Fair warning: I’m about to get all overly-emphatic-blogger-chick on you. You know the type that gush on and on about how A-MAZ-ING every single thing they ever make tastes? The type that knows all about grammar and proper word usage but somehow loses all desire to care if the sentence is written correctly because, yum. Forgive me? Because, yum.
But seriously. These carrot cake muffins. Heavenly may be a bit of a stretch, but I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful they are. You just have to taste the perfection yourself. It’s a good thing they are healthy because I could have eaten every single one of them. It was love at first bite. 💕 Sigh… It really is unfortunate that “healthy” doesn’t equate to “calorie-free” isn’t it? But I digress…
If you love carrot cake, or maybe even if you’ve never had a carrot cake you loved, you HAVE to try these. If you’re looking for something for breakfast, just ditch the frosting. They are great as is. If you’re looking for a treat…you’re in for a good one! These are moist, but not overly dense, perfectly sweet, with no refined sugars (unless you frost them), and FULL of an entire pound of shredded carrots with all of their vitamin A, fiber, and powerful antioxidants. So there’s all of that awesomeness AND they are delicious! What more could a girl ask for in a gluten-free, oil-free, nut-free, vegan muffin?
And the frosting. 💕 Mmmmm…Soooooo good. The perfect cream-cheese-ish frosting that every carrot cake loves. But of course there’s no cream cheese in sight in this whole-food, plant-based treat. Just organic powdered sugar, coconut butter, and a pinch of this and that (see below). You can opt for a more natural sugar if you want to get technical about keeping your food perfectly clean, but I am officially giving you permission to live a little once in awhile. It will be OK.
To make this quick and easy, peel your carrots and throw them through a food processor to shred them in an instant. Shredding an entire pound of carrots by hand would be painful and it would be a shame not to try this just because you don’t want to shred that many carrots by hand.
Use the already messy food processor to puree all of the wet ingredients together. Mix wet and dry ingredients together and fill muffin liners with batter. If you’re a good aim and don’t slop on your muffin pan, you won’t even have to wash the pan (if only I were so lucky)! Enjoy the fruits of your labor: heavenly, flavorful, healthy, whole-food, plant-based carrot cake muffins. It’s OK. You are allowed to drool. I won’t tell.
- 250 grams (about 2 cups) of gluten free flours (I used equal parts brown rice, oat, & millet)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp flax seed meal
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- pinch of ground ginger
- pinch of ground cloves
- ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 lb shredded carrots (totally depends on the size of your carrots, but I probably used ~10?)
- 3 very ripe bananas
- ⅓ cup applesauce
- ½ cup honey (technically not a vegan ingredient, so feel free to substitute similar natural liquid sweeteners)
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Shred carrots in food processor.
- Mix carrots in with dry ingredients.
- Puree wet ingredients in food processor.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients.
- Bake in prepared muffin pan for 25-30 minutes or until firm.
- Let cool completely.
If you opt to frost the muffins, this recipe for vegan “cream cheese” frosting is the best! But I am warning you. You may want to eat the bowl of frosting instead of sharing it with the muffins. Best to frost first and lick the bowl later!
Also, don’t spend a fortune on coconut butter. To make your own, just blend about 4 cups of unsweetened coconut chips in a high-speed blender until it liquefies (3-5 minutes). You’ll be left with about 1/2 cup of coconut butter. The consistency when it cools is similar to any other nut butter. Heads up: if you store it in the refrigerator it will get quite hard.
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- ¼ cup softened coconut butter (see note above to make your own)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch of salt
- ~1/4 cup plant-based milk (I used rice milk)
- Mix all ingredients together until smooth, adding milk 1 tablespoon at a time until reaching desired consistency.
Let me know if you give this recipe a try. I’d love to hear what you think!