Breakfast Buffet: Carrot Cake Doughnuts with Cream Cheese Glaze

In the world of cakes and desserts- there is one flavor in particular that I feel is underappreciated and long overdue for some recognition for it’s deliciousness. 2020 will be the year of many things, of course- but I’m determined to make it the year that carrot cake gets the respect it deserves, as well- starting with it’s unexpected appearance in a savory breakfast treat.

Sweet and rich all on their own- these doughnuts are only further improved with a sugary glaze and a sprinkle of cinnamon and chopped pecans for some extra texture and a bit of crunch.

Let the carrot cake revolution commence!




  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or other neutral oil
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1½ cups peeled, grated carrots (about 2 or 3 medium carrots)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. MAKE THE DOUGHNUTS: Preheat the oven to 425°F and lightly grease the cavities of two standard doughnut pans with nonstick spray.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the eggs to the mixer one at a time, mixing on medium speed to combine between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape the side of the bowl.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add half the flour mixture to the mixer and mix on low speed until mixed thoroughly. Add half the buttermilk and mix to combine. Repeat, adding the remaining flour until mixed, then the remaining buttermilk until the batter is smooth and well combined. Add the carrots and pecans; stir to combine.

5. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag. Pipe the batter into each cavity of the prepared pans, filling each cavity to just under the rim. (You should use up all the batter!) If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can carefully spoon the batter into the wells instead.

6. Bake the doughnuts until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool inside the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack. Cool completely or until just slightly warm, at least 10 minutes.

7. MAKE THE GLAZE: In a medium bowl, whisk the cream cheese until it’s light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream and vanilla, and mix to combine. The glaze should be thick but drizzle-able. If it’s too thick, add more cream or milk 1 teaspoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Spoon the glaze over the cooled doughnuts. Let the glaze set at least 20 minutes before serving.

I cannot stress enough how delicious these doughnuts are. I allow myself a cheat day every once in a while to keep myself from going crazy during my diet/fitness regimen- and these were definitely something to look forward to after a long week of cardio and strength training.

I can’t wait to have these again during my next cheat day!


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Hi! I'm Ashley. I'm a blogger and a radio personality with a makeup and shoe addiction based out of Boston and the Pioneer Valley. These are my (mis)adventures.

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