Carrot cake pancakes are moist and fluffy pancakes laced with the delicious flavors of an old-fashioned carrot cake, complete with raisins and walnuts. This recipe includes a maple flavored cream cheese syrup that will transport you to dessert-for-breakfast heaven!

Carrot cake pancakes, cut to show texture, with white glaze.

Carrot cake, with its delicious combination of flavors, has already taken over smoothies, cookies, muffins, and donuts, so why not try carrot cake pancakes? They have a soft texture and loads of flavor. Basically, they’re all kinds of dreamy!

About this recipe

Carrot cake is known for its moist crumb, an infusion of warm spices, plump raisins, sweet carrots, and crunchy nuts. And don’t forget the cream cheese frosting! It’s my favorite part and it may have been invented just for carrot cake because it’s a match made in heaven!

Now imagine carrot cake perfection in a pancake version, topped with a maple cream cheese syrup. Carrot cake for breakfast is officially at your fingertips! Plus, you’re eating an abundance of hidden veggies so it’s most definitely a win!

Carrots provide vitamin A, walnuts bring protein and good fats to the table, and the warm spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger) have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It doesn’t get any better than this!

This easy recipe starts with your basic pancake ingredients, plus the extras that make the carrot cake pancakes as delicious as they are. The spices, nuts, and the whole carrot cake experience in a stack of pancakes are enough to make any morning a little extra special! If you love this idea but don’t love flipping, try our carrot cake sheet pan pancakes.

For a splash of decadence, serve a stack of these pancakes with an apple cider mimosa with a caramel rim, a classic mimosa, or this salted caramel hot chocolate.

Plate of pancakes topped with walnuts and cream cheese syrup.

What you need

For the Pancakes:

  • Pancake Basics – For the base of these pancakes, you’ll need some pantry staples: butter, egg, buttermilk, water, vanilla, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, no worries, homemade buttermilk is super simple to make.
  • Carrot Cake Spices – To flavor the pancakes, grab cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. This trio of spices is warm, deep, and aromatic, the essence of a spiced carrot cake.
  • Shredded Carrots – You can’t have carrot cake without carrots! The carrots also add sweetness and moisture to the pancake batter.
  • Walnuts – It doesn’t matter if you get walnut halves or chopped walnuts since you’ll be chopping them finely anyways. They’ll be used in the pancakes themselves as well as on top of the pancakes for a garnish.
  • Raisins – Raisins are optional but they sure do add another familiar element! You can use traditional raisins or golden raisins in this recipe.

For the Cream Cheese Syrup:

  • Spreadable Cream Cheese – Spreadable cream cheese is softer than block cream cheese. For the glaze, the mixture needs to be pourable, so that it’s less of a thick frosting and more of a syrup.
  • Maple Syrup – Maple is such a delicious flavor and it pairs well with all the other flavors of carrot cake.
  • Milk – Adding milk thins out the cream cheese to make it pourable.
  • Vanilla Extract – A hint of vanilla brings out the other flavors and adds depth and warmth.
Overhead view of ingredients.

How to make them

Preheat a griddle to 375°F, or a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat.

Whisk together the melted butter and egg. Whisk in the buttermilk, water, and vanilla. 

Wet ingredients in white mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt. 

Dry ingredients in white bowl, not yet mixed.

Next, whisk the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to overmix.

Wet ingredients underneath dry ingredients.

Gently fold in the carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Allow the batter to rest for five minutes.

Carrots, raisins, and walnuts on top of pancake batter.

Meanwhile, start making the cream cheese syrup by placing the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl and microwaving it for 45 seconds.

Using a hand mixer, whisk the cream cheese smooth. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract.

Cream cheese and vanilla.

Mix until smooth again. Finally, add the milk and whisk once more until smooth.

Cream cheese in a white bowl.

To cook the pancakes, drop by spoonfuls onto preheated griddle/frying pan. Spread them out until they are about ½ inch thick and cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side, and an additional 3-4 minutes on the second side.

Pancakes on white griddle.

Serve with cream cheese syrup, a few extra raisins, and some chopped walnuts!

Plated pancakes with syrup and garnishes.

How to make these pancakes your own

  • To make whole wheat pancakes, use whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose. It will have a more robust flavor and slightly different texture.
  • You can use 1:1 gluten-free flour if preferred.
  • For vegan pancakes, make a buttermilk substitute using almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. Swap the butter for vegetable oil, coconut oil, or vegan butter, and use a flax egg instead of a real egg. We have yet to test them this way, but if you do, let us know in the comments how they turned out!
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and top with whipped cream or cinnamon whipped cream for something a little different.
  • Caramel sauce is nice too! Here is a vegan caramel sauce if preferred.

Make Ahead Ideas

There are a few things you can do ahead of time to streamline the process when it comes time to make the pancakes.

  • Shred the carrots and keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Chop the walnuts and keep them stored at room temperature in a cool dry spot or in the fridge for longer periods of time.
  • If you bought cream cheese that isn’t already spreadable, be sure to bring it to room temperature to soften it.

Storage Suggestions

Keep pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Any leftovers will make a great quick and easy breakfast or snack the next day or a fun way to replace carrot cake for dessert!

Reheating

The smell of carrot cake pancakes being reheated is all kinds of mouthwatering! Pop them in the toaster or the microwave to reheat and enjoy!

Close up of cut pancakes.

More Dessert Inspired Pancakes

Carrot cake pancakes cut to show texture, topped with cream cheese glaze.

Get the Recipe: Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot cake pancakes are moist and fluffy pancakes laced with the delicious flavors of an old-fashioned carrot cake, complete with raisins and walnuts. This recipe includes a maple flavored cream cheese syrup that will transport you to dessert-for-breakfast heaven!
4.67 from 3 votes

Ingredients

Pancakes:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped finely (extra for garnishing)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

Cream Cheese Syrup:

  • 4 ounces spreadable cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat a griddle to 375°F, or a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat.
  • Whisk together the melted butter and the egg.
  • Whisk in the buttermilk, water, and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet and then gently fold in the carrots, walnuts, and raisins.
  • Allow the batter to rest for five minutes. During this time you can make the cream cheese syrup.
  • Place the cream cheese in a microwave safe medium-sized bowl. Use 80% power and microwave for 45 seconds.
  • Using the whisk attachment on a hand mixer, whisk the cream cheese smooth. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract and mix until smooth again.
  • Finally, add the milk and whisk once more until smooth.
  • To cook the pancakes, drop by spoonfuls onto preheated griddle/frying pan. Spread out until about ½ inch thick.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side and then 3-4 minutes on the second side.
  • Serve with the cream cheese syrup.

Notes

Make Ahead Ideas:
  • Shred the carrots and keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Chop the walnuts and keep them stored at room temperature in a cool dry spot or in the fridge for longer periods of time.
  • If you bought cream cheese that isn’t already spreadable, be sure to bring it to room temperature to soften it.
Storage Suggestions: Keep pancakes without toppings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Any leftovers will make a great quick and easy breakfast or snack the next day or a fun way to replace carrot cake for dessert!
Reheating: Reheat leftover pancakes in the toaster or the microwave until warm.
Serving: 2pancakes, Calories: 414kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 550mg, Potassium: 393mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 4821IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 247mg, Iron: 3mg