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Carrot Cake Muffins

5 from 101 votes

These bakery style carrot cake muffins are unbelievably soft, moist, and fluffy. The recipe makes such a delicious healthy breakfast or snack!

Homemade Carrot Raisin Muffins
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Healthy carrot cake muffins

Whether served for breakfast or an afternoon healthy snack, this easy carrot cake muffin recipe is a delight to all who taste them.

Your entire family will love the fluffy texture and sweet cinnamon carrot cake flavor. And the low calorie muffins are packed with nutrition at the same time.

Leftovers freeze well too. So you can always have one on hand whenever you are craving homemade frosted carrot cake, in the convenient form of a muffin!

Readers also love these Applesauce Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffin With Butter Spread

Carrot muffin flavors

Pineapple: Replace the applesauce in the recipe below with an equal amount of drained crushed pineapple.

Chocolate Chip: Stir half a cup of mini chocolate chips in with the dry ingredients.

Carrot Raisin Muffins: Include the optional half cup raisins in the recipe. Or swap them for an equal amount of diced dried cranberries, dates, or figs.

Banana Bread: Use ripe mashed banana instead of applesauce.

Zucchini: Substitute up to half the shredded carrot with shredded zucchini instead.

Apple Pie: Add a fourth cup finely diced apples along with the wet ingredients, and increase the cinnamon to one and a half teaspoons. Omit the two tablespoons water.

Sour Cream: Instead of yogurt or applesauce, use regular or dairy free sour cream.

Blueberry: Proceed with the recipe below, omitting the water. After stirring everything else together, very carefully stir in a third cup of fresh blueberries.

Pumpkin or Sweet Potato: Substitute the applesauce for half a cup canned pumpkin puree or roasted sweet potato puree. Add a fourth teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

Orange: Stir the zest of one orange into the batter, and replace the water with orange juice. Or for a bolder orange flavor, use two oranges.

Savory Carrot Muffins: Reduce the sugar called for in the recipe to just a fourth cup. Serve instead of cornbread or garlic bread alongside dinner or a hearty breakfast.

Step by step recipe video

Above, watch the video for how to make carrot cake muffins at home.

Carrot Muffin Ingredients

Carrot cake muffin ingredients

You will need shredded carrots, applesauce or yogurt, pure vanilla extract, white or apple cider vinegar, flour, sugar, salt, ground cinnamon, baking soda, and optional oil, raisins, and protein powder.

The recipe is incredibly versatile. As mentioned above, you can replace sweetened or unsweetened applesauce with an equal amount of plain, nondairy, or Greek yogurt, pureed sweet potato or pumpkin, sour cream, or mashed ripe banana.

Spelt flour is my favorite option, because it adds fiber without giving the muffins a heavy and tough texture. White flour and some brands of gluten free all purpose flour work as well. Or use oat flour to turn them into carrot oatmeal muffins.

We have not tried whole wheat flour and highly recommend against coconut flour, because it acts very differently in recipes and requires much more liquid.

If you prefer to bake with almond flour for paleo carrot muffins, the recipe box lists a separate flourless keto version that calls for either almond flour or almond meal.

For sweetener, you may use regular sugar or unrefined coconut sugar. Granulated erythritol or xylitol will work for added sugar free muffins. We have not tried substituting a liquid sweetener, such as honey or pure maple syrup.

Feel free to buy purple, yellow, or orange carrots. Baby carrots work too.

Carrot Muffins In Muffin Pan

Vegan carrot muffins

With no eggs and no milk or butter required, this recipe is already naturally vegan.

Baking soda reacts with the vinegar to help them rise, and the applesauce adds a similar structure to that of an egg.

Counter to what some food blogs advise, this does not mean applesauce can be substituted for egg in every baked good recipe.

But it works perfectly here!

Carrot protein muffin recipe

Turn these healthy carrot muffins into a high protein workout snack with just one step.

Simply swap out up to half a cup of the flour in the recipe with an equal amount of your favorite protein powder.

I recommend unsweetened protein powder. You can experiment with chai, vanilla, or another complementing flavor to find your own personal preference.

Each fitness worthy muffin contains around 100 calories and over ten grams of protein.

Whether or not you choose to include protein powder, the cholesterol free and low fat muffins also pack in iron, calcium, and fiber.

