You’ve-Got-to-Be-Kidding-Me Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes

Easter morning, we made carrot pancakes from a recipe on Smitten Kitchen.

My goal is always to maximize nutrition while keeping taste, cost, and convenience in the equation. The recipe looked like a solid starting point, and I mentally changed things as I scanned the ingredient list:

1 cup all-purpose flour (change to whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt (make this scant)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (use pre-ground to simplify)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts -optional, Smitten skipped them (try with)
2 tablespoons golden raisins -optional, ditto (try with regular raisins)
1 large egg (try subbing 1 TBS flaxmeal + 3 TBS water)
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk (sub soymilk, including 1 TBS lemon juice)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated carrots (she says do this by hand to get them fine enough… I’ll use my food processor grater and then pulse them with the blade. Grating by hand to feed this crew is not practical for me.)
3 tablespoons butter, for griddle (use non-stick griddle and skip this for sure)

Scott chuckled when he walked into the kitchen that morning because I had four different bowls of batter lined up on the counter and four different plates of pancakes coming off the griddle. I’m constantly pushing the envelope on food to see if we can find a good marriage of nutrition and taste/cost/convenience. He knows the drill and gamely tried each type of pancake and carefully considered texture and flavor.

#1 – Use an egg, no walnuts or raisins
#2 – Use an egg and walnuts and raisins
#3 – Use flax substitute for the egg, no walnuts or raisins
#4 – Use flax substitute for the egg, add walnuts and raisins

In every case I used whole wheat flour, soured soymilk, and no butter because I was fairly confident that those changes would work. And if they didn’t, the recipe wouldn’t be a keeper for us anyway! 🙂

The result? Scott liked #4 the best, and the pancakes were the most delicious I’ve ever made. He liked the mix-ins and felt like compared with #2, there was more carrot flavor. I did a fist pump because he unwittingly picked the healthier version.

Veggies for breakfast, whole grain, vegan, and fairly straightforward?


Here’s the Anne Bean version of You’ve-Got-to-Be-Kidding-Me Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes. We quadrupled them when we made them because that’s the way I roll. 🙂

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional, but delicious)
2 tablespoons raisins (optional, but delicious)
1 TBS ground flaxseed meal + 3 TBS water, stirred and set aside for a few minutes
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 cup soured soymilk, which includes 1 TBS lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely grated carrots (from about a 3/4 pound bundle whole carrots)

First set aside your flaxseed meal + water mixture, and sour your soymilk. Now grate the carrots. I do this in a food processor using the grater, and then I pulse them so they’re nice and fine.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and, if using, nuts and raisins. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed mixture, brown sugar, soured soymilk and vanilla. Stir in carrots. Stir carrot mixture into dry ingredients, stirring until just incorporated.

Heat your griddle and get cooking! Start with small pancakes (2 TBS batter). Sometimes larger ones are hard to flip.

These are tasty all on their own, but I believe some were devoured with unsweetened applesauce on top and Scott may have sneaked one or two with maple syrup. Mmmmm.

*Note: Because I am who I am, I can guarantee I’ll try to make these with dates instead of brown sugar at some point… but I’ll enjoy them in the meantime anyway. 🙂


About beanland

Scott is a family practice doctor and Anne is a full-time mother and teacher to three beautiful girls and one boy.
This entry was posted in Healthy Eating, Recipes, Whole Wheat Baking. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to You’ve-Got-to-Be-Kidding-Me Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes

  1. Carrol says:

    Another recipe post!! It’s about time, my friend. 😉 I really look forward to your recipes, just sayin’. Miss you cute Bean family!!


  2. Katrina says:

    Will be trying these ..!


  3. Miriam says:

    I made this recipe this morning. The flavor was great, but they had a hard time cooking through. Next time I will squeeze the excess moisture out of the carrots before I add it to the batter. I will definitely try it again. Thanks for the recipe:)


    • beanland says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Hmmm I wonder if I had a dry batch of carrots? I didn’t have a texture problem. I’d love to hear how round 2 goes for you.


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