For a few weeks, I was facing a dilemma. I wanted to make carrot cake but, with a thousand plus calories per slice, I wasn’t sure I wanted to eat it.
Last Friday, I was looking for a breakfast recipe on Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen blog when I accidentally stumbled upon this recipe. I was thrilled – all the carrot goodness at a fraction of the calorie cost!!! The result didn’t disappoint: plump, fluffy, slightly sweet, and utterly delicious pancakes.
Now I could say: I got my cake and I ate it too 🙂
***A few technical notes: The recipe calls for finely grating your carrots but I used a coarse grater. Should you choose to do the former, the texture of your pancakes will be smoother. The original recipe that Deb used also had 2 tablespoon each of raisins and chopped walnuts. I chose not to use them and instead upped my carrots by 1/2 cup.
Makes 10 to 12 pancakes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups finely grated carrots (I used coarse grater)
- 3 tablespoons butter, for griddle
Cream cheese topping
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Dash of ground cinnamon
Place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 170°F. This will keep the pancakes warmed as they’re fried in batches.
To make the pancakes: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. Stir in carrots. Add carrot mixture into dry ingredients, stirring until just Incorporated. Let rest for five minutes while you make the cream cheese topping.
To make the cream cheese topping: In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and lump-free. Whisk in powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon. If you’d like the mixture thinner, add more milk.
Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a cast-iron skillet or griddle pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into the hot pan per pancake and cook, flipping once, until pancakes are golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer finished pancakes to a serving dish or tray in the oven, to keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more butter as needed.
Serve warm with cream cheese topping.