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24-Carrot Gold

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For the past few years, I’ve been volunteering as a dog-walker at a local shelter. Sadly, due to a time conflict this semester, I’ve given up that job.  But I feel incomplete if I’m not helping out somewhere.  Therefore, last week, I signed up to volunteer at a nursing home for an hour each week.  It’s not much, but I’m a big believer in the idea that every little bit– and every little person– can make a HUGE difference in this world.

On my first day, I didn’t want to show up empty-handed; I thought I’d bring along a baked-good.    It’s no secret that the elderly loooooooove sweets!  But many have diabetes or another condition that makes eating sugar a no-no.   I remember a giant jar of Sweet-and-Low being a permanent fixture on the kitchen table at my grandparents’ house.  And my grandpa, with his raging sweet-tooth, ate sugar-free Jello every night, grumbling that it was a sorry replacement for the ice cream he once loved.

I don’t think that the nursing-home staff would’ve been too thrilled with me had I brought along these:

Hey, at least they’re healthy sugar cookies.


Hello sugar overload!

But I was hesitant to use Sweet-n-Low or Splenda in my baked-goods, because I don’t trust the stuff; I don’t know if I believe that something with so many chemicals can truly be safe to consume. Instead, I used stevia, and the results were terrific!

In an Easter-y mood, I decided that carrot cake muffins were in order.  Wanting to create my own recipe (I hate following recipes), I basically threw a bunch of yummy-sounding ingredients into a bowl and hoped for the best!  The first “tester” batch didn’t rise very well, but adding more egg replacer fixed that right up.  All the subsequent batches came out of the oven boasting muffins that were plump, moist, and aromatic (made the house smell like Christmas!).



24-Carrot Cake Muffins
(Makes 9 regular muffins or 12 small)

  • 180 grams whole wheat pastry flour (others have said plain whole wheat works) (about 1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 100 grams shredded carrot (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon Ener-G egg replacer (for one egg) (or use a flax “egg”)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 2/3 containers applesauce (the 1/2-cup containers), or about 160 grams
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons liquid (I actually just used water, because I was too lazy, at the moment, to open a new milk LOL)
  • Up to 1/2 cup sugar or around 1/4 cup agave (As stated in the above commentary, I used stevia, which is stronger, so I used less. I used 5, but I’d recommend 8-10 NuNaturals packets.)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

Optional add-ins: raisins, shredded coconut, walnuts, pineapple tidbits (If you add pineapple, you’ll probably want to decrease the applesauce or liquid a bit.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients, then add the carrot and wet ingredients.
  3. Mix again, until just combined (with muffin batter, it’s important to not overmix).
  4. Bake for about 10-12 minutes (depending on your oven and on how soft you like your muffins.  I’m silly and like mine a little undercooked and gooey!)
  5. Eat up!  Whatever I’m not planning on eating within two days, I like to freeze.  That way the muffins stay fresh.

These muffins tasted delicious!  The nursing-home residents absolutely loved them, and my family, roommate, and I have been devouring the leftovers (I made extra batches and froze them).

Nutrition Information:
By (very!) popular request, I’m editing this post to include nutrition info.
Calories: 60
Protein: 1.5g
Fat: 0g
Double for single lady cakes, which are also double the size.
(Nutrition Info Disclaimer)




How to eat a Muffin:

  • Mommy Dearest likes to “ice” her muffins with vegan butter (Smart Balance Light)
  • The roommie tops her muffins with cream cheese (vegans can use Tofutti).
  • I think they taste superb as-is.
  • If you want to be really decadent, frost the muffins with vanilla or cream cheese frosting and call them “cupcakes”!
  • Top the muffins with Cheesecake Mousse!


Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Sarah says:

    Why am I not surprised that you volunteer at a nursing home? Talk about 24-Carrot Gold…you have the biggest heart!

    Thank you too for the recipe. I had wondered about baking with Stevia.

    Have a great day!

  2. Virginia says:

    i have tried baking with stevia in the past but have gotten a …licoriceish? bitter? taste with it. i looked up that this is common if you use too much. i would like to go back to baking with it if i can make things without that aftertaste, i might try your recipe and buy some stevia again!

