These moist, delicious carrot cake muffins will appeal to all kinds of tastebuds. They taste exactly like the carrot cake we all know and love, with half the work, calories and fat! Enjoy them for breakfast, as dessert, or during snack time.
The taste of traditional carrot cake in a muffin! Brilliant if you ask me because carrot cakes can be a whole lot of work, don’t you agree?
Admit it, there’s something about carrot cake with all those warm spices and cream cheese frosting that gets you. But the biggest complaint across the board … is the time it takes to make it.
Well we’ve solved not only that problem but also the issue of calories and fat. Carrot cake (or any cake) is meant for the occasional treat. So, what did we do?
What makes these carrot cake muffins healthy?
Most cakes (and muffins) use oil (and cheap refined canola oil) along with a lot of sugar.
- We substituted the oil for applesauce – and I opted for unsweetened applesauce. You can hardly taste the difference and it cuts back on even MORE sugar.
- Speaking of sugar, we opted to use brown sugar to give it that deeper flavor, but only use ½ cup.
- We used WHOLE WHEAT white flour instead of regular A/P flour – for a little more nutrition.
- And lastly, we added even MORE carrots and raisins, again for that boost of nutrition. Be sure not to use the shredded carrots in the bag. We want freshly shredded carrot that is shredded using a box grater.
How to Make Carrot Cake Muffins
No special equipment is required for these delicious muffins – all you need is a hand mixer and 3 bowls.
- Simply mix the the carrots, walnuts and raisins together in one bowl.
- In another bowl, using a hand mixer or by hand, mix the wet ingredients and the sugar together.
- In a third larger bowl combine the dry ingredients (the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice) together.
- Mix all the ingredients together and fill the muffin cups.
- Bake at 350 F
Once the muffins have cooled, add a nice thick layer of cream cheese frosting on top. And I like to add some chopped nuts on the top just to make them even more special.Print
Each muffin (made with applesauce and no frosting) contains approx.:
Cal 154; Fat 4.6 gr; Cholesterol 45 mg; Sodium 126 mg; Fiber 2.5 gr; Sugar 18.2 gr; Protein 3.8 gr
Adding the oil and cream cheese frosting increases the calories by 115 and the fat by 12.3 gr
- 1 ½ cups carrots, peeled and finely grated
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup oil (or unsweetened applesauce)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour (King Arthur makes one)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, fine
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice (or nutmeg)
For cream cheese icing:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 2–3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon whole milk
- walnuts or pecans finely chopped for rolling or topping
For the muffins:
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Line a muffin tin with liners. The silicone liners are reusable and the muffins don’t stick when coming out.
- In a bowl, mix the carrots, walnuts and raisins together.
- In another bowl, using a hand mixer or by hand, mix the sugar and oil (or applesauce) together until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and continue mixing for about 30 seconds.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice (or nutmeg) together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour and stir until combined.
- Last, add the carrots, nuts and raisins to the mixture and stir to combine.
- Fill each muffin tin about ¾ full and bake approximately 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool if frosting with cream cheese.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- Using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk together until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Frost the cooled muffins with about 1 Tablespoon cream cheese and top with nuts if desired.