Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes (Baby-Friendly!*)

With whole grains and naturally sweetened, these Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes are the perfect make-ahead bite for you AND all the little ones in your life. Who doesn’t like carrot cake for breakfast?

These Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes (with no added sugar) are the perfect recipe for baby-led weaning, but all babies will enjoy them!

*This post is the first in a series of recipes I’ll be doing that ascribe to the philosophy of baby-led weaning, which is the method we have chosen to introduce solids to our little one. We’ve already tested her on all the potential allergens included in the ingredients (eggs, wheat, etc.) and she shows no sensitivity. Please use your discretion to decide if these recipes will be right for your babe. Mother always knows best!

All right mamas, you’ve been waiting so patiently and it’s finally here: my first baby-friendly recipe post! If you’re following me on my @caligirlkids (formerly @caligirlmomma) account, then you’ll know that we’ve been doing baby-led weaning with our little one. If you’re not familiar with baby-led weaning, the basic gist of it is trading in purees, mashes – your typical baby food – for solids and whole foods, essentially whatever you’re eating. You’re meant to allow your kid to explore, feed themselves and have a sense of autonomy about what they do and do not eat, which will (hopefully) set them up to be a more adventurous eater in the future.

We started our little one on solids shortly before she turned 6 months old, and it has been so fun watching her explore, try new things, learn how to chew and swallow, etc. She’s eaten curry-roasted squash, salmon, omelets, so many things. In fact, we have yet to find something she absolutely refuses to eat.

In the few months we’ve been doing baby-led weaning, one of my favorite things to make Raia is some sort of baked good with a hidden veggie inside. She loves grabbing on to pancakes, muffins, etc. because they are fairly easy for her to grasp, and I love the fact that she is getting a serving of vegetables at the same time (and, let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t love carbs?)

You won't be able to keep little hands off of these baby-friendly Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes!

The only thing I have NOT loved about the “hidden veggie” method is the fact that you usually have to roast or steam the vegetable before you blend up the batter and, quite honestly, I usually don’t have time for that! So when I had a bunch of leftover carrots sitting in the refrigerator, rather than turning on the oven or stove, I decided to grate them and then throw them into the batter.

Since babies are more sensitive to sodium than adults, I never add salt to Raia’s baked goods (or really anything I make her, for that matter.) Instead, I get creative with herbs and spices. For these Carrot Cake Pancakes, for example, I added the OG spices clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.

These Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes are easy to make and perfect for baby-led weaning. They're freezer friendly and super healthy!

I’m also really cognizant of how much sugar goes into everything I bake her. Banana and unsweetened applesauce are always great ways to add a touch of sweetness without too much added sugar, but in this particular case I opted to use some unsweetened apple butter we had sitting in the refrigerator. Finally, eggs and just a couple of tablespoons of flour (whole wheat, oat or almond would all work) bind everything together.

I love how every ingredient of these Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes is just thrown into a blender and poured directly into the baking pan. Once baked, I often throw all of the goodies into the freezer and defrost as needed to cut down on food waste. It’s also great to have a stash of different things to choose from.

Make a batch of these Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes the next time you do food prep and you'll have healthy kids' snacks for the rest of the week!

I’ve got a lot more baby-friendly recipes coming your way soon but, in the meantime, if you have any questions or special requests, shoot me an email or leave them in the comments below!

Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes (Baby-Friendly!)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
18 mins
 

These healthy pancakes are every child's dream. They taste just like carrot cake but use only whole grains and have no added sugar - the perfect breakfast or snack for babies and adults alike!

Course: Breakfast
Keyword: baby-friendly, baby-led weaning, carrots, healthy, pancakes
Servings: 6 pancakes
Calories: 58 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons flour (whole wheat, oat or almond)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened apple butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Unsalted butter for the pan
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients (except butter) in a blender and blend on high until everything is combined. 

  2. Melt a small pat of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is melted and pan is hot, ladle in the batter to make silver dollar size pancakes.

  3. Cook pancakes over medium heat until edges begin to set, then flip and cook until batter is no longer runny. 

  4. If you are working in batches, add another pat of butter when you start a new round.

  5. Enjoy!

 

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas

The grand finale to my Easter recipes!

Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Of course we had to end it all with a cocktail 😉 Let me tell you, these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas do NOT disappoint.

Just to provide a quick recap: I started off the week with this savory Herbed Carrot Galette that would be equally as good served as a main dish at Easter brunch or a side dish for dinner. On Wednesday, I kept it uber-traditional and posted my family’s perfect recipe for Hot Cross Buns. And today we’re celebrating with mimosas!

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’ve been wanting to do some sort of Carrot Mimosa since last Easter, but to be honest I was a little intimidated. First of all, I don’t own a juicer (saving that appliance for when I have the kitchen of my dreams and all the space a food blogging gal can ask for) and I wasn’t exactly sure where I’d find straight-up carrot juice. I’m also not the biggest fan of vegetable juices, and although I loved the concept of turning one of my favorite brunch cocktails into a super-festive version, I was a little unsure of how “vegetable-y” it would taste.

But I’m happy to say that if there’s one thing that posting weekly cocktail recipes for the past year or so has taught me, it’s that there’s a way to spin everything to your liking if you just find the perfect combination. In fact, fun side story, one of my friends here in SB used to work at a local “juicery” and would often bring by the day’s leftover juices at the end of their shift. Seeing as by that time it would be 5pm or so, we’d be itching much more for a cocktail than a healthy juice (aren’t those reserved for breakfast or lunch?) and so we’d turn the juices into some pretty darn delicious cocktails to celebrate the end of another long day.

So I dipped back into those memories to figure out how to really make these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas the most delicious things ever, and I’m proud to say I succeeded! After trying out a few different combos, I found that a dash of Cointreau in addition to the sparkling wine and carrot juice (which I ended up finding in pure form at Trader Joe’s) was the perfect answer to taking the drink from overly-carrot-like to fresh and festive. And because Cointreau is orange-flavored, you still get a hint of traditional mimosa taste.

Can we also talk about how fun it is to garnish with those bright green carrot tops? Too cute.

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Anyhow, the simplicity of these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas is completely up to you. If you want to really get down and dirty (and you own a juicer,) you can go ahead and make your own carrot juice. But if you’re bogged down with all of the other Easter menu prep you have going on, simply head out to TJ’s or your favorite local juicery and pick up some of their fresh-squeezed carrot juice.

Aside from the carrot juice, the only other ingredients you’ll need for these Sparkling Carrot Mimosas are items you likely already have stocked in your bar (at least, I hope you do!) We’re talking sparkling wine (our house favorite that’s very reasonably priced is Segura Viudas Brut Cava, but any dry sparkling wine will do) and the afore-mentioned Cointreau. That’s it!

Simply combine all three in the ratios I’ve provided for you below (being careful as you pour so as not to have a massive bubble-over) and you’ll have the perfect festive cocktail for your Easter breakfast or brunch. What more do you really need?

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas
Prep Time
5 mins
 

The popular brunch cocktail gets a spring twist with fresh carrot juice and a splash of Cointreau. The perfect drink for Easter!

Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktail
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 5 ounces sparkling wine
  • 1 ounce carrot juice
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • Carrot tops for garnish, if desired
Instructions
  1. Combine all three ingredients in a champagne flute, pouring each one in slowly and steadily so as not to have a bubble-over (can’t waste any of that booze!) Garnish with green carrot tops, if desired. Enjoy!

Sparkling Carrot Mimosas | CaliGirlCooking.com

Herbed Carrot Galette

My Easter cooking is in full swing!

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m getting in all of the Easter-y dishes I can now since we’ll be on an airplane to Italy on Easter Sunday, and I just can’t pass up all of the delicious dishes I’ve been dying to make for the holiday, like this Herbed Carrot Galette!

Seriously, if we were having any sort of Easter brunch, this galette would be the star of the menu. It starts with a buttery, flaky crust that is graced with a creamy herb-studded mascarpone, all topped with shallots, garlic, thinly-shaved carrots and even more herbs. I mean, can we really go wrong? I think not.

