A simple pancake recipe that brings vegetables to the table in a form we all want to eat. These carrot cake pancakes are fluffy and delicious, like pancakes should be but flavorful like a spiced carrot cake. It's the best of both worlds!
I love these easy carrot cake pancakes with pancake mix! Packed with flavor and fluffy pancake goodness, they taste great, but add that simple cream cheese syrup on top, and they're irresistible.
These pancakes are perfect for Celebrating Easter On A Budget or making a delicious springtime meal that no one will forget. These pancakes are packed with carrot cake flavors in every bite and they're a fun way to add more carrots to your diet.
Why This Recipe Works
- It's easier when it's semi-homemade. Using a store-bought pancake mix as a base, this recipe is made that much easier. We use our favorite pancake mix and save effort by not needing to measure flour, baking powder, salt, etc.
- The steps are simple. While there might be several ingredients involved, there are just a few simple steps, and they are not much more difficult than making your everyday fluffy pancakes recipe.
- The syrup topping isn't too sweet. The cream cheese syrup on top is creamy, thick, and not overly sweet either, so it's perfect for someone wanting a more savory-style breakfast dish!
For the pancakes you will need:
Pancake mix- Use your favorite brand or what you have on hand. I have personally used Bisquick Baking Mix, as well as the "Just Add Water" Pancake mixes, and both have turned out LOVELY!
Spices- We need Ground cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Ground Cloves, and Nutmeg to get the great spice cake flavor we want.
Brown sugar- Adding a depth of flavor thanks to the molasses as well as a little sweetness and caramelization to the batter.
Milk- You can use buttermilk, plant based milk, or dairy milk and the results are all great.
Vanilla- This is a flavor enhancer and helps to give a flat base for the other flavors to work up off of.
Carrots- We needed freshly shredded carrots or you can buy them pre-shredded in the produce section of the store for a time-saver!
Egg- One egg will be the binder in this recipe.
Oil- I prefer coconut oil, but canola oil also works great. I don't recommend Olive oil though as that will change the flavors a little too much (and not in a good way!).
Oats- Quick cooking/ Instant oats are perfect because the texture is unnoticeable, but I've used chopped Old Fashioned and those work fine too.
Optional add-ins or toppings- Chopped walnuts, raisins, or more oats go great over the top of a fresh stack of syrup smothered pancakes!
For the cream cheese syrup you will need:
Cream cheese- Softened cream cheese works best. Even Neufchatel cheese (similar to cream cheese but lower in fat) works great.
Heavy cream or milk- You can use either, but the richness is stronger when using heavy cream.
Powdered sugar- Add more or less depending on how sweet you want these to be.
Vanilla extract- Just a little bit helps to flavor this cream cheese syrup very well. You can use clear vanilla if you don't want to make the frosting slightly off-white.
For the exact amounts needed, please see the recipe card below.
🍽 Equipment Needed
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Check out how to make carrot cake pancakes with these simple step-by-step instructions:
Shred your carrots and set them aside.
Add the pancake mix, oats, brown sugar, and spices to a large mixing bowl.
Whisk well to combine.
Add your milk, egg, vanilla, and oil to another large mixing bowl.
Whisk well to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with your dry ingredients.
Stir to combine.
Now add the shredded carrot.
Fold into the batter gently, and allow to rest for 5 minutes as the skillet preheats.
Preheat your griddle to medium heat (325-350F)
Scoop the batter by the ¼ cup measures and place it on the greased griddle to cook.
When the edges are dry and the bottom is golden brown, flip and continue cooking until cooked through. About 2 minutes per side.
Continue until all pancakes are cooked.
How to make cream cheese glaze
Warm all of the syrup ingredients in a pot on the stove, stirring until melted and smooth.
Remove from heat and let cool until it's safe to touch temperature.
Add several pancakes to your plate.
Top with cream cheese syrup.
Serve immediately and enjoy.
🍴 Recipe Tips
Tips for the pancakes:
Due to the thickness of the batter, you're going to want to make sure that your griddle isn't turned up too high I find that a medium heat works best at creating a golden brown color and fully cooking the pancakes through. Any hotter than that and I get dark sides and raw middles.
If you have a food processor, shredding the carrots and then chopping them up into smaller bits could be a great way to make the carrot pieces smaller.
Tips for the glaze:
The cream cheese sauce for pancakes isn't overly sweet and you can add more powdered sugar if you want it sweeter but more milk may be needed to help thin it back down. Feel free to adjust to your tastebuds.
My favorite tip for making the syrup has got to be this- If you want it a little creamier and fluffier- run your syrup ingredients under an electric mixer for 2 minutes until the cream cheese is completely blended and the mixture looks fluffy. Then place into a pan over medium/low heat and heat until warmed through.
Yes, absolutely! I think they end up a little fluffier that way. Of course, having buttermilk on hand can sometimes be a challenge because it's not a staple ingredient in every home. That said regular milk works great too.
After your pancakes cool completely, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat and eat.
Yes, simply place it in a pot on the stove or in a microwave safe bowl and heat until warm. Stir and mix until smooth.
Check out these other great pancake recipes!
- Salted Caramel Banana Pancakes
- Birthday Cake Pancakes
- (Copycat) Denny's Pancake Recipe
- The BEST Sweet Cream Pancakes
Carrot Cake Pancakes with Cream Cheese Syrup
For the Pancakes
- 2 cups Pancake mix ($0.40)
- 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon ($0.10)
- ¼ teaspoon Ground ginger ($0.02)
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg ($0.02)
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground cloves ($0.01)
- ¼ cup Brown sugar ($0.17)
- 2 Tablespoons Oats ($0.01)
- 1 ¼ cup Milk ($0.24)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract ($0.02)
- 2 cups Shredded carrot (about 2 medium sized) ($0.42)
- 1 large Egg ($0.08)
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil ($0.26)
Optional Add-ins or Toppings:
- 2 Tablespoons Raisins
- 2 Tablespoons Walnuts, chopped
Cream Cheese Syrup
- 4 ounces Cream cheese, softened ($1.98)
- ⅓ cup Heavy cream or milk ($0.40)
- 1 cup Powdered sugar ($0.23)
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract ($0.01)
- Shred your carrots and set them aside.
- Add the pancake mix, oats, brown sugar, and spices to a large mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine.
- Add your milk, egg, vanilla, and oil to another large mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with your dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
- Now add the shredded carrot. Fold into the batter gently, and allow to rest for 5 minutes as the skillet preheats.
- Preheat your griddle to medium heat (325-350F)
- Scoop the batter by the ¼ cup measures and place it on the greased griddle to cook.
- When the edges are dry and the bottom is golden brown, flip and continue cooking until cooked through. About 2 minutes per side.
- Continue until all pancakes are cooked.
How to make cream cheese glaze
- Warm all of the syrup ingredients in a pot on the stove, stirring until melted and smooth.
- Remove from heat and let cool until it's safe to touch temperature.
- Add several pancakes to your plate. Top with cream cheese syrup.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.