  3. Cody says:


    My favorite muffin topping is streusel, baked into the top. So good.

  4. Kiersten says:

    You are such a kind and caring person Katie. Your stories about volunteering your time to the benefit of others is always so inspiring. If only there were more people like you in the world.

    Your muffins sound great, I am sure everyone at the nursing home loved them.

  5. Sagan says:

    Mmm your muffins look wonderful. That’s so sweet that you’re volunteering at a nursing home! EVERY bit counts and I bet you really brighten their day.

  6. Krista says:

    You are such a sweetheart to to volunteer your time! I was a candy striper all through high school and loved it! When my life settles down at bit…AKA….when the kids grow up…..I plan to volunteer again!

  7. FoodsThatFit says:

    Your baked goods always look so pretty and delicious. You should seriously think about opening a vegan bakery. I would buy your goodies!

    Also, can I just tell you how neat it is that you are volunteering at the nursing home. I am a nurse and we take care of so many elderly patients (in the ER) that have no family, no friends, no one..You can just see how lonely they are and it breaks my heart. It may seem like a small gesture to you, but to them it is a HUGE deal. I bet your visits with them brighten their whole day! You are a sweet soul Katie!

  8. brandi says:

    how nice of you to bake muffins for them! what a great idea :)

  9. Meg says:

    Aww, I love your cookies! I always love looking at all the neat stuff you make, and your little insights, it makes me so happy! My Mother and I used to visit nursing homes after we realized how sad life can be there, when my Grandfather was in one, and it really makes you feel great to see them smile. It’s amazing. I hope you enjoy yourself, and I’m sure they’ll enjoy you just as much (and the baked goodies too!)
    Love, Meg

  10. Sarah says:

    Those look awesome, I bet they were a hit!

  11. coco says:

    Katie, you’re so considerate and so good heart.. I wish I can help to the community too! i know busy isn’t the reason… just didn’t get enough courage to compromise myself.
    great carrot cake muffin! I’ll definitely try it out!

  12. Marianne says:

    Good on you for volunteering at a nursing home :) I really need to get back into volunteering for something, other than skating things.

    And good call on the carrot cake muffins. I’m pretty sure I’m going to make a fantabulous carrot cake for easter dessert this year 😀

  13. scrumptiousvegan says:

    ooh. carrot cake! They sound tasty!

  14. Awesome! I use powdered Kal stevia. What kind do you use? I’ve found it’s a very fine balance to make it sweet enough without giving it that horrible stevia taste.

  15. Shelby says:

    I’m totally making these!!! I’ve been in the mood for carrot cake. How sweet of you to make them…but why should I expect anything else from you, you are like the sweetest girl alive!!!

    How much stevia did you use?

  16. laci says:

    You are a frosting cupackes/cookies queen for sure!
    So sweet of you for helping out at the animal shelter/nursing home! :)

  17. Eddie G says:

    You are too sweet :)

  18. Maureen says:

    That’s so sweet of you. The eldery just love care and attention in any form, so it’s really awesome that you’re giving them your most valuable resource–your time! And of course, I’m sure they loved those delicious muffins.

  19. Cute! I’m sure the elderly sweeties really appreciated some yummy sugar-free muffins! They look so good — and I think it is so adorable and quirky and interesting that you like to underbake your muffins so they come out gooey. I wanna try it!

    And I’m planning to enter the CCV-box giveway very soon. :)

  20. Cute! I’m sure the elderly sweeties really appreciated some yummy sugar-free muffins! They look so good — and I think it is so adorable and quirky and interesting that you like to underbake your muffins so they come out gooey. I wanna try it!

    And I’m planning to enter the CCV-box giveaway very soon. :)

  21. Vegetation says:

    YUM! I love carrot cake and I love the use of Stevia! I haven’t had much luck with stevia yet so I can’t wait to try these!

  22. That is so very sweet of you! Whenever I bake for my grandparents, I always use a whole grain flour like quinoa or brown rice and throw in some ground flax… the older peeps need all the fibre they can get!

  23. Ricki says:

    I bet they would have loved those cookies, even if they couldn’t eat them! Sooo cute. And the muffins sound wonderful–I love stevia and must give them a try!