I’ve been itching to make my own take on a galette ever since I was inspired by my gal Becky at Baking the Goods. She made a delicious Ricotta, Potato and Spring Pea Galette for our Spring Fling Brunch last month, and it was seriously the perfect addition to the menu. So when I found myself with a whole bag of leftover carrots after some recipe testing one day, I decided this would be the best way to put them to use.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

People often ask me how I keep coming up with recipe ideas and, truthfully, it’s never been a problem for me. I keep a running list of ideas on Google drive and Evernote, and just add ideas as I come up with them. Travel often provides a ton of inspiration for me, as do foodie magazines like Bon Appetit and Food & Wine. Also, family! I still have a ton of recipes I’m working on transcribing from the old family archives, and now I have my husband’s family recipes to work on as well.

Other times, I’m simply inspired to make something by what I have in my refrigerator that might otherwise go to waste, like those carrots. I had actually bought them as a prop for some food photography, but I’m certainly not one for wasting any sort of food. Now I have this Herbed Carrot Galette to thank for that!

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Seriously, though, this thing is pretty much to die for. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart (or the incredibly health-conscious) but, hey, it’s the holidays! We deserve to let loose every now and then.

The incredible richness of the dish starts with a basic pate brisee dough for the crust. You can really use whatever pie or quiche dough recipe you prefer, just be sure not to use one that is heavily sweetened as we are making a completely savory dish. I turned to my good ol’ Bouchon Bakery cookbook for my recipe because, let’s face it, Thomas Keller can do no wrong when it comes to tasty, buttery baked goods. I’m sometimes a bit intimidated to dive into the complexity of Keller’s baking world, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that his pate brisee recipe comes together much more quickly and painlessly than other pie dough I’ve whipped up in the past.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

After the dough comes the toppings, and what better way to start us off than a creamy, chive-laden mascarpone spread. Again, incredibly easy. We’re talking dumping a healthy serving of freshly snipped chives, salt and pepper into a container’s worth of mascarpone, and stirring it up so you get all of that magnificent flavor in every single bite. But I couldn’t stop there with the cheese. Nope! I also sprinkled on some shredded fontina to add a sharp, salty kick to the mix. Not regretting it one bit.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

After we’re done loading the galette with cheese, we can move on to the veggies.

I wanted this Herbed Carrot Galette to really pop with flavor, so I added sliced garlic and shallots to the mix with the thinly shaved carrots. Keeping everything thinly sliced ensures that it will all cook properly (and even get some lovely golden-brown color) in the amount of time it takes to bake off the crust.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m happy to report that it only takes about five minutes in the oven for the smell of this Herbed Carrot Galette to start wafting through the entire house. And it only takes another 40 or so minutes until the crust is golden-delicious enough for you to remove from the oven, sprinkle on some more fresh herbs, and enjoy to your heart’s content.

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now, I have one simple question to ask of you: Will all of you pleeeeease make this Herbed Carrot Galette in honor of me as part of your Easter menu?

Be sure to take photos and tag @caligirlcooking in any of your creations! Xo

Herbed Carrot Galette
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 

This savory galette showcases the best flavors of spring - crunchy carrots and fresh herbs complimented by two creamy, delicious cheeses.

Course: Main Course
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 recipe pate brisee (I used the Bouchon Bakery cookbook recipe)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, shaved with a vegetable peeler or mandolin
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Chopped fresh oregano for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Place pate brisee dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll into a circle about 16-inches in diameter and ¼-inch thick. 

  3. In a small bowl, combine the mascarpone, 1 tablespoon chives, ¼ teaspoon salt and dash of pepper. Remove the top piece of parchment paper from the pate brisee and generously spread on the mascarpone, leaving about a 1 ½- to 2-inch border to fold the dough up and over the toppings.

  4. Next, sprinkle on the fontina cheese, then top with the garlic, shallots and finally, the carrots. Drizzle olive oil over top of the carrots and season lightly with salt and pepper. 

  5. Working your way around the perimeter of the galette, fold up the edges of the dough, allowing them to naturally pleat as you go around in a circle. If any pieces crack, simply pinch them back together.

  6. Keeping the galette on the bottom layer of parchment paper you originally rolled it out on, transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the beaten egg over the exposed edges of the galette.

  7. Place the galette in the oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust has turned a lovely golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly. Sprinkle with additional chives and fresh oregano before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can purchase the Bouchon Bakery cookbook here.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Herbed Carrot Galette | CaliGirlCooking.com