Carrot Cake Pancakes with spice and a hint of orange zest are a delicious excuse to eat a little something sweet for breakfast, and cream cheese frosting, if you need an excuse for that!
Guest post by: Morgan Aibinder of The Improv Kitchen
Tara and I met last year on a photo shoot for KitchenAid, and her food styling blew me away. So you can imagine how honored I was when she asked me to guest post on her blog. I was even more excited when I found out the theme for the month—brunch!
I’m brunch obsessed. While I’m typically team savory, I can never resist getting a sweet item for the table when I go out for brunch. These Carrot Cake Pancakes are the perfect weekend treat. And who doesn’t love an excuse to eat cream cheese frosting FOR BREAKFAST?! Plus they're loaded with carrots, so they are also considered a health food too, right? I think that’s how it works. Yep, that’s definitely how it works.
I hope you love these pancakes as much as I do!
I’m a big fan of tweaking recipes to make it your own. Pancakes are such a perfect canvas to do that with. Over on my blog, The Improv Kitchen, I like to give inspiration on how you can change a recipe in a section that I call “improv style.” How would you tweak these carrot cake pancakes to make them your own?
Don’t have buttermilk? You can use any type of milk you have (non-fat, 2%, whole milk) with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice.
Don’t have some of the spices? You can leave some out or add in your favorite spices like allspice, cardamom or even clove. If you’re a big cinnamon fan, you can add a little more.
Not a fan of nuts? Leave them out! You can also try it with toasted walnuts, pistachios, shredded coconut, raisins or your favorite dried fruit.
You can play with adding flavors to the cream cheese frosting—reinforce the cinnamon flavor with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Try adding in a few tablespoons of maple syrup instead of powdered sugar. The frosting too tangy for you? Add in a little more sugar or maple syrup—I don’t like my cream cheese frosting overly sweet but that’s my preference. Make it how you like it by adding more sugar or sweetener of your choice!
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) butter room temperature
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- 3 tbsp whole milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tbsp orange zest
- 1 cup finely shredded carrots
- ¼ cup toasted chopped pecans
- Maple syrup optional
For the Cream Cheese Frosting blend cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Beat together for an additional 30 seconds until incorporated.
For thinner frosting, add milk a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
For the Carrot Cake Pancakes whisk together the flour, baking powder and spices in a large bowl. Mix together the brown sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, eggs and orange zest in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently until fully combined. Stir in the shredded carrots and pecans.
Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat and add a tablespoon of butter, or spray with cooking spray. Spoon approximately ¼ cup of batter per pancake onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes. Flip and continue cooking for another minute or two until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve with a dollop of cream cheese frosting and garnish with additional chopped nuts and maple syrup if desired.
adapted from pickycook
From Tara: Morgan was "the client" on one of my photo shoots and we hit it off talking about our food blogs. She decided to take my Food Styling 101 class on Nicole's Classes. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the beautiful food and recipes she created. I love her style and taste and am so happy she shared a little of it with you here!
If you love this recipe, you might like some other Tara Teaspoon breakfast and brunch recipes like:
Recipe, Food Styling and Photography by Morgan Aibinder