If you’d like to be queen (or king) for a day, consider these pancakes your ticket. They’re fluffy in the center, crisp around the edges and buttery as hell. And, they are guaranteed to cast a spell over whomever you feed into thinking you’re the greatest woman (or man) on the planet. To be fair, I’ve only spellbound one person with this recipe (Will, of course). But he was so astonishingly agog with both me and the pancakes—from the moment I set a piping stack in front of him at breakfast until the moment he fell asleep that night—I’d bet my favorite PJs that one batch of these flapjacks will kick-start a day of overwhelming admiration and appreciation from even your greatest frienemy. And if you’re feeding someone who already loves you, well then, you’re in for a day crammed with impromptu forehead kisses.
Dotted with plump raisins, sweet shredded carrots and crunchy walnuts, the texture of these pancakes is what makes them so special. The recipe happened because I opened our fridge, and while fishing out the carton of eggs for omelets, a bag of carrots that were about to shrivel up and die caught my eye. “These must be incorporated into breakfast,” I told myself. Suddenly, I was inspired by an over-the-top pancake piece I recalled from this month’s Southern Living, and decided to try my hand at jazzy pancakes using Ruth Reichl’s go-to pancake recipe (my all-time favorite) as a starting point. Armed with a bag of carrots and Ruth’s recipe, I ventured deep into my pantry and found everything I needed for what became Operation Carrot Cake Pancake.
I realize this recipe requires far more measuring and preparation than a batch of Hungry Jacks, but the extra work is totally worth it, especially if only takes an otherworldly pancake to remind you and the ones you love just how sweet love can be.
A note: Ruth’s pancake recipe really is the best. If you don’t feel like doing the carrot cake thing, you’ll still make someone very happy with her plain-old-awesome recipe. They’re not low calorie, but they’re worth every calorie. I swear.
Carrot Cake Pancakes
Makes 4-6 large pancakes
- 1/2 stick butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
- Zest from 1 orange, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup flour (whole wheat or all purpose)
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 3 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
In a small bowl, combine the butter, milk and raisins. Heat in the microwave for 45 seconds or until the butter is fully melted. Let the raisins sit in the warm mixture for 3 minutes.
Next, whisk in the egg, vegetable oil, shredded carrot, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest. Then, in one batch, stir in the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped walnuts, being careful not to mix too much. Lumpy batter is a-okay.
For large pancakes, pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto a hot griddle or non-stick pan (use butter!) and let cook for 2-3 minutes or until the top is covered with bubbles and the edges look dry and cooked. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutres more. Serve with excellent maple syrup.