Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins - Healthy, delicious treats that are made with oat flour, no starches or gums, and a lot less sugar than most recipes. Gluten-free and nut-free.
These healthy carrot cake muffins make a great on-the-go breakfast, snack, or pre-workout treat.
One of my biggest issues with some of the 'muffin' recipes I've come across is the amount of sugar.
For me, if you've got half as much sugar as you do flour in a recipe, you have a cupcake, not a muffin!
I say this now so that you are aware that I like my muffins healthy and lightly sweetened.
The focus is more on flavor from spices and add-ins (carrots and raisins in this case).
This particular recipe has been on my blog for about ten years. It took off as a favorite early on for readers. I decided to revamp and renew the post just in time for Easter!
Tips when baking with oat flour
Because oat flour lacks gluten, you'll find many recipes with added gums or starches.
I personally don't tolerate either of those options, and, in addition, starches greatly increase the carbohydrate content of a recipe.
The good news is that oat flour recipes can work without added gums or starches.
In this recipe, for example, an egg is included. Eggs are immensely helpful when baking gluten-free, and they actually ADD protein and nutrients to the recipe instead of empty carbs.
If you don't tolerate eggs, ground flax or chia can both be used to make substitute 'eggs'. These types of egg substitutes work very well in muffin recipes.
Dryness and crumbling can also be mediated by not overbaking the muffins.
How to serve
Top these with a slather of butter or coconut oil, and, if you need it, a little drizzle of honey.
To make your the buttermilk, add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a measuring cup and add in enough milk of your choice to equal 1/3 cup total.
To lower the sugar even more, replace one tablespoon of maple syrup with one tablespoon of water.
Add in a dash of stevia for extra sweetness.
These are great unbleached muffin cups.
Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins
- 1 cup oat flour 125 grams
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ⅓ cup buttermilk see Notes on how to make your own
- 1 Tablespoon oil I like olive or grapeseed
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup see Notes for lower sugar option
- 2 Tablespoons applesauce
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup finely grated carrot about 2 medium-sized carrots
- ¼ cup raisins optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry mix and stir gently until just moistened.
- Fold in the carrots and raisins (if using).
- Fill nine paper muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are springy to the touch. As with any muffin, don't overbake or they will be dry!
If you have a chance to try this recipe, please leave a star rating and a comment below letting me know how you liked it!
I can not have the buttermilk. I need to convert this to be dairy free including milk proteins. Please advise.
You can make your own buttermilk by adding one tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of whatever milk you tolerate.
Hi I was wondering if I could use nonfat yogurt as a substitute for any of the ingredients?
Plain yogurt may work for the buttermilk, but you may need an extra tablespoon of water or so.
Hello, I was wondering if I could substitute applesauce with anything please? Thanks
Mashed banana should work as well.
I have just looked at my muffins again and I just wonder if I need new Baking powder because they didn't rise and I am sure I added it, but perhaps I am mistaken. I will try them again.
I used a flax egg. Perhaps that was it. It would have taken more than a cup of flour, but that's all I added.
Hmm, I don't think that would do it either. Sorry they didn't turn out for you. Perhaps try baking them a bit longer next time? Thanks for your feedback.
Sounds like an interesting recipe. I tried it and it was tasty but feel there is something missing like more flour.
Did you make any changes to the recipe that could have affected it?
This was awesome. I subbed the spice mix for two tbsps of pumpkin spice. Instead of carrots I did a small apple diced. And I threw a tiny bit of brown sugar and oats on the top so of each. They turned out awesome and not overly sweet. The diced apple added some moisture!
I LOVE this recipe! You are my favorite blogger!!
Someone used your picture and copied your recipe on her blog and claimed as her own. :/
Awesome pics and recipe, btw!
Argh, thanks for letting me know!
When I first started baking, I really didn't want to buy flour for some reason. However, I did have oatmeal, so this was the first muffin recipe I ever tried. I really enjoyed these muffins, and I love that they don't contain tons of sugar.
Thanks so much Elaine!
These are so good!
I used bought buttermilk.
My daughter hates raisins so I made them without, but they would be very good with the raisins.
I'm so happy you enjoyed them Bridy! 🙂
I am on batch #2. The kids ate them all before I could grab a second one.
Maybe I should out raisins in these ones! Haha
I want to bake this with my little baby for her brother, she is very excited about doing this 😉
The thing is that the only species I have right now is vanilla extract and fresh ginger. Do you think it will be a nice addition?
Love your healthy recipes and specially the gooey brownies with avocado chocolate cream... just amazing taste. Thank you for sharing goodness 😉
Both vanilla and ginger sound like they would be delicious in this recipe! Go easy on the ginger though, as it can be a very powerful taste. Thank you for your nice comment! 🙂
Since there's carrot, these muffins count as a veggie portion, right? 😉
Haha, but of course! 😀
I made these today. I added the raisins, I think without them they wouldn't have been sweet enough for me. I don't have stevia so I used a teaspoon of raw sugar instead and I used the maple syrup option. Very good and I am so happy to satisfy my craving for carrot cake with these healthier muffins. Thanks!
Thanks Natasha! I do tend to stay on the less sweet side with my muffins, so I'm happy you found a way to make them that works for you! 🙂
Gabby @ the veggie nook
These look awesome! And I also do coconut oil sea salt on baked goods! Really give it a "butter" feel!
Matt @ Runner Savvy
There look delicious!
Looks great. I wonder how it would be with almond flour?
If you're looking for something grain-free, you might try this: https://www.oatmealwithafork.com/2013/07/15/%E2%99%A5lovers-carrot-cake%E2%99%A5-grain-free-nut-free/