Carrot Cake Pancakes – Low Carb and Gluten-Free


Carrot Cake PancakesNew England is in full show-off mode at the moment, putting on a blazing display of autumnal colours.  It’s truly astonishing, and as my husband noted yesterday, it seems like maybe the most vibrant fall we’ve had in our 10 years of living here.  It’s gorgeous and joyful, but I always find something very melancholy about it as well.  I suppose it’s the fleetingness of it, the fact that it lasts a few short weeks at most and then we are in the cold wet dregs of November, with winter on its way.  I try to enjoy the fall brilliance while it lasts, but it always seems like there is never enough time to be outside among the falling leaves.  Instead, I am perpetually on my way to somewhere else, craning my neck from my seat in the car, trying to take in every flaming red, orange and yellow leaf by osmosis through my windshield.  I can never seem to get enough.

I am planning a very long fall run this morning. I may even be on that run while you are reading this.  I hope to be out in the sunshine, legs feeling strong, enjoying as much of the fall colours as I can.  That’s the plan, anyway.  Could be that I will feel so pooped by the mileage that the whole thing will feel like a slog and I will just want to be at home, curled up in my bed with a cup of sugar-free hot chocolate.  Hard to say, really.  Some days I head out for a run thinking it’s going to be great, and it’s hard and exhausting the whole time.  Sometimes I head out on a run anticipating drudgery, and I feel like my feet have wings.  It’s completely unpredictable, as much as I have tried to figure out what makes for a great run and what makes for a lousy one.  Too many complicating factors, I suppose.

Low Carb Carrot Cake Pancakes

One thing I’ve started to bring out with me on long runs is a little pack of raisins.  As I was on my way down to California last month for the Raisin Harvest Tour, I happened to pick up a copy of Runner’s World magazine.  In it was a little blurb about how raisins make really great mid-run fuel for distance runners, because of both the natural sugars and the potassium.  I was intrigued by that thought, and it was reinforced when one of the other bloggers mentioned that her husband, an ultra-runner, had read the same article and had started doing it.  And, as it happened, our nutritional expert on the tour brought up that very same study in his presentation, and discussed results that indicated there was more extended energy from raisins than from other mid-run snacks.

Clearly, in terms of overall nutrition, raisins sure beat out sports jelly beans and goos.  I detest that sugar-coated mouth feel I get when I eat all that fake glucose-y stuff andI never carry those with me anymore.  But I do find that I sometimes need something for energy during a long run.  Raisins seem like a pretty good choice to me.  I can’t eat many of them during other times, as natural sugar is still sugar and I have to be careful, but I’ve always loved them and I always keep them around the house as healthy snack for my kids.  But during intense exercise, I burn up all the glucose from the raisins, I get the energy benefit, and I get the much-need potassium.  Did you know that a 1/4 cup serving of raisins contains more potassium than a banana?  Neither did I, and the raisins are a lot easier to carry and to eat while on the run!

Carrot Cake Pancake Recipe

As an aside, I am also experimenting with a little pickle juice in my water on long runs, for electrolytes.  Hmmmm, now I am wondering if I will be invited along on a pickle tour one day…

As for this recipe, I did keep the raisins to a minimum, for the sake of keeping the carbs down.  But when it comes to carrot cake, I just feel it isn’t the REAL stuff if it doesn’t contain nuts and raisins.  I have my eye on making a big, low carb, gluten free carrot cake at some point, but I thought it would be fun to get the carrot cake flavour in a pancake.  And in place of butter and syrup, a smooth cream cheese “frosting”.  These were delicious, and you know me…I do like dessert for breakfast!

