Monday, January 25, 2010

Carrot Cake for Breakfast


My subscription to Cooking Light runs out in January each year, right around the time that I’m really craving the lighter recipes that can be found on its pages. Not that I don’t enjoy the publication year-round, but I tend to do more cooking from the magazine in January and February as new year’s resolutions take hold of me. So, each January I renew my subscription with the hope that my penchant for lighter fare will last the whole year through.


When it comes to healthier eating, weekend breakfasts always cause a bit of a problem. I love sleeping in and getting up to prepare a big, decadent breakfast and it can be really hard to find something that feels big and decadent, but not totally unhealthy. Lucky for me, this month’s Cooking Light has a great recipe for an indulgent weekend breakfast that doesn’t make you feel like you are undoing all the good you did during the week.


Carrot cake pancakes sounded like something that could be too sickly sweet for my kind of morning fare, but these are nothing of the sort. Bulked up with two cups of shredded carrots, they call for all the spices found in carrot cake, but not all of the sugar. And that delicious cream cheese frosting you’re accustomed to? A honey butter stand-in works perfectly.

Carrot Cake Pancakes
Adapted from Cooking Light
Makes 12 pancakes; serves 4 - 6

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 t baking powder
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/8 t freshly ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 T canola oil
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups finely grated carrot (from about a 1/2 pound)
Cooking spray
3 T butter, softened
2 T honey

Combine the flour with the next seven ingredients (through ground ginger) and mix lightly to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar with the next four ingredients (through eggs) and mix thoroughly. Add the sugar mixture to the flour and stir just to combine. Use a spatula to fold the shredded carrots into the batter.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to portion out three to four mounds of batter (depending on the size of your pan). Cook for two minutes, flip over and cook for one minute more until the pancakes are golden brown and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter.

While the pancakes are cooking, combine the honey and the butter and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Serve three pancakes per person and top with about a tablespoon of honey butter.


Diana said...

Crazy - I posted about carrot cake for breakfast today too! Only about oatmeal instead of pancakes. I was actually thinking of trying to turn them into a pancake, so now I can!

i am... said...

Love this! Can't wait to give them a try this weekend. I have a feeling I'm going to have to double the batch!

Fresh Local and Best said...

This is a wonderful recipe to satiate the sweet tooth. I love all of the sweet spices added.

Samantha Kate said...

What a great idea! I love breakfast foods as well as carrot cake. This is defiantly one unique pancake. Thanks for sharing!!

Victoria said...

YUM! My fiance and I are on a no sweets no treets embargo until our wedding in 6 weeks...but i suspect these would totally be ok!!! I love all sorts of pancake fave so far has been gingerbread spiced.

Hungry Dog said...

What a great idea! I don't always love pancakes, because they often can seem kind of heavy and doughy--but I love the idea of the grated carrots--seems like they would add great texture. And so pretty too!

jenious said...

I'm also a lover of the weekend breakfast splurge. I will, however, hand over the spatula to my Mr.Mr. to craft these delights as he's the master pancake flipper in our house. He'll be psyched too as he loves carrot cake!

Unknown said...

These look (and sound) glorious.

Heather I. said...

Love carrot cake and love pancakes, but I never thought of putting them together. Oh, and I also love Cooking Light. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I get a lot of carrots in my CSA, and am sometimes at a loss for how to use them all up in a timely manner. My husband and I are big fans of the big weekend breakfast, too, so this is a natural. Thanks!

grace said...

see, now i could eat plain ol' decadent carrot cake for breakfast and be perfectly content. however, pancake form seems much more appropriate and just as scrumptious. very enticing recipe, jessica!

Chele said...

Fantastic idea - and I could eat cake for breakfast too, woo hoo! Hubby will love these, will bookmark to make next weekend.

Melanie said...

This is great! I love it! Perfect Easter brunch item!

Miss Marci said...

Love this so much! I tried NQN Carrot Cake Ice Cream and we are converts. This weekend I will definitely try this and I'll do a write up and let you know how I go!
Thanks Apples

Eliana said...

These sound like a wonderful medley of flavors.

Anonymous said...

Wow, fantastic! I must make these!

Robin said...

Oh, I can't wait to try these! I usually hibernate and stick to hearty food in January and February and then start to eat a little lighter in March, when it feels like spring is actually coming. (I also think maybe I have some kind of built-in Lent, where I want to give things up at this time of year?) Anyway, this looks like just the thing for me now. Thanks!

apparentlyjessy said...

What a fascinating idea! I've bookmarked this recipe to try soon!

molly said...

This might just be brilliant, carrot cake pancakes. Just never would have occurred to me, but I'm liking it...