Carrot Cake Pancakes (plant-based, gluten-free)

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By Emily

What’s the best thing since sliced bread? Carrot cake pancakes. Take it from me and my 5 year old, as we are so into these that we have been reheating them in the toaster and having them for breakfast, snacks, and even dessert.

These plant-based beauties are full of carrot cake flavor and are subtly sweet on their own with no added sugar, making them delicious to eat without syrup. They are made with buckwheat flour which makes them high in fiber and also naturally gluten-free for anyone (like me) with that need. The “flax eggs” and grated carrot provide even more fiber and nutrients, making these truly plant-powered.

For a fun, special occasion breakfast, like on Easter, you can turn them into a cake by stacking and icing them with cream cheese or whipped cream (regular or plant-based).

But you don’t need a special occasion to have these: my 5 year old likes them best plain. So he has been having them for a quick breakfast that I can make-ahead of time. They reheat beautifully in the toaster, never once breaking or getting stuck, but they actually also taste great straight out of the refrigerator as well, so he is happy to have them cold.

I tried out many versions of these pancakes before coming up with this combo that we fell in love with. Originally I thought I wanted to use coconut flour, but struggled to get the texture right, and honestly coconut flour tends to give me a stomach ache. I also tried a few versions with oats but they didn’t hold together as well as I wanted them to and I wanted them to taste more like cake and less like oatmeal.

Then I moved to buckwheat, which is a classic flour to use for pancakes, and I love that it is high in fiber and gluten free (as I have a gluten intolerance). I tested them using pure buckwheat flour as well as a gluten-free buckwheat flour blend, and both worked well. One of my family members tried them with whole wheat flour and regular eggs and said that they were delicious. Let us know if you try any other variations.

Buckwheat pancakes often come out stodgy, but these have a great light and spongy texture, partially due to the lemon juice that activates the baking soda, creating bubbles in the batter and helping them to rise. So don’t skip the lemon juice!

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can customise each pancake based on individual preferences. Do you like raisins in your carrot cake while someone else in your family doesn’t? How about walnuts or coconut? You can either mix these in or sprinkle them on individual pancakes if not everyone agrees on their favorite combo. We like them with raisins and I prefer to stud them into the individual pancakes after spooning the batter onto the pan, because that way I can space them out and be sure that there is a raisin in each bite.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Makes 10 (3 ½” diameter)

Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs: 2 Tablespoons flax meal (ground flax seeds) mixed with 5 Tablespoons water
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (about 120g)
  • ½  teaspoon baking powder
  • ½  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼  teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼  teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ¾ cup plant-based milk of choice (about 175 ML)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice (this is important for making the pancakes rise)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 small orange (optional)
  • 1 large (or two small) carrots, finely grated (about 100g total)
  • Coconut oil (or oil of choice) for greasing the griddle

Mix-in ideas:  

A handful or two of raisins, chopped walnuts or other nuts of choice, or dried unsweetened coconut. (Can also be studded into the pancakes batter after you spoon it onto the pan/griddle.)

Topping ideas:

Cream cheese (regular or plant-based), whipped cream (regular or coconut milk), chopped walnuts or other nuts of choice, grated orange zest

Method:

1. Make the flax eggs by mixing together the flax meal and water in a small bowl and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, mash the banana and add the other wet ingredients, stirring to combine. The lemon juice is important in making the pancakes fluffy as it activates the baking soda, creating bubbles in the batter.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir, then fold in the orange zest and grated carrot.

5. Add in any optional mix-ins (or reserve them and sprinkle/stud them directly into each pancake while cooking.)

6. Heat a medium to large frying pan or griddle on medium heat, add a teaspoon of coconut oil or oil of choice and tilt the pan to distribute it.

7. Spoon the batter into the pan, using about 1/3 cup per pancake to make them roughly 3 ½ inches in diameter (or to your desired size). Stud with raisins or other mix-ins, if desired. 

8. Cook about 3 minutes or until the edges begin to look dry.

9. Flip and cook about 2 minutes longer.

10. Transfer to a plate and if making the cake version, spread the top of each pancake with cream cheese (plant-based or regular) or whipped cream (coconut or regular) and stack them. Top with chopped walnuts and grated orange zest and serve!

NUTRITION FACTS PER PANCAKE:
CALORIES 90 TOTAL FAT 2G PROTEIN 2G TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE 16G DIETARY FIBER 5G TOTAL SUGARS 2G ADDED SUGARS 0G

For more recipes like this, see our book, Sugarproof, available here and everywhere books are sold.