A simple dairy free and healthy recipe for Carrot Muffins! Loaded with grated carrots, chopped walnuts, spices and just a hint of sweetness. Soft, whole grain and a delicious part of a healthy breakfast.
Anyone else looking forward to the changing of the seasons?! Spring in Michigan is like a box of chocolates – ya never know what you’re gonna get.
But one thing’s for sure – springtime is synonymous with all things carrots. So I made you healthy carrot muffins!
These are like your favorite carrot cake but in muffin form and actually pretty healthy! I’m talking whole grain flour, sweetened with maple syrup healthy omega-3’s from walnuts and good ole beta carotene – in this case, in the form of CARROTS, of course.
Whole Grain Carrot Muffins
What makes these carrot muffins “healthy?”
- Well, we’re using a whole grain flour that isn’t as processed and stripped of nutrients like a bleached all-purpose.
- We’re also using less sugar than a traditional muffin recipe.
- Carrots are healthy, obviously.
- A lower amount of oil needed and adding a non-dairy milk to balance out the moisture.
I even topped these carrot muffins with a melted coconut butter glaze, reminiscent of cream cheese frosting…
Ingredients You Will Need
- whole wheat pastry flour – you can also use all whole wheat white, or even unbleached all-purpose. If using all-purpose, add 2 more tablespoons though.
- baking soda & baking powder – to get the right lift.
- salt – to add flavor and balance sweetness
- cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and cloves – all the spices you know and love in a traditional carrot cake.
- oil – you can use olive, melted and cooled coconut, sunflower, avocado – whatever you have on hand works as long as it’s fairly mild in taste.
- eggs – you’ll need two large eggs here – room temperature is best for even mixing. Vegan option: best replacement is flaxseed eggs. You’ll add 2 TBSP milled flaxseed with 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon water.
- vanilla – always a good addition when it comes to baked goods like muffins and quick breads!
- non-dairy milk – You can use whatever you have on hand. If looking to make this recipe nut-free, simple omit the walnuts and use soy, hemp or oat milk.
- grated carrots – use the smaller side of the grater for small shreds that will easily mix in. Kids won’t even know there are carrots in these muffins.
- chopped walnuts – we chopped these up fairly small so you get just the right amount of texture in each bite.
Let’s Make these Healthy Carrot Muffins
Get out all of your ingredients, measuring cups, preheat the oven to 425ºF and let’s get started.
Step 1 – mix dry ingredients
First you’ll mix together all of the dry ingredients – flour, spices, soda and salt.
Step 2 – mix wet ingredients
Now you’ll mix the wet ingredients together (separately) in a large bowl, minus the milk.
- Oil + maple syrup + eggs +vanilla.
Step 3 – mix + add carrots & walnuts
Begin adding the dry ingredients to the wet, just about half of hte flour mixture. Give the batter a couple stirs, then add the rest of the flour along with the milk.
Now fold in carrots and walnuts until combined.
STIRRING TIP: Don’t overdo it. Whole grain muffins will end up more dense the more you stir. Stir the milk in with some dry spots remaining, then those should disappear as you fold in carrots and walnuts.
Step 4 – Add batter to muffin pan
Evenly distribute muffin batter to muffin cups – filling about 3/4 way full.
I like to use my medium cookie scoop for this.
Step 5 – bake first at 425ºF
Then drop the oven temp down to 350ºF and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted comes out with no wet batter.
MUFFIN TIP: Baking the muffins first at 425ºF, then dropping the temperature, will result in a higher muffin top and typically less baking time overall.
FAQs about Baking Healthy Muffins
FLOUR – This muffin recipe was specifically developed with whole grain flour. You can use a blend of whole wheat and all-purpose, all whole wheat white, or even all unbleached all-purpose (more notes on this in recipe card). If you’re looking for a paleo friendly carrot cake muffin, you’re in luck! Check out these.
SUGAR – I prefer to bake (most of) my muffins with a little sweetness, without overdoing it. I like maple syrup here but honey would also work. If you think you have a sweeter tooth, I’d recommend adding about 1/4 cup of brown sugar (or white) to this recipe. But I do not recommend subbing out the liquid sweetener because it will affect the rest of the recipe.
EGG FREE / VEGAN OPTION – This muffin recipe works well using 2 flaxseed “eggs” for a vegan friendly recipe. Simple mix 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water. Let that sit for about 4-5 minutes until it has gelled up. Then mix in with wet ingredients.
TO MAKE NUT-FREE – Just omit walnuts and make sure you’re using a nut-free milk like soy, oat or hemp.
So are you ready to bake these carrot muffins or what?!
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 1 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp all spice
- ¼ tsp cloves
- 1/3 cup oil (avocado, sunflower, melted & cooled coconut)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (see notes)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1 cup packed grated carrots
- 1 cup crushed walnuts
- Preheat oven to 425ºF and line muffin pan with cups or spray lightly with oil; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients together.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla.
- Begin adding about half of the dry ingredients to the large bowl of wet ingredients; stir a few times then add in the rest of the dry ingredients and milk, slowly stirring then fold in grated carrots and chopped walnuts.
- Evenly distribute batter into prepared muffin pan, filling about 3/4 way full. Bake at 425ºF for 5 minutes, then drop oven temp to 350ºF and continue baking for 10-15 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out with little to no crumbs (no wet batter).
- Allow muffins to rest in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Muffins best stored in airtight container at room temperature, enjoyed within 3-4 days.
See more notes in post regarding FAQs.
FLOUR – You can all whole wheat white with similar results. You can also sub half whole wheat, half all purpose. If using only all-purpose, you will probably need an additional 3 tablespoons of flour.
TO MAKE VEGAN – replace the 2 eggs by using 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed mixed with 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon water. Allow the mixture to thicken for about 4-5 minutes. Then mix in with wet ingredients.
SWEETENER – These muffins are not super sweet, but taste testers liked them as is. If you think you want a slightly sweeter muffin, add 1/4 cup brown sugar to wet ingredients when mixing.
The glaze is just melted coconut butter. Warm up the jar of coconut butter and drizzle over muffins as desired. The coconut butter will set once completely cool.
- Serving Size: 1/12
- Calories: 226
- Sugar: 6g
- Fat: 13g
- Saturated Fat: 3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 11g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 22g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 5g