  24. zestycook says:

    Oh Wow I am drooling big time… they look amazing!

  25. jrsimon56 says:

    Woo woo beautimous! I love the turtle one :)

  26. You are such a thoughtful person, how wonderful!

  27. Sarah says:

    mmmmm, and that is the perfect nursing home treat!

  28. ttfn300 says:

    what a great way to bring a smile to so many faces! they look scrumptious :)

  29. broccolihut says:

    Mmm I think I might top those carrot cake muffins with my latest obsession–tofu-cashew cream cheese!

  30. Kiki says:

    You’re so sweet! I’m sure everyone appreciated those, they look delicious.

    Btw, I emailed you for CCV in a box.

  31. Emily says:

    Your carrot cake muffins look delish! I love carrot cake, and I love muffins, so I’m pretty sure I’d love your creation!

    I’m also a huge believer in making a difference. There’s nothing more I want to do with my life than to leave a positive impact on the world. :-)

  32. Erin says:

    It’s so wonderful that you volunteer. There is nothing else is the world quite like it. We all have time to spare/give up – I’m really happy that you see that too :)
    Your muffins sound fabulous. You’re such a creative baker! I hate making up recipes – I feel scared. 😉

  33. N.D. says:

    I think those cookies would have brightened their day – so bright and fun looking!

  34. joanna says:

    i love volunteering at nursing homes because they always appreciate it so much. even if you’re just talking to them, it makes their day. i like going there and singing. if i could play the piano better, i’d do that, too, but unfortunately, my skills aren’t so good.

  35. Elyse says:

    Those cookies are so precious! And I adore carrot cake. I love that you totally experimented with the recipe. How delicious!! By the way, it’s so great that you find the time to volunteer; every little bit does make a huge difference!

  36. Emily says:

    How sweeet of you! They sound nutritious AND delicious! 😀

  37. glidingcalm says:

    ahhh carrot cake muffins! sound far too yummy!

  38. Your cookies are too cute! Mmm, I could murder a slice of carrot cake (or one of your carrot cake muffins) right now.

  39. So, you photoshop your halo and wings off your pictures before you post them? 😀

  40. Diann says:

    Oh, boy, what a great recipe – can’t wait to make!

  41. ann says:

    you are so anorexic. stevia? water? applesauce? what is the point of baking.

    1. Amanda says:

      Bad attitude? Nothing nice to say? What’s the point of commenting?

    2. Anna says:

      Also, anorexic means not eating at all…dumb ass. Plus, plenty of people eat like this…it’s called healthier eating. Facepalm.

      1. Lindyb says:

        While I agree that the original comment was uncalled for and rude, I’d like to clarify that anorexia doesn’t imply that the person does not eat at all. What tends to happen is that people reduce their food intake significantly, thereby entering a state of starvation. Frequently, food intake becomes regimented or obsessional with aspects such as eating at particular times, off particular plates and cutting in particular ways causing intense anxiety.
        People with anorexia often do have an interest in baking (c.f. the Minnesota Keyes study on the biological effects of starvation for some research into how humans become obsessed with food when they are denied or deny themselves sufficient food for their body to function). Many people with anorexia do collect recipes and sometimes make full-fat, full-calorie things for friends and family, sometimes try to make very low calorie versions of things for themselves.
        Sorry for the essay – just wanted to clarify the point about anorexics eating, because I know of people who’ve been told that they aren’t ill by someone who sees them eating a low fat yoghurt, when that low fat yoghurt may be one of the few things they will eat that day… and may compensate for with some of the other aspects of anorexia such as purging or over exercise.

      2. Lindyb says:

        2 more points … which relate to my own experience of living with anorexia since I was 10. Firstly, although the poster phrased her remarks rudely, remember that anorexia is an illness and that it is possible to deny that someone has anorexia without seeming to disparage those people who do suffer from this illness. We will never be rid of the stigma surrounding mental health issues as long as the diagnosis is either used as a trivialising way to belittle someone’s excellent blog (as in the original comment) or (as in the reactions) as though that illness is an awful slur on someone’s character.

