Carrot Cake Waffles

Wouldn’t it be cool if bakers got to choose flashy names like WWF Wrestlers? You could be the Vanilla Villain, the Meat Tenderizer, the Mighty Masher, the Blender Blade, the Sweaty Spatula.

Ew. Nevermind that last one.

Today, my flashy baking name is the Waffle Wrangler. See, I finally acquired a waffle iron. Or . . . okay, actually I acquired it months ago. You’ll forgive me for not having tried it out yet, right? Especially since I happen to know for a fact your waffle iron is sitting under a coat of dust in a dark cabinet somewhere? It’s okay! No shame! You just need a reason to lug it out, wipe it off, and heat it up. I think I can help.

Despite appearances, I have been anxious to try this baby out. Waffles seem especially apt for one of my favorite culinary tricks: combining two well-known dishes into one. For instance, the recipes for Peach Cobbler Cupcakes, Peach Crisp Pie, and Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes each combine two desserts into a super-dessert.

So of course, I’ve spent the last few weeks pondering what sort of waffles to create. I could’ve taken a cue from this breakfast and made Pecan Maple Bacon Waffles (yum), but I had an urge to try something new. Apple or peach crisp waffles? Chocolate cake waffles? A bacon, egg, and cheese waffle sandwich? Peanut butter and jelly waffles? And then, as if Mike were sending me telepathic messages reminding me about his favorite dessert, it dawned on me . . .

CARROT CAKE WAFFLES! I’ve actually been trying to think of some recipe to add carrot cake flavors to after seeing this amazing Carrot Cake Ice Cream over on Not Quite Nigella. This was my chance!

The foundation of the recipe I’ve spliced together is a simple but delicious buttermilk waffle recipe. To it, I’ve added the spice cake flavors of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg, bloomed in brown butter according to America’s Test Kitchen’s recommendation. I also added the lovely hunks you’d find in any carrot cake: raisins, chopped walnuts, and grated carrots. Finally, the waffles were topped with a schmear of Maple Nut Cream Cheese spread, which merges the main component of traditional carrot cake frosting with the familiar breakfast flavor of maple.

I was nervous the entire time I was mixing this batter: would it be the right consistency? Would the raisins and carrots burn? But it worked out perfectly! I did a little dance of joy (inwardly — mustn’t alarm the roommate!) with each waffle I successfully wrangled off of my waffle iron.

And how did they taste? Delicious, and exactly like you might expect: like the convergence of a hunky carrot cake and a fluffy waffle! The spices were warm and aromatic, and the nuts, raisins, and carrots made for a hearty texture. And I can’t forget one of the best parts: the Maple Nut Cream Cheese spread.

This Maple Nut Spread is ridiculous! If your cream cheese isn’t already softening to mix some up, you should grab it out of the fridge right now. It’s rich, creamy, and perfectly sweet, with the satisfying crunch of chopped walnuts. I want to spread this stuff on bagels, toast, waffles, you name it. The photos you see here (in which I tried to build a “layer cake” out of the waffles — ha ha, get it? Carrot Cake Waffles?) are only a slight exaggeration of how much Maple Nut Cream Cheese I ate with my breakfast. I’m too embarrassed to tell you how much of it I ate straight from the spoon, so just take my word for it: you’re going to love it.

Okay, you have your reason — now go dust off your waffle irons! Have your cake and eat it for breakfast, too!

Carrot Cake Waffles

Recipe by: Adapted using the following recipes:

-Rich Buttermilk Waffles: Smitten Kitchen’s adaptation of Mark Bittman.
-Maple Cream Cheese Spread by Carolyn R. Shaw.
-Spice blooming technique by America’s Test Kitchen

Yields: about 7 waffles (using 1/2 cup batter for each)

Waffle Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 3/4 cups buttermilk* or 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 1/2 cup finely grated carrots
Cooking spray for waffle iron

Maple Nut Cream Cheese Spread Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/8 cup chopped walnuts

1. Bloom the spices in butter**: Heat 4 tablespoons butter in skillet over medium heat until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly, until butter is light brown and has faint nutty aroma, 2 to 4 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda.

3. Mix together the buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute) and the egg yolks. Stir in the spiced butter and vanilla. Spray the waffle iron well and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients.

4. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl with a whisk or electric mixer (make sure bowl and mixer are spotlessly clean) until they hold soft peaks. Stir them gently into the batter. Add carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Stir gently to combine.

5. Spread a ladleful or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Spray iron with cooking spray between waffles as needed.

6. To make Maple Cream Cheese spread, simply combine nuts, syrup, and cream cheese and mix well. Serve waffles immediately with a schmear of Maple Cream Cheese spread (which will get lovely and melty), or keep them warm for a few minutes in a low oven.***

* The buttermilk can be substituted with 1 1/4 cups of milk at room temperature, mixed with two tablespoons white vinegar, left to clabber for 10 minutes.
**If you prefer a quicker breakfast, you can melt and cool the butter plain instead of browning it and blooming the spices in it — but doing so does add flavor. If you do skip the spice blooming, simply add the spices to the dry ingredients in step 2. Add your plain melted, cooled butter instead of the spiced butter in step 3.
*** Waffles also freeze well. You can make a big batch, allow them to cool, and freeze them for a homemade alternative to preservative-laden commercial frozen waffles.

Breakfast for dessert-lovers!

P.S. — Stay tuned for another fun waffle recipe coming up soon!!

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56 responses to “Carrot Cake Waffles

  1. Kat

    Dusty wafflemaker? Not in our home!
    Waffles are an evening affair at our house. I’m the only one who will eat a waffle before noon, but everyone will stuff themselves silly on waffles for dinner!

    PS Daring Bakers has superheros! I think one is called the Mighty Whisk? I can’t seem to find their names anywhere…

  2. Kat

    Found them!
    That Miss Measure is a sassy little thing, ain’t she?

  3. *Squeals* What a fantastic idea! I’ve been eagerly awaiting this ever since you told me about your layer cake with a difference. Great timing too with the Easter Long Weekend coming up too Julie. You are the best! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  4. Oh. My. I should not have read this before breakfast…. This looks amazing ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m afraid I had to forward a link to all my friends, the world has to know about this! xxx

  5. I see art here… food too, but really it’s the art that makes me smile. GREG

  6. Wow, these look amazing! I just posted a carrot cake recipe myself (my husband’s favorite for his birthday) and now I need to try these…maybe this weekend???

  7. I love you.

  8. Delicious and beautiful!! Great photos ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Oh wow! What an awesome idea. That maple syrup cream cheese spread looks deadly…mmmn.

  10. This looks amazing. I want a waffle maker now!

  11. tabzchewy

    I don’t normally eat or like waffles, but I think that’s because all the ones I’ve eaten look gigantic…

    Yours look lovely though, especially since I’m in the middle of making breakfast…

  12. Oh my gosh… these waffles were made for me! I recently made carrot cake pancakes, and I will definitely be making your waffles. Genius!

  13. Yum! These look amazing – what an awesome idea! I can see myself eating the cream cheese from a spoon, too ๐Ÿ˜›

  14. I pretty much always have carrots in the house, but not right now. Grr! I’m going to be very distracted until I get these made. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. Oh. My. God. There are no words to describe just how much I want these bad boys! I MUST acquire a waffle iron. I’m ready to beg, steal, sell my first and only born child (well…maybe not so much that one) to have these waffles. Amazing. I now need to go get a napkin to wipe the drool off my chin. I’m not sure if I should thank you for sharing this recipe because I can’t have them yet…but when I do get to have them: THANK YOU!

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  17. brilliant creation! i’ve made carrot cake pancakes and loved them..and now i must try these!

  18. Sue

    Now, that’s what I call a waffle! Fabulous!

  19. Sweaty spatula – ha ha. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can I come over for breakfast?! I’ve eaten carrot cake for breakfast before, but I feel like these waffles would be even better. I love my waffle iron — you’ll probably start using yours a lot. I find that with most of my kitchen appliances, if I leave them within reach instead of tucked in cabinets, I use them a lot more.

  20. Carrot cake and waffle combination. Brilliant! I love carrotcake and my daughter love waffles. I gotta try your indeed genius recipe. lol. Thank you for this great idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  22. ashley

    Oh yummmmmm awesome creation!!

