Carrot Cake Muffins.
Tender and lightly sweetened muffins packed with good-for-you ingredients like shredded carrot, chopped walnuts and raisins. These healthy muffins are made with fiber and protein-rich almond flour and whole wheat flour plus omega-3 fats from the walnuts and flax seed, so you can feel good about making them often for your family when that carrot cake craving hits. A simple cream cheese frosting adds additional sweetness and deliciousness to the muffins, but feel free to omit the frosting if you want a lighter option.
Carrot cake has been on my mind for a few months, for whatever reason. Since we rarely make cakes over here (even for birthdays, we usually go with ice cream cakes … the best) and because Lucca loves muffins (you’ve heard that before), we decided to challenge ourselves to make a healthy, yummy carrot cake muffin to satisfy our (well … my) carrot cake craving.
The first batch of carrot cake muffins were inedible … and they went straight into the trash. They had no sweetness – we didn’t add any sugar which was a big mistake. For the next batch we added a bit of brown sugar and they came out MUCH better. Then we made them a few more times, tweaking the butter and milk ratios until the muffins came out just right. They don’t rise much (I think because of all the carrots), but they sure taste good.
These muffins are tender, have great texture (thanks to the walnuts and raisins) and are just sweet enough. If you like a sweeter muffin, feel free to bump the sugar up a bit more, but if you’re planning on icing them with the cream cheese frosting, you really don’t need additional sweetness.
I topped the icing with some grated fresh carrot, but that’s purely for a nice pop of color, so entirely optional. Oh – and I use my food processor to grate the carrots – it’s so much easier than grating them by hand.
My little assistant was my helper in the kitchen (measuring, mixing, inserting muffins liners) and on “set.” Since he doesn’t nap anymore, part of the afternoon usually involved doing some sort of baking or cooking project, which he seems to enjoy most days.
These Carrot Cake Muffins do contain walnuts and raisins, so some picky kiddos may not go for them. Normally Lucca will pick out any nuts in muffins. But he took a bite of one of these muffins and said “hmmm mamma, maybe I DO like nuts now.” So … maybe we’re making some headway. Who knows though, his tastes seem to change by the hour. He does love peanut butter and eats it by the spoonful out of the jar but most of the time doesn’t like when nuts are in cookies, muffins, cakes, etc.
Here’s how to make these yummy Carrot Cake Muffins:
Carrot Cake Muffins
- muffin tins, food processor
For the Muffins
- 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 stick organic unsalted butter (4 tbsp) melted
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 organic egg beaten, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup walnut or oat milk or any milk/milk sub
- 5 small organic carrots grated or about 1 1/4 cups (organic carrots tend to be smaller than conventional, so if using convential, use small, but not baby, carrots) I used a food processor to grate the carrots - added them to the processor, then pulsed a few times
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
For the Frosting
- 8 ounces whipped cream cheese
- 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Muffins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners and spray with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine whole wheat flour, almond flour, brown sugar, flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, vanilla, egg and walnut milk. Stir in grated carrots.
- Add dry ingredients to wet carrot mixture and mix until combined. Stir in walnuts and raisins.
- Spoon muffin batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until muffin tops are set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool.
- When ready to serve, spread with cream cheese frosting. Store muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze (unfrosted).
For the Frosting
- In a medium mixing bowl, add cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Using a handheld mixer, beat until combined. Frost muffins and store any remaining frosting in an airtight container in the fridge.