I’ve never been much of a waffles-for-breakfast person. Mostly because I prefer savory breakfasts over sweet ones. However, a few years ago I invested in a waffle maker for catering brunches and it’s come in extremely handy. After all, lots of people love waffles, right?
I also have a client who requests homemade waffles on the regular, so I’ve become quite comfortable whipping up a batch of the popular breakfast treat. Only natural that I’ve begun daydreaming about exciting waffle flavors. Let’s just say, recipe testing has involved beets, lemon, savory versions and so on. But, the one I like best so far I’m sharing with you now – carrot cake waffles. I mean, why not?! Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts, and making waffles out of grated carrots, sugar and flour, eggs, milk and butter with some cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom is a great way to start the day.
What I love most about waffles is how easy they are to make. Yes, you need a waffle maker, but if you have one, the waffle possibilities are endless. My waffle maker rocks! You may think the four-compartment burner is over the top, but you can serve 2-4 people in a less-than-five-minute cycle. Or, I like to make a double batch and freeze extra for future eating. Making 16-20 waffles with a single waffle unit would take forever and feel tedious. Not the case with my Breville. Learn more about my favorite waffle maker here.
What makes waffles so easy is that they call for pretty common, everyday pantry ingredients. You know how much I love pantry stock! Flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and a little favorite spice I have in my cabinet – ground cardamom – get mixed with melted butter, milk, eggs and vanilla. That’s pretty much it in terms of waffle batter, plus of course, in this case we add the grated carrots, too.
My recommendation is to grate the carrots fresh. This takes all of 3 minutes since we only need 2 cups. I’ve found in all my years of baking that the pre-grated bags of carrots you buy at the store just don’t bake properly. Maybe because they have lost all their moisture and flavor, maybe because they are too big, or thick of a grate….I really don’t know. But grating fresh on a good ol’ fashioned boxed grater with large holes is the ticket.
Once mixed, about 1/2 cup of batter gets poured onto each hot waffle iron square and cooks for about 3-5 minutes, depending on your desired level of darkness. If you are making a big batch for everyone to eat together, keep cooked waffles warm in a 200 degree oven while you make more batches.
PSA: Setting your cooked waffles on a cooling rack on a sheet tray in the oven, or just directly on the oven rack itself, is a good way to prevent them from getting soggy.
So, the fun thing about carrot cake waffles is they call for fun toppings, too. In the recipe, you’ll see a cream cheese glaze that I like to use in addition to maple syrup. The glaze is a flavorful play on cream cheese frosting. Lastly, I like to crumble pecans over the top for crunch. Walnuts or pistachios would also be delish. I also think golden raisins would be a delicious addition. Whatever you like in your carrot cake, ‘cuz everyone likes it their way, add it in! What’s the fun of a waffle morning if you can’t get creative!
Waffles and carrot cake marry together into one fun, delicious, weekend waffle breakfast treat!
For the batter:
6 ounces butter, melted and cooled
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 Eggs, Large
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots, freshly grated
For the glaze:
2 ounces cream cheese
1/3–1/2 cup powdered sugar
2–3 tablespoons milk
Melt the butter. Set aside to cool as you prepare the other ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, ground cardamom and ground cinnamon.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, whole milk and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the cooled butter. You will see it firm up into little chunks. This is totally cool.
Grate the carrots, then stir into the wet batter then whisk into the dry wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined,. You don’t want to see any dry patches of flour.
Turn on your waffle maker and let it heat up. Once the waffle maker is preheated, scoop about 1/2 cup of batter onto the waffle sections. Depending on your waffle maker, you may be making one, two or four waffles at a time. Close the lid and cook until waffle maker says it’s ready, or until you think they are perfect!
Transfer cooked waffles to a baking rack on a sheet tray and keep warm in a 200 degree oven while you finish cooking the rest of the batter.
Zap the cream cheese in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, just enough to soften. Stir in the powdered sugar and thin with milk to reach desired drizzle-ability!
Place 1-2 waffles on each plate. Drizzle with cream cheese glaze and maple syrup and crushed pecans, if desired.