        Secondly, and more positively, I have made a few recipes from this site recently. The ability to make cakes that feel “safe” for me (because they are sugar and/or fat free) has enabled me actually to taste my own baking for the first time in years. I’ve had a few mouthfuls of cake! It may be a cake from a blog that caters for restricted diets, but surely this is a positive step in learning once again to treat myself and to remember my enjoyment of different foods.

  42. Ann, before you make mean judgements, you might want to read the whole post. I explain very clearly my reasoning for making the cupcakes so diet-friendly.

  43. Sünne says:

    I’ve been eyeing these for a while and my health food store finally started carrying stevia so I could actually try them! How much stevia (powder or liquid?) did you use?

  44. Kristie Lynn says:

    Katie, do you think flax eggs could work for this? I don’t have any egg replacer :)

  45. Caroline says:

    Katie, I find that 1/2 cup sugar for every two cups of flour works great in muffin recipes. I don’t have a huge sweet tooth but I do like muffins to be sweet so I find that this works well for my tastes. However, my little sister likes her muffins much, much sweeter so it doesn’t work for everyone.

    It sounds like you are more like I am when it comes to sugar. Did you find the stevia had an aftertaste? I’m hesitant to use it in baking because of the aftertaste.

  46. Erica says:

    I made your carrot cake muffins yesterday and they were fantastic! Thanks for the recipe!

  47. Valentina says:

    I think this is the close up! I hope so, would love the scale!

  48. Can I just tell you how wonderful these were? They got gobbled up by my not-always-so-healthful family and I’m gonna get right on making more! I used 1/4 cup Agave Nectar with stellar results. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  49. Katie – After weeks of planning to make your amazing 24 Carrot Cake Cupcakes, today was the day and the result did not disappoint!

    I made a few substitutions including some pumpkin for the apple sauce, turbinado sugar for Stevia and chia seeds instead of the Egg Replacer.

    Topped with coconut butter, I was in heaven! Thanks for the amazing recipe.

    Hope you had a fab weekend! xoxo

  50. healthnuttxo says:

    ooh- very interested in making these. i buy the powdered stevia, id love to try baking with it. how much exactly did you use? im a diabetic, so i try to stay away from sugar.
    write back soon! easter’s approaching!! 😀

  51. Hi healthnuttxo!
    When I made these for the residents, I used 10 packets of NuNaturals stevia (the regular, NOT the no-carbs one). There’s about a 1/2tsp in each packet. If you do make them, let me know how they turn out! :)

  52. Emilia says:

    Katie– A lot of your recipes call for ener-G egg replacer that I want to make and before I go BACK to Whole Foods and buy some (i’ve gone twice in the last three days!) is there something else I could use besides those? Maybe flax? And how much would I use?

    1. You can definitely use flax, as others have written in this comment section that they’ve done so, with good results. Unfortunately, I’ve not used flax as an egg sub, so I can’t tell ya how much I’d use.

    2. Caroline says:

      I think the rule is 1 TBSP ground flax + 3 TBSP water. Stir and let sit for a few minutes. It will thicken right up!

      1. Oh wow, Caroline, thank you SO much for taking the time to leave such a helpful comment! I really ought to try cooking with flax eggs, especially since flax is so healthy. You’re a sweetheart!

  53. Aww those cookies are aawdorable! Very creative :) they look tasty!

  54. Claire says:

    Yum! I would love to make these! Might have to try even without coconut butter!

  55. Sarah says:

    Oh my gosh, this recipe has pulled my loyalty from any other nut butter. I now put coconut butta on everything!

  56. Melissa says:

    I have been following you for quite a while now and have used a few of your recipes, faves are the soups and muffins (especially ones made of love)! I could no longer resist leaving a post, especially with the draw of a CCK giveaway! These 24-Carrot Cake muffins are next on my hit list!

  57. Wendy says:

    These look delicious! They are definitely my favorite recipe out of your coconut butter recipes. Can’t wait to try to make them :)

  58. Casey says:

    So, I would both love to try these wonderful treats and also win those wonderful treats!!!

  59. sals says:

    I love carrot cake – these look amazing. I’ve never tried coconut butter before!

