditional buttermilk pancakes. If I wanted to go the dairy route, I might use crème fraîche or a nice thick Greek yogurt or even Greek yogurt with some honey mixed in.
I skipped the optional golden raisins though I did opt in on the pecans. I made 18 pancakes. The first few pancakes took the full 4 minutes per side to cook, but as I moved along through the batter, each successive batch took less time, with the last ones needing barely 3 minutes per side. All of them had a lovely saffron-tinged golden color, much prettier than plain golden brown pancakes!
Originally published December 07, 2019