Carrots are a good source of myriad health benefits. The superfood vegetable promotes healthy vision and boosts immunity thanks to its vitamin C. Carrots are also a good source of beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A.

Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins

How to make carrot muffins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a muffin tin. Set aside.

Peel and shred your carrots. I find it easiest to shred carrots in a food processor. You can also use a box grater.

In a large measuring cup, whisk the shredded carrot together with the applesauce or yogurt, water, optional oil, vinegar, and the vanilla extract.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, sugar, salt, baking soda, and optional protein powder and raisins in a large mixing bowl. Stir very well to evenly incorporate all ingredients.

Pour wet into dry, then stir with a spatula until just evenly combined. To ensure the best fluffy texture, do not overmix the muffin batter.

Divide the mixture among the lined cupcake tins. It should yield enough to fill a dozen standard size cups.

Or if you prefer to make baby carrot muffins to rival those famous COSTCO mini carrot cakes, divide the batter into mini muffin tins instead.

Bake on the oven’s center rack for twenty minutes, or for just ten minutes if making mini muffins. The muffins should rise, and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out mostly clean when they are done baking.

Enjoy them right away, or let the recipe cool. Loosely cover with a cloth or paper towels, and either refrigerate or store the muffins overnight on the counter.

The taste is even sweeter and texture is even fluffier the next day. Even for the oil free version, liners should peel off easily after sitting overnight as well.

Leftovers can be stores loosely covered on the counter for up to two days. Due to the perishable ingredients, we recommend covering and refrigerating for up to a week or freezing for up to three months.

The recipe was adapted from this Carrot Bread

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

Serving ideas

Enjoy the muffins at room temperature, cold from the fridge, or sliced and toasted with butter in a pan on the stove.

You can also microwave them for just a few seconds to warm them up before serving.

Great topping ideas include almond butter and strawberry jam, apple butter or pumpkin butter, homemade oatmeal streusel crumbs, or Coconut Butter.

These delicious carrot muffins are perfect for Easter breakfast or brunch.

They are also wonderful to throw into a lunch box or grab as a quick and healthy snack on the go.

Add vanilla or cream cheese frosting to make carrot cake cupcakes. Or the muffins are just as tasty served plain.

Easy Gluten Free Carrot Cake Muffins

Measuring homemade carrot muffins in grams

If you like to measure with a food scale, here are the amounts to use.

200 grams of shredded carrot, 120 grams of flour, 120 grams of applesauce or yogurt, 30 grams of water, 10 grams each of pure vanilla extract and vinegar, 60 grams or protein powder, 100 grams of sugar, and 40 grams of optional raisins.

Also remember to add the cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.

The Best Fluffy Zucchini Carrot Muffins
Pin it now to save for laterPin Recipe

Carrot Cake Muffins

These bakery style carrot cake muffins are soft, moist, and fluffy. The recipe is a delicious healthy breakfast or snack!
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 12 muffins
5 from 101 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup applesauce or yogurt
  • 1/4 cup oil or additional applesauce for low fat
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 cup flour (here's a keto option)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened protein powder or additional flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (unrefined if desired)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Instructions

  • Flour options that work include spelt, white, oat, or some brands of gluten free all purpose. We have not tried whole wheat flour and do not recommend coconut.
    To make carrot muffins, preheat the oven to 350 F. Whisk liquid ingredients together. Stir remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then add wet to form a batter. Portion into a lined muffin tin. Bake 20 minutes. Enjoy hot, or let cool before loosely covering with a towel and either refrigerating or letting the muffins sit on the counter overnight. Taste and texture are even better the second day, and liners should peel off easily after sitting overnight as well.
    View Nutrition Facts

Notes

To turn the muffins into a full cake, make this Vegan Carrot Cake.
 

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Published on February 25, 2024

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4 Comments

Leave a comment or reviewLeave a rating
    • CCK Media Team says

      We have had the most success with gluten free baking using Bob’s Red Mill cup for cup gluten free flour and recommend using the gram measurements if you can 🙂

  1. Laura says

    5 stars
    This looks like something my kids would make my kids actually eat breakfast!! Do you think I could use hemp seeds (or ground hemp seeds) in place of protein powder? I am trying to stick to whole unprocessed food right now due to health issues to see if it helps. I’d love to sneak some protein in rather than subbing extra flour.

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