  60. Katie says:

    I definitely want to try the carrot cake cupcakes with the cheesecake frosting. Sounds delicious. I think my 8 year old daughter will love them too.

  61. kimberley says:

    Yum! These look so good… those nut butters look amazing too! You are so creative, Katie!

  62. Alison says:

    Yum! I am always looking for new ways to make muffins with healthy goodies in them and these look delicious!

  63. Elizabeth says:

    I actually currently have vegan carrot cake cupcakes right now, yet these are still what I would try!

  64. Sara says:

    All of the sudden I’m drawn to anything carrot these would prob be a MUCH better option for me 😉

  65. Kim T says:

    I would love to try the coconut butter as a “frosting” on these amazing carrot cake muffins! :) They look amazing! Going to try this recipe soon!
    Thank you for having a contest – I would like to try some different Artisana Butters!

  66. Nicole says:

    Mmm, this one is definitely my favorite! 😀

  67. Rika says:

    entering for the give-away! I’ve always loved carrot cakes 😀

  68. Danielle says:

    Had to comment on this one to enter the giveaway – these look so good!

  69. Leslie says:

    These look sooo yummy! I love carrot cake and I haven’t been able to find the coconut butter anywhere!! I would love to win this contest so I can try it out!!

  70. Larissa H says:

    ohhh all you had to say (write) was carrot cake and you have make hookked!

  71. Corinne says:

    I love the idea of coconut frosting!!

  72. Liz says:

    Oh man these sound great! Awesome giveaway, Katie!

  73. Annemarie says:

    I made these muffins and they were amazingggg and the mousse is to die for!

    1. Yay! I’m so excited you liked them!! :)

  74. Erica says:

    Yum! I love carrot cake and these look really good! I love the idea of coconut butter frosting :)

  75. Cellabella says:

    I definitely think this recipe is one of the best – I’d love to make it and can’t wait to try some coconut butter!

  76. thanks for sharing i am now in the kitchen :-)

  77. Anita says:

    These look delicious! I could eat carrot cake any day, every day. Yum!

  78. courtney says:

    Mmm, I will definitely be making these cupcakes if I win coconut butter! :)

  79. I’m making these for the first time!! They’re in my oven right now and I’m DYING to taste them!

    1. Oooo definitely let me know how they turn out!
      And p.s. I just clicked over to your site, and I might HAVE to try your Ceasar dressing; I haven’t had Ceasar in a loooong time!

  80. These look amazing and so healthy too! I am going to make a batch and freeze them for future use. Thank you so much!

  81. Beth says:

    I made the 24 Carrot Cake muffins for my Bible study group on Sunday and they were a big hit! Dear husband liked them too. Next time I make them I’ll put some coconut butter and shredded carrot on the top.

    1. Aw Beth, I’m so honored you made them! :)

  82. ShellBee says:

    Whats a good gluten-free flour (or flour mix) to use in place of whole wheat?

  83. Sara A says:

    Mmm, 24 mini 24-carrot muffins. . .

    @ShellBee, I know this is months later than your question so you have likely found a mix you like, but just in case, I use a homemade mix of GF flours/starches. My basic mix is 1/2 cup each brown rice flour, millet flour, sorghum flour, tapioca (or corn) starch, and potato starch, then 1tsp xanthan gum. I’m not allergic to corn so I use corn starch since it’s usually less expensive than tapioca starch, but you can use either and it will work.

    @Katie, you are amazing. Thank you again for your beautiful recipes. I made these according to your recipe with stevia but with the gluten-free homemade flour mix above, and I subbed out maple syrup for vanilla (I’m allergic to vanilla). GF is so tricky. They turned out a little gummy in the center, so the next time I will add a bit of coconut flour (maybe 1/8 cup) to try to soak up some of the liquid. I’d rather do that than reduce the liquid because I love that this recipe made a perfect 24 mini muffins. They’ll just be a tiny bit bigger mini muffins, which is a-ok by me :o)

    I frosted them with homemade coconut butter (thank you for opening up my world with that, by the way!)

