Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins (One Bowl)
These Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins are a delicious snack These muffins are whole grain and refined sugar-free. They pack well in a lunch box too!
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Recipe originally published January 2014. I’ve updated the post with a new and improved recipe, text and photos.
Oh do I have a treat for you today! These little carrot cake oat muffins are ridiculously tasty, and good for you too! They are perfect for snacking or a grab and go breakfast, with plenty of whole grains to leave you feeling satisfied. Pair a muffin with a piece of fruit, some yogurt, or a hard boiled egg (here’s how I make easy peel eggs), and you’ll be set to tackle your day!
These healthy carrot cake oat muffins are made with white whole wheat flour and old-fashioned oats. Applesauce keeps them moist, adds natural sweetness, and takes the place of most of the butter in the muffins. And let’s not forget the carrots. These muffins are packed with veggies!
While I love to snack on these muffins myself, I actually developed this recipe for the kids. So many of you have reached out to share that you struggle with ideas for healthy snacks and lunches for your kids. These muffins are just one of the many recipes I have planned to share with you to help you feed your kids nourishing foods.
A few of my kids’ other favorite homemade snacks are these chocolate black bean blender muffins (my kids beg for these!), these banana chocolate chip granola bars, and this oatmeal breakfast smoothie. If you’re like me and are trying to reduce the amount of packaged snacks that you feed your kids, these recipes are a great place to start.
That’s where these muffins come in. You can add one to your little one’s lunchbox or snack plate and feel good about feeding them something that’s unprocessed and made with whole grains and veggies. And the kids? They will eat these up!
Tips for making these Healthy Carrot Cake Oat Muffins:
- Use either a box grater or a food processor (I use this one) to grate the carrots. (affiliate links)
- Run your knife through the grated carrots a few times to chop the carrot pieces smaller for kids.
- Be careful to not over mix the batter. Stop mixing when a few bits of dry flour remain in the batter. This will ensure that your muffins are light and tender, rather than dense.
- You can substitute coconut oil for the butter to make these muffins dairy-free.
I also highly recommend these Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies. They are a long-time reader favorite!
If you have young kids, what are their favorite healthy snacks? Let’s share some ideas! Leave a comment below. 🙂
Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup pure maple syrup, or honey
- ¼ cup melted unsalted butter, cooled slightly* (4 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 ½ cups peeled grated carrot*, (about 2 medium)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce and maple syrup (or honey). Whisk in the melted butter.
- Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and vanilla and whisk until well combined.
- Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the white whole wheat flour, oats and grated carrot. Be careful not to over-mix the batter. The batter will be thick.
- Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups, filling each cup almost to the top. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. (You can also make 36 mini muffins with this recipe. Mini muffins will take about 12-14 minutes to bake.)
- Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Storage: The muffins freeze very well. If kept air-tight in a zip-top plastic bag, they will stay fresh in the freezer for 2-3 months. Defrost on the counter or in the microwave before enjoying. Muffins will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Would yogurt work, d’you think, instead of the apple sauce?
I’m not sure how the muffins would turn out with subbing yogurt for the applesauce. I think it might work, but just can’t say for sure since I haven’t tried it myself. If you give it a try, let us know how it turns out!
Made the muffins with vanilla yoghurt instead of applesauce and without the maple syrup/brown sugar so they had less sugar and they turned out nice.
I’m so glad you liked these muffins, Colette! Your modifications sound delicious. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!
Hola comete,puedo preguntarte que cantidad de azúcar pusiste en la receta?? Gracias.
These muffins are sweetened with 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup (or honey).
These look really yummy! I am adding them to my meal plan right now. 🙂
Thanks! They are great to keep on hand in the freezer for a quick snack or breakfast.
These are Awesome!!
These came out great! My husband and kids loved them.
I am so glad you enjoyed these! I haven’t made them in a while, but need to soon!
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I love the new photos Kristine and these muffins look so tender and fluffy! Carrot cake flavors are a favorite here so I need to make these soon!
Thank you, Marcie! These are surprisingly tasty considering the healthy ingredient list!
I just made these this morning – DELICIOUS! I had some homemade applesauce in the fridge, but thought I’d try it anyway. Turned out really really good. Thanks for the recipe!
I’m so glad you liked them! Thank you for letting me know. 🙂
I make muffins like this but call them hulk muffins with chocolate chips. I will have to try them as pancakes and see if my son will eat them. Perfect for St. Pattys day!
My kids love it when I add chocolate chips! Did you see my carrot cake pancake recipe?
Could Almond Flour be used in place of the White Whole Wheat Flour?
Hi Beth, I haven’t tested that so I can’t say how it would turn out. Almond flour tends to behave differently than whole wheat flour in baking.
No baking baking powder ???
No, just baking soda in this recipe.
Hi! Does it have to be white whole wheat flour? Or would just whole wheat flour work? That’s what I have.
Regular whole wheat flour will work too. Enjoy the muffins!
My son is allergic to egg do you think I could leave that out? Any suggestions?
You could try a flax egg. Let me know how it turns out.
I have made muffins with applesauce instead of egg. 1 egg equals 1/4cup of unsweetened applesauce. Not sure how it would taste in this recipe but it’s worth a shot.
Soooooo good! So perfect. I added a half a cup of walnuts and a tbsp of chia seeds. Goodness. These are a staple now!