The “Carrot Cake” Burger – When Spring Time Dessert Inspires a Stuffed Burger
So if you’ve been scrolling any sort of social media lately your feed may include a few images of carrot cake. Being that I am a much better griller than baker I always like to play around with burger combinations. In this case, I came up with this cream cheese stuffed burger inspired buy a traditional carrot cake.
All of the hallmarks of a traditional carrot cake are included. Instead of a cream cheese frosting the burgers are stuffed with it! The grated carrots are pickled with serrano and habanero peppers to offset the cream cheese stuffing. Lastly, walnuts are mixed with mustard and some honey to give a little bit of extra crunch and zing.
Why you should make this stuffed burger
- It’s unique – I’ve searched google and cant find another reference to a carrot cake burger
- Flavor combination – It just works so well together. My wife keeps telling me how good they were as I’m writing this.
- Spicy Pickled Carrots – They are the true star of the show. You can eat them on salads, other bbq meats, or just as a side. They are that good!
- Stuffed burger coolness – It’s just neat to make and eat a stuffed burger. It’s not something that you come across every day.
- Make the pickled carrots ahead – While you can eat them within an hour of making them, their flavor and texture will improve with age. Make them the night before!
- Stuffing the burger – The last thing you want is for the cream cheese to come leaking out on the grill. Take your time to seal the burgers, then let them rest in the fridge to firm up.
- Grilling/Cooking – Be gentle with the burgers. Flip them ever so carefully so that you don’t rip them up and spill their gooey insides.
- Toast the buns – Obviously this is optional but I just don’t understand why you go through all this work for a burger to put it on a floppy bun!
Carrot Cake Burger
A traditional Easter dessert inspired burger
For the spicy pickled carrots
- 2 cups coarse shredded or matchstick carrots
- 1 serrano pepper thinly sliced
- 1 habanero with slits cut in the side or diced if you prefer it extra hot
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
For the burgers
- 2 pounds ground chuck (80/20 beef)
- 5 tablespoons softened cream cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
For the walnut/mustard sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- 4 tablespoons mustard I prefer dijon but any will work
- 1-2 tablespoons honey Optional. Use based on your tastebuds
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the spicy pickled carrots
- Combine the vinegars, brown sugar, honey and salt in a pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stir to ensure sugars don't burn. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
- Combine the carrots, sliced serrano pepper and habanero in a container. Pour the pickling liquid over and make sure everything is submerged. *See note below
- This will be ready to eat in about an hour but will taste even better 12 – 24 hours later. Keep refridgerated in an air tigher container for up to two weeks.
Prepare the burgers
- Split the burgers into 6 ounce patties (approximately) as thin as possible. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place a tablespoon on softened cream in the middle and then fold the edges of the burger over and reform the patty. Seal the cream cheese inside the burger as tightly as possible.
- Place the formed burgers into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours for the cream cheese to re-harden.
Prepare the walnut/mustard sauce
- Combine the chopped walnuts, mustard and optional honey in a bowl and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Apply a thin coat of oil to both sides of the stuffed burger patties.
- Heat your grill or heavy bottom pan on high heat. Gently place a patty on the surface and sear for 1-2 minutes.
- Once side A has a good sear, gently flip the burger and sear on the other side.
- Once both sides have a good sear, reduce the heat to low and cover. Continue cooking until the internal temperate reaches 140° or your prefered temp. **See notes for addtional tips
- Spread the walnut/mustard sauce on the bottom bun (toasted would be nice but optional) followed by the stuffed burger and then topped with the spicy pickled carrots. Then enjoy!
*These spicy pickled carrots are a more mild spice (subjectively). If you know you can handle more heat than feel free to add more serrano peppers or even dice the habanero into the mixture. **The burgers are delicate because they are stuffed so handle them accordingly. Keep an eye on them so that the cream cheese doesn’t come leaking out while cooking.