  23. I’ve been wanting to make carrot cake pancakes for a long time. I think I’ll use this maple cream cheese spread to serve with them.

    PS. your waffles look killer! and I would live a slic of that “cake” ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Looks delicious..yuummmy..
    Resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me! This is what makes the web so great. We can find so much info on things we like. thanks a lot for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sy Reza

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  26. Grace Oโ€™Malley

    I made these for my dad for his 50th birthday. He loves carrot cake. So he got this for breakfast and Carrot Cake Cupcakes later in the day. :]

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  29. Anonymous

    Waffles? Don’t you mean carrots? HAHAHAHA

  30. impressed

    In waffle land the famous
    must all acknowledge you.
    The photos are quite stunning
    the taste’s a winner too.
    Now Reddit has detected
    this guide to awesome food
    the menus we’re constructing
    will have a brighter mood.

  31. feastonthecheap

    Mmmm, these look amazing! I’m all for dessert-for-breakfast recipes…

  32. Cathie

    No dust on my waffle iron – it never gets put away, have been serving waffles every Wednesday in my house for 21+ years now, with my youngest being teenagers, their friends all show up at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesdays now that my secret is out, and we’ve come a long way baby, from Eggos, to my first little waffle iron, to a double sided belgian waffle maker and I’ve just added a belgian waffle maker that produces 4 squares at a time – the kids do have to go to school! From that mix in the yellow box to chocolate waffles, to adding mix ins of various chips (mint chips in chocolate waffles taste like thin mint cookies), peanut butter chips, crumbled chips & pretzels, and today finally – after several attempts, got a spicy pumpkin waffle recipe down pat! Then I found this recipe and since my husband’s favorite cake is carrot, and his birthday is approaching – time to get this one down, too! Start Waffle Wednesday in your house! I’ve got the shirt logo already made – the kids around here wear them, and now that my daughter is in college, we had them made for her friends there too, and the gang shows up at her apartment, though I can assure you it is NOT at 7:00 a.m. for college kids!

  33. sharon

    I tried these this evening and used the sour cream substitution. I wound up having to add probably another 3/4 cup milk to get the right consistency.

    It’s more screwing around than most homemade waffles, but it was SO worth the effort! They were great!

  34. theteachercooks

    My computer could not load your photos ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Is it my computer?

  35. I have a complaint about this posting. I don’t think you should be allowed to put pictures like this on the internet because now I have drool all over my keyboard…and it’s all your fault!!!! lol These look fabulous, and they are sooo creative! The pics are so good so can almost reach out for a taste! Thanks!

  36. Janice

    What waffle iron do you use : 0 ?

  37. Kimberly

    I googled carrot waffles because I felt like waffles but I wanted to make sure the kids and us were getting a vegetable! Your Carrot Cake Waflles came up. They sound fantastic! We will be making them tonight! My husband loves carrot cake, I think he will be pleasently surprised!

  38. Janice

    Hello again! I’ll be trying these for a labor day breakfast and I have another question! Can I prepare the batter the night before and store it in the fridge or something?

    • Hi Janice,

      Truthfully, I’m not sure! I don’t think I would, because the baking soda will react right away and be dead by morning once in the batter. On the other hand, I feel like I’ve heard of folks doing that with waffle recipes before — I wonder if those waffles don’t have baking soda? If you try it, let me know how it goes! Hope your family loves them!

  39. Found these on Pinterest! I’m totally excited to make them for my hubbie when he comes home in a few weeks! Thanks for the creativity!!

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  41. Gwendy

    These were very yummy. Made a double batch and served for lunch with sausage and poached eggs. And will be heating up the iron for the leftovers for dinner! ๐Ÿ™‚ The family loved them, thanks for the recipe. I learned something new, I have never bloomed spices before.

  42. Thanks for the great recipe. The cream cheese and maple ‘filling’ is inspired. We didn’t quite have the time or ingredients to follow the receipt exactly so pecans were substituted for the walnuts, what I thought were some rather juicy raisins were, I learned later, sun dried cherries, I have no idea what proportions of maple butter to cream cheese I used but all stacked up and topped off with some wiped cream they were the perfect start to the day.

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