Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes

stack of carrot cake pancakes on a white plate with a bite taken out.

Healthy carrot cake pancakes with a lightened up cream cheese frosting are packed with everything you love about carrot cake, but made with real, good-for-you ingredients! They're a delicious spring or Easter breakfast!



For Carrot Cake Pancakes:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed, optional
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup club soda or seltzer water
  • 2 large carrots, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • butter or oil, for cooking surface (if needed)

For Healthier Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar


  1. Grind oats in a blender or food processor until they are the consistency of flour. In a large bowl, mix oat with the remaining dry ingredients.
  2. Add egg, vanilla, orange juice and soda. Mix well.
  3. Stir in shredded carrots and pecans. Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes without stirring to let it thicken.
  4. Heat a large skillet or griddle to medium low heat (about 300° F).
  5. Spray or brush the surface with oil. Pour 1/3 cup batter onto heated griddle, spreading with bottom of the cup or a spoon. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and edges start to dry, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 2 minutes or until lightly golden.  Repeat with remaining batter.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare frosting: Whisk together cream cheese, yogurt, vanilla and powdered sugar.
  7. Serve pancakes with cream cheese frosting and top with shredded coconut (optional).


  • Oats will absorb liquid as they sit, so let the batter rest to thicken up after stirring in the carrots and pecans. Don't stir again before scooping it out to cook, or you'll release the air bubbles that give the pancakes a nice lift.
  • Because these pancakes are so thick and absorb quite a bit of liquid, they take a little bit longer to cook than normal pancakes. Keep the heat lower than usual - about 300°F (a 3 on my gas stove is perfect) and cook a little longer. They usually take about 2-3 minutes per side.
  • I used pre-shredded carrots here, but I actually prefer the texture of hand grated carrots.

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • For a gluten-free version, you can use your favorite cup-for-cup gluten-free flour in place of the wheat flour.
  • For dairy-free, use your favorite non-dairy cream cheese and yogurt alternatives in the frosting.
  • You can use pineapple juice in place of orange juice.
  • You can also use buttermilk in place of the soda. You may have to adjust the amount since buttermilk is thicker.
  • Feel free to add coconut or raisins to the batter for a more loaded pancake. You can also sub the pecans for walnuts or leave them out completely.
  • For baby led weaning friendly pancakes, make sure the carrots are very finely grated and either omit the nuts or grind them with the oats so they are very finely chopped. Serve with plain yogurt for baby.

Keywords: healthy carrot cake pancakes