Carrot & Chilli Pancakes with Cenarth Briee

Cooking time
Serves4-8 people
Carrot & Chilli Pancakes with Cenarth Briee

Somewhere between a fluffy pancake and a crispy fritter, these hearty veggie sizzlers make a smashing starter or main meal, or even a special breakfast treat. They’re made with sweet carrots and spicy chilli, topped off with (here comes the special bit) creamy Cenarth brie, gone all melty and golden from a quick flash under the grill. We’re happy to say that this recipe makes plenty to go round.

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  • 200g carrots
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 150g plain flour
  • 200ml full cream milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g Cenarth brie
  • Flat leaf parsley or chervil, leaves only, to garnish
  • Lamb's lettuce, to serve

Prep: 20 mins | Cook:10 mins

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1. Peel and coarsely grate the carrots. Finely chop the chilli, scooping out the white pith if you prefer less heat. Set aside.
2. Tip 1 tsp cumin seeds into a mixing bowl and add the flour. Measure the milk out into a jug, then crack the eggs into the milk. Whisk together till combined. Slowly whisk the egg and milk mixture into the flour, adding a few splashes at a time and whisking well till you have a smooth batter. Add the carrots and chilli and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Fold together to incorporate.
3. Preheat your grill to high and line a baking tray with foil. Set aside.
4. Set a frying pan on a medium heat. Add a splash of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add 4 heaped tbsp of the carrot batter to the pan to make 4 pancakes. Fry for 2-4 mins till set around the edges and golden brown underneath. Flip the pancakes over with a spatula and fry for another 2-3 mins till set and golden brown all over. Lift the pancakes out of the pan and arrange them on the foil-lined baking tray.
5. Swirl another 1 tbsp oil around the frying pan and add another 4 tbsp batter – you should have used up all the batter. Fry for 4-7 mins, flipping halfway through, till the pancakes are set and golden brown. Transfer them to the tray with the other pancakes. You should have 8 good-sized pancakes. Take your frying pan off the heat and set aside.
6. Halve the round of brie, then slice it into 16 small pieces. Arrange 2 pieces on top of each pancake. Slide the tray under the grill and cook for 2-3 mins till the cheese has melted and picked up a little colour.
7. While the cheesy pancakes grill, roughly chop the parsley or chervil leaves. When the cheese has melted, pop 1-2 pancakes on warm plates (1 pancake is great as a starter, 2 pancakes make a more substantial meal). Garnish with the chopped herbs and serve with a handful of salad leaves – lamb's lettuce would be perfect.
8. Get Ahead
You can make the pancakes the day before and store them in the fridge. Before you top them with the cheese, grill the pancakes for 2-3 mins on each side to warm them through, then top with the brie, grill till golden and serve.
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I found this surprisingly satisfying and a lovely contrast between the cheesy and sweet+spicy pancakes with the lemony apple salad. Couldn't be bothered with the grill, so just put the brie on top of the pancakes after turning them and let them melt a bit in the pan; also halfed the recipe, but used nearly the full amount of carrots, which worked out well. Verdict: Didn't expect much (was just the right recipe for my veg 'leftovers'), but very much enjoyed it. Would make again :)