Carrot Cake Pancakes
My Mother-in-Law was in town for a visit last weekend. Unlike the standard mother-in-law stereotype, we actually get along very well and I think we all had a great weekend. We did some hiking in Moab and around the Grand Junction area, took Porter for many walks, and most importantly, ate our faces off.
She’s a pretty serious Macheesmo reader so I thought she’d like to try something experimental that I was hoping would be good enough to post.
These pancakes fit the bill just fine. I’ve done a number of pancake recipes over the years, but these were up there on the list for me.
Carrot Cake Pancakes
Yield: 8 pancakes
2 Cups all-purpose flour
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
1 1/4 Cups milk
1/4 Cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted (plus some for cooking)
2 Cups carrots, grated
1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Peel and Grate carrots.
2) Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add spices and carrots and stir.
3) Mix in wet ingredients including melted butter in a separate bowl.
4) Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until a batter forms. A thinner batter will make for thinner pancakes. Thicker batter for thicker cakes.
5) Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and add a dab of butter.
6) Ladle out 1/3-1/2 Cup of batter per pancake.
7) Cook until bubbles form on the top of the cake, then flip, about 2-3 minutes per side.
8) Pancakes should be golden brown on both sides, but not soggy in the middle.
9) Serve with butter and maple syrup.
Making the Batter
I used my basic pancake batter for this recipe. The only real substitution I made to the recipe itself was to use brown sugar instead of regular sugar.
But, of course, I added in a few key ingredients to make this like carrot cake.
For starters, obviously, we need some carrots. I used three medium carrots that I peeled and grated. It worked out to almost exactly two cups of grated carrots.
I also added a whole bunch of spices that are pretty common in carrot cakes.
You don’t want to overdo the spices though. I used a very small amount of each one, but they add a nice little flavor kick to the pancakes. I would say the only essential ones are vanilla, cinnamon and ginger. If you don’t have cloves or nutmeg, you can go without.
While there are whole cloves pictured below, you should use ground cloves obviously. Finding a whole clove in a pancake wouldn’t be fun.
I mixed up all my dry ingredients first, then added in my spices and carrots. Mix the wet ingredients separately and finally stirr them into the dry ingredients.
Pancake batter is a personal preference thing. The thicker the batter, the thicker the pancakes will be.
I like my batter relatively thin so the pancakes aren’t like 1/2 inch thick.
Cooking the pancakes
When it comes to pancakes, always remember two things:
1) Do a test run. Then adjust the batter if you need to by adding more milk or more flour. Typically, I tend to make my batter too thick, then I’ll do a test and decide to thin it out a bit.
2) Assume you’ll mess up the first one. This recipe makes 8 pretty good sized pancakes, but count on 6-7 pancakes that are serve-able unless you are a pancake wizard.
When you’re ready to cook add some butter to a skillet or griddle and ladle out about 1/3-1/2 cup of batter for each cake.
When the cakes start to bubble on top, it’s time to flip!
The cakes should be golden brown on both sides and cooked all the way through. I usually keep my heat on about medium for pancakes to avoid scorching them and it works out to about 2-3 minutes per side.
For some reason I was in a groove on this day (I usually perform best under pressure), so all my pancakes turned out really nicely.
They look like normal pancakes from a distance, but then if you take a bite you find…
Serve these guys with some butter and maple syrup and a few strips of bacon and you’ll have one good brunch on your hands.
This is the kind of brunch that can impress in-laws folks.
That’s gotta count for something!
Administrative Note: While I normally do new posts on Monday, I’m taking this Monday off for Memorial Day. If this upsets you, then you are spending too much time on the Internet! Get outside during the long weekend!