Carrot Cake Pancakes!

I love carrot cake.  I really love carrot cake.  It is my favorite cake.

But, the other day, I was taken aback by something.

I was having a late breakfast at my favorite “go to” restaurant in Seattle – the 14 Carrot Café which is located in the Eastlake neighborhood near Lake Union.

I am perusing the menu trying to decide between a veggie omelet or two eggs over easy with an English muffin, when I see on the menu “carrot cake pancakes.”

Yes, I am not making this up.  Carrot cake pancakes.

I have never heard or seen anything like this before.  I looked at the menu a second time.  Was I misreading it, I thought to myself.  maybe it was “Carrot Café pancakes”?

No.  I had read it correctly.  It said “carrot cake pancakes”.

This made no sense to me because (1) I love carrot cake and (2) I am not a big fan of pancakes.  How can the two go together, I ask myself.  this doesn’t make any sense.

However, my love of carrot cake trumps all else.  No question about it.

I call the waitress over and double check with her.  “Am I reading this correctly,” I ask.  “Yes, you are,” she responds with a big smile.

Needless to say, I had no choice but to order a “carrot cake pancake”.  I had to experience it.  my favorite carrot cake in a pancake.  Holy cow!   What is happening in this world?

While my order is being processed, I examine the ingredients of my carrot cake pancake.

The batter contains ground cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger, chopped walnuts, grated carrots, allspice, nutmeg, crushed pineapple drained and raisins.  This is all molded into a pancake batter, topped with a dollop of homemade cream cheese frosting and nuts.

Boy oh boy!  Was this carrot cake pancake good!  It was sumptuous.  I loved it.

My love of carrot cake ingredients trumped my lack of enthusiasm for pancakes.

Two questions come to mind.  One, what makes carrot cake so good?

  • Moistness: The grated carrots in carrot cake add moisture to the batter, resulting in a moist and tender cake. This texture is often enhanced by the addition of ingredients like oil or applesauce.
  • Flavor: Carrot cake has a unique flavor profile that combines the natural sweetness of carrots with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and sometimes cloves. This blend of flavors creates a comforting and aromatic cake.
  • Texture: Carrot cake often contains mix-ins like chopped nuts, raisins, or shredded coconut, adding texture and complexity to each bite. These ingredients contribute to a satisfying mouthfeel and variety of flavors.
  • Versatility: Carrot cake can be customized to suit different tastes and preferences. Some recipes include ingredients like pineapple, coconut, or crushed pineapple for added sweetness and moisture.
  • Cream cheese frosting: Carrot cake is often paired with tangy cream cheese frosting, which balances the sweetness of the cake with its slight tartness. The creamy frosting adds richness and indulgence to the cake, making it even more irresistible.
  • Health benefits: While carrot cake is undoubtedly a dessert, the inclusion of carrots provides some nutritional benefits. Carrots are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, adding a hint of wholesomeness to the indulgent treat.

Overall, the combination of moistness, flavor, texture, and frosting makes carrot cake a beloved dessert for many people. Its comforting qualities and ability to satisfy both sweet cravings and nostalgic memories contribute to its popularity.

A second question is how does a carrot cake pancake differ from a carrot cake?

What is similar is the distinct carrot cake flavor and some critical ingredients of ground cinnamon, chopped walnuts, grated carrots, crushed pineapple drained and raisins as well as the cream cheese frosting.

But there are some differences too.

  • Texture: Carrot cake typically has a moist and dense texture due to the grated carrots, nuts, and sometimes raisins or coconut. On the other hand, carrot cake pancakes are lighter and fluffier, resembling traditional pancakes.
  • Form: Carrot cake is usually baked as a single cake or in layers, while carrot cake pancakes are cooked on a griddle or skillet, forming individual pancakes.
  • Presentation: Carrot cake is often frosted with cream cheese frosting or another type of icing and may be decorated with nuts or additional carrots. Carrot cake pancakes are typically served stacked on a plate and may be topped with cream cheese drizzle, maple syrup, or a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Cooking method: Carrot cake is baked in an oven, while carrot cake pancakes are cooked on a stovetop.
  • Serving occasion: Carrot cake is often served as a dessert for special occasions like birthdays or holidays. Carrot cake pancakes are more commonly served as a breakfast or brunch dish.

In doing my research I have found out that the traditional carrot cake can take some other delicious variations too, including:

  • Cupcakes: Carrot cake cupcakes are a popular alternative to a full cake. They’re often topped with cream cheese frosting and may include mix-ins like nuts or raisins.
  • Muffins: Carrot cake muffins are similar to cupcakes but may be slightly less sweet and topped with a streusel topping instead of frosting.
  • Loaf Cake: Carrot cake can be baked in a loaf pan to create a more casual and portable version. It’s often sliced and served without frosting, although a simple glaze or cream cheese drizzle can be added.

  • Bars or Squares: Carrot cake bars or squares are another convenient option. They’re typically made in a baking pan, cut into squares, and may have a cream cheese frosting layer on top.
  • Cookies: Carrot cake cookies incorporate the flavors of carrot cake into a cookie form. They often include shredded carrots, spices, and mix-ins like oats, nuts, or raisins.
  • Trifle: Carrot cake trifle layers cubes of carrot cake with layers of whipped cream or pudding, creating a visually stunning and delicious dessert.

  • Ice Cream: Carrot cake ice cream features chunks of carrot cake folded into a creamy ice cream base, offering a refreshing twist on the classic dessert.

  • Rolls: Carrot cake rolls are made by rolling a thin layer of carrot cake around a sweet filling, such as cream cheese frosting or whipped cream.

These variations allow for creativity in presentation and flavor while still capturing the essence of carrot cake’s signature taste and texture.

Bottom line, both carrot cake itself and carrot cake pancakes work for me.  in fact, carrot cake anything works for me.

You name it.  Possibly carrot cake eggs, carrot cake potatoes, carrot cake vegetables, carrot cake cereal.  I don’t care as long as there are carrot cake ingredients in it.

I’ve decided that I love anything carrot cake!  I love carrot cake for dessert after dinner or lunch, but I found out that I also love carrot cake for breakfast!


4 thoughts on “Carrot Cake Pancakes!”

  1. Humm! Carrot Cake, you say!
    I think I knew her sister. Didn’t she dance at The Nest in Palm Desert?

  2. My husband, always the funny one.-he’s never lost his sense of humour..
    I love carrot cake too, but have not heard of some of the others you mention. But would love to try this pancake you so highly speak of. Have you invented your own recipe for it. I make my own health pancakes, and must try this next. If you’ve tried this at home, can you share the recipe. Sounds like a good one.And I have never heard of this. Its nice to patronize places that are not chains, and find something truly amazing to eat. Thanks for the research. You need to now add being a “chef editor” to your other credentials and accomplishments.

  3. Mmmmm…
    You must be back in Seattle for the summer?
    We’re in Hawaii enjoying Macadamia Pancakes with Coconut Syrup. Holy Cow, they are delicious, too!! 😋
    I need to try that carrot cake ice cream though!!
    Hope all is well with you!

  4. Well now. Glad to see that you are still gastronomically adventurous.. Time to turn your research into action research. You probably won’t mind a trifle or two when trying a roll or muffin. Thanks for sharing the wonders of carrot concoctions. Yum.

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