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Yield: 10 pancakes

Serving Size: 2 pancakes


  • 1 cup golden flax seed meal
  • 1/4 cup Swerve Sweetener or granulated erythritol
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch salt
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 2 tbsp chopped raisins
  • Butter or oil for pan
  • Frosting:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 tbsp powdered Swerve Sweetener or powdered erythritol
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream


  1. For the pancakes: In a large bowl, whisk together the flax seed meal, erythtritol, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Stir in the eggs, oil and almond milk until well combined.
  3. Stir in carrots, chopped nuts and raisins.
  4. Heat a large skilled over medium heat. Add 2 tsp or so of butter or oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan.
  5. Using a scant 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, pour batter on griddle and spread into approximately 4 inch circles.
  6. Cook until bottom is golden brown and top is set around the edges. Flip carefully and continue to cook until second side is golden brown. Remove from pan and keep warm on plate or baking sheet in oven, while repeating with remaining batter.
  7. For the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered erythritol, vanilla extract and cream.
  8. Serve pancakes with a dollop of frosting.


Serves 5. Each serving has 13.8 g of carbs and 7.8 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 5 g.

**This post is part of the California Raisins Blogger Ambassador program.  It is not compensated directly, but I did receive a trip to California for the Harvest Tour, as well as other benefits.  Regardless, all copy and opinions are my own.


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  1. says

    Carolyn – I love how packed with protein, fiber, fruit and veggies these pancakes are – they definitely look like dessert for breakfast with that cream cheese frosting on top! I just made a gluten-free carrot cake the other week and my kids loved it. Will have to try your carrot pancakes next.

      • Marie Veal says

        Thanks Carolyn, I’m trying to do as low carb as possible but still be active. I wouldn’t need the toppings on regular days,but on treat days I guess I can allow it! :) It looks absolutely yummy and cannot wait to make loads of these and freeze them as well for during the week.

        • Carolyn says

          If you want to skip the raisins to cut carbs, that might help. Taking out the raisins would reduce the carbs by about 1.5 grams.

    • Carolyn says

      I don’t really have a preferred brand of raisins, because most of them come from the same 4 packing plants in California!

  2. says

    Carolyn, I LOVE the idea of these pancakes! I couldn’t think of a tastier way to enjoy carrot cake. I think I’m going to have to adapt these to make them full of my favorite ingredient – quinoa! Although, that golden flaxseed meal is calling my name…

  3. says

    I agree! There is something really special about Fall in New England. The way it feels this year is different doesn’t it? Strange. I was just talking to Patrick about that the other day.

    These pancakes are so perfect for Fall, the colors even go with the leaves outside your door!

  4. Nina says

    I made these today but left out some things (walnuts, raisins, used soy milk instead of almond milk and I ate them without the topping). Was very good and satisfied my craving for pancakes, thank you!

  5. Allison says

    I made these today, but the batter doesn’t pour like the instructions say they should. I ended up with very odd shaped pancakes because I had to smash them down… I followed the directions to a T… I ended up tryin to ad water, but that didn’t work, either. I don’t know what went wrong here. Despite that issue, it is super tasty.

    • Carolyn says

      It shouldn’t pour, really, as gf pancake batters are typically quite thick. You should have to spread it around in the pan to get the right shape. But it does somehow seem like your liquids and dry ingredients were off. Possibly the amount of moisture in the carrots made a difference? I don’t know, but a little extra liquid should help. Flax seed meal often thickens as the batter sits so if you waited a bit before cooking, that also may have caused some issues.

  6. Catherine H. says

    Made these, thought they were great. I’ve always been a carrot cake freak, so these were right up my alley. The cream cheese topping was perfect and indispensable, and made for a very filling breakfast.

  7. Drew says

    Way too many calories here. Thid only made me 4 small-medium pancakes. With a serve of two, without the frosting being over 1100kcal. Which is insane. Better off just having regular buttermilk pancakes and take the carb hit.
    Needs some heavy modification to bring the calories from fats down.

    • Carolyn says

      This diet is called “Low Carb High Fat”, so I wouldn’t DREAM of trying to lower the fat and calorie count. The point of low carb is that you eat less of a more satisfying dish. 2 small pancakes from this recipe is more than sufficient for any person and you must have been doing something wrong if you only got 4.

  8. Tiffany says

    Just made these for the first time tonight and I’m eating a pancake right now. The taste is great, but the texture is disappointing. Kind of soggy and ripped apart when I was buttering it (no, my butter was not too hard). I’ll try again with some tweaking, perhaps.


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