Carrot cake pancakes are a healthy, decadent breakfast treat

Carrot Cake Pancakes: A Healthy and Tasty Breakfast

Many people love carrot cake—for good reason! It's a moist, spiced cake full of texture and surprise ingredients like carrots, raisins and walnuts. The cream cheese icing that tops many carrot cakes completes the treat.

Now, imagine bringing this traditional dessert to your breakfast table by combining a carrot cake recipe with a pancake recipe. With the dairy-free health benefits of the carrots (which support eye health), cinnamon and oats, this vegan pancake recipe is a great way to start your day!

What are carrot cake pancakes?

With shredded carrots, crunchy walnuts, cinnamon and golden raisins, carrot cake pancakes are very similar to carrot cake. They are a healthy breakfast that feels like a decadent treat, especially for carrot cake lovers.

This pancake recipe is hearty, filling and full of good-for-you ingredients. These pancakes have all the flavor and texture of a delicious and moist vegan carrot cake, including a vegan cream cheese drizzle. The base of oats and chia seeds makes them gluten free, and the use of vegan cream cheese and a plant milk such as almond milk makes them dairy free.

Are carrot cake pancakes healthy?

These carrot cake pancakes are quite healthy. They are vegan, gluten free and lower in sugar than most traditional pancakes. These are only slightly sweet and full of whole food ingredients like chia seeds, walnuts and oats. These ingredients make the pancakes higher in fiber, calcium, protein and iron than griddle-cakes made with all-purpose flour. Plus, the grated carrots are full of vitamin A, potassium and antioxidants to support eye health, heart health and more.

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What goes well with carrot cake pancakes?

These carrot cake pancakes have a delicious vegan cream cheese drizzle that makes the flavors pop. If you prefer a sweeter pancake, drizzle some maple syrup on top. The maple syrup mixes well with the frosting.

Many find these pancakes flavorful enough without maple syrup and butter, and they are nice and filling. If you prefer a higher protein breakfast, these pancakes go well with tofu scramble or eggs or alongside some Greek yogurt (for even more potassium) if you consume dairy.

Homemade carrot cake pancakes

These pancakes are easy to make, and the ingredients are readily available year-round at the market. If you can get oat flour instead of making your own, it will skip a step in the preparation.



2 cups oats, blended dry into fine flour
3 Tbsp chia seeds
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cups unsweetened plant milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp avocado oil
1 cup carrots, grated
½ cup walnut pieces
2 Tbsp golden raisins


4 oz vegan cream cheese at room temp
2 oz unsweetened plant milk
2 Tbsp powdered sugar



  1. First, add the oats to a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until it turns to a fine dust. This is your oat flour. Transfer this to a large bowl.
  2. Add the other dry ingredients to your bowl: chia seeds, salt, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon. Mix well.
  3. In another bowl, add the wet ingredients: Plant milk, vanilla extract, avocado oil, and apple cider vinegar. Mix.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones in the large bowl and mix well. Then add the carrots, walnuts and golden raisins. Mix well and let sit for 10-15 minutes. This will give the chia seeds time to gel to bind the pancake batter. This will also give you a chance to make the vegan cream cheese frosting.
  5. Heat a countertop griddle to 350 degrees. If you do not have a griddle, you can use a large cast iron or large flat non-stick skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of a neutral oil to the griddle to help avoid sticking.
  6. Once the griddle is hot, use a heaping 3-oz scoop or ladle to transfer the batter to the pan to make 10 four-inch pancakes. The batter may be thick and will require a gentle tap with the back of a spatula to flatten them. Cook them for about 7 minutes on each side over medium heat. Note: These pancakes do not bubble like a traditional pancake. They will get solid around the edges first and then toward the middle. They will be golden on the bottom when they are ready to flip.


  1. Into a high-speed blender, add the vegan cream cheese, plant milk and powdered sugar.
  2. Blend until creamy.
  3. Since vegan cream cheese can vary in thickness, if the frosting is too thick to drizzle, just add more plant milk 1 Tbsp at a time to desired consistency.

To Serve

Serving size is 2-3 pancakes. Drizzle them with the frosting. Maple syrup is optional.

Nutritional values

Recipe makes 10 pancakes, with a serving size of 2 pancakes.

Calories: 486 cal
Carbohydrates: 50 g
Protein: 12 g
Fat: 29 g
Sodium: 554 mg
Potassium: 474 mg
Fiber: 10 g
Sugar: 17 g
Vitamin A: 4512 IU
Vitamin C: 2 mg
Calcium: 351 mg
Iron: 4 mg

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes.

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Tips for success

  • Don't be afraid to make this pancake recipe your own. You can use whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour in place of oat flour, try coconut cream instead of plant milk or almond milk, and add nutmeg or other mix-ins to your dry ingredients. Be aware that changing the ingredients may change the consistency of your carrot pancakes, so the batter measurements may need to be adjusted.
  • Getting store-bought carrots pre-shredded will save on your total time because you won't have to grate your carrots.
  • When cooking pancakes, always heat the griddle or skillet well before adding batter. Test for readiness by carefully dripping a few drops of water onto the hot surface. If the pan is ready, the water drips will sizzle and "dance" around the surface. Be aware the water can "spit" from the hot surface and burn you, so use caution when dripping the water.
  • When flipping your carrot pancakes, do so carefully with a large spatula. These pancakes are quite forgiving if you cook them too little or too much. There is nothing in the batter that makes them unsafe to eat raw, so there is no need to worry about cooking time.
  • These pancakes can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Simply reheat them in the microwave if preparing in advance.

Want to use those leftover carrots? Get a taste of our easy vegan lentil soup recipe or put your peelings into our zero-waste vegetable stock recipe!

Are you getting enough vitamin A in your diet?

Adding carrots to your daily diet will help you get vitamin A, but vegan-friendly supplements like a plant-based multivitamin can help you get the vitamin A—and the B vitamins, vitamin D3, vitamin E, minerals and other nutrients you need—from whole food sources.

Adding a multivitamin to your routine is important because it can be tough to get all the nutrients you need on a daily basis, even with a varied diet. With the restrictions of vegan diets, the possibility of gaps in your nutrition increases. Convenient dietary supplements can help you get optimum nutrition every day, in the form that fits your lifestyle.

About the Author: Sara Tercero is the chef behind the popular food blog BetterFoodGuru and the author of the cookbook Plant-Based Diet in 30 Days. Her specialties are veganized Indian-inspired curries, giant rainbow salads, and healthier Mediterranean and Mexican-inspired dishes. It is Sara's mission to prove that plants are delicious and to help others cook and eat their way to health and happiness.