    1. I am so so happy they worked well for you! :)

  84. Julia says:

    Just wondering, is the nutrition info for the 9-cupcake batch or 12? (we have diabetics in my family, sorry, it makes knowing kind of necessary…)

  85. shayna says:

    how are one of these cupcakes only 60 calories when in 1/4C of flour alone is 110 cals?

    1. Easy: there’s not 1/4 cup flour in each of the cupcakes.

  86. Sondra says:

    Once again CCK saves my butt! One of my 13 month old diapered overlords (I have twins) made her first food request today (they’re just learning to talk). She asked me for a “blue” cake. Well I try my best to keep sugar away from the babies, but a basic white cake recipe is hard to find vegan, sugar free(or at least not packed full of it), and not packed full of splenda or other chemical crap. Luckily I found this recipe. The thing I love about your recipes more than anything else, is their versatility. Using this recipe I omitted the cinnamon, replaced half the applesauce with pureed blueberries and black berries, used stevia only for the sweetener, used a flax egg, and upped the vanilla a bit- and wah-lah! 24 mini sugar free “blue” cakes, packed full of more nutrients than any normal bread.

    This isn’t the first time one of your recipes has saved my behind with my babies. Here are just of the baby and mommy approved recipes I’ve used from you (in all of these sugar was either replaced with applesauce, apple juice, or stevia) that my babies have gone gaga over: (made a marbled carob and banana version of these… so good even my bean dessert fearing fiance had a couple!)

    topped with:

    and/or (I like using this and making coconut butter cookies using your secret pb cookie recipe) (with carob chips) (baby favorite!)

    Thank you so much Katie, for allowing me to continue giving my children healthy sugar free snakcs without feeling like I’m depriving them! (you wouldn’t believe the recipes some people try to pass off as good for baby-

  87. sammi says:

    hey katie (or anyone who can help), i’m not a vegan but i made the single lady version of these cupcakes and they were delicious!! that recipe didn’t call for any eggs, but this one does, and i’m wondering if you can just use one regular egg instead of egg substitutes?

    1. Hi Sammi,
      Unfortunately I haven’t cooked with eggs since I was 13 (more than ten years ago). So I have no clue how to work with them. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  88. Nikki says:

    Hi Katie,
    I am so incredibly happy to have run across your blog on Pinterest!!! I am a 51 yr old grandmother, raising my granddaughter, taking care of my elderly mother who lives with my husband and me, and working full time with an hour commute each way. I have autoimmune and other health issues, so I recently started a gluten free, dairy free, sugar free diet,so that I can be as healthy as possible to take care of my loved ones. You and your blog are a gift! God has certainly blessed you with an awesome talent! Thanks for sharing it!
    P.S. another reason to stay away from sugar and processed foods… they give you a nasty attitude, like Ann who commented in 2009. Hopefully, she’s seen the error of her ways. 😉

    1. Aw your comment made me smile… and laugh :).

  89. Prasanthi says:

    I’ve just made a batch of these, and they rose beautifully :)! Thank you for the yummy, healthy, vegan dessert recipes. x x x

  90. Mary says:

    These are great! I used leftover carrot pulp from my juicer and just added a little extra soymilk to compensate for the dryness of the carrot shreds.

    I also made a tofutti cream cheese icing with pumpkin pie spice to give it an extra fall flavor. They worked great in mini muffin tins too!

  91. Beth says:

    You have mentioned in a number of your recipes about using sugar, not wanting to use Sucanat, Sweet n Low, Splenda, etc. Have you ever tried palm sugar? It is an all-natural sugar and is low-glycemic, so you don’t get a sugar “rush” as with over-processed white sugar, which I’ve not used for years as DH and I are diabetic. I don’t much like the flavor of Stevia or agave nectar, although I do use them in numerous ways. But with the palm sugar, you can also use it in place of brown sugar. Just a helpful hint. The way I buy it, I get it at the local Asian food store. It comes in little rounds that are very easy to shave down, but it also melts very easily. And the little rounds are 1/3 cup. (Yes, I actually measured it out.) You use it teaspoon for teaspoon the same as you would regular sugar. Sorry this is pretty much off-topic for this specific recipe, but I just wanted to share. :)

  92. Michelle says:

    Hi, thanks for the recipe. Can you sub banana for the applesauce? Thanks