Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze

Healthy carrot cake muffins packed with carrots, coconut, raisins and nuts. Naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup and applesauce. Delicious topped with a light cream cheese glaze!

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Healthy carrot cake muffins on a vintage tray

Healthy muffins! That taste like carrot cake! Oh, I think this might just be a dream come true.

Truth be told, carrot cake gets me every single time. I fell in love with it a few years ago and my craving for cake has quadrupled since then. I can’t get over the spices, flavor, and that thick-n-creamy cream cheese frosting that pairs so wonderfully with the cake. I’m not sure it gets better.

But wait, it does. Because now you can officially have carrot cake for breakfast in muffin form. I know, it’s probably not quite the same, but my goodness does it crush a carrot cake craving like no other.

In fact, I’ve been wanting to tell you about these for a few weeks; believe me everyone I’ve been around me has had their fair share of muffins as I tried time and time again to perfect the recipe. Basically shoving muffins down everyone’s throat. Pleasant, right?

Healthy carrot cake muffins being sprinkled with toasted coconut

In all seriousness, these muffins are packed with good-for-you ingredients. Here are a few highlights:

Ingredients in these Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins:

White Whole Wheat Flour: Same nutritional benefits as whole wheat flour, but much lighter in flavor and texture. You can usually find it at your local grocer. If you can’t, try looking for whole wheat pastry flour.

Pure Maple Syrup instead of Sugar/Honey: I prefer maple syrup to honey after reading this interesting article comparing the two.

Unsweetened Applesauce instead of excess oil: I love baking with applesauce because it gives baked goods a nice texture without having to use as much oil. Even though I use a few tablespoons of healthy oil in this recipe, I didn’t want it to be packed with fat. The other healthy fats come from walnuts/pecans.

Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmik Coconutmilk: Have you ever tried this stuff? It is amazing! I love the flavor of the almond coconut milk and the fact that it’s packed with vitamins and calcium. Baking with it adds a nice flavor to the muffins. If you can’t find it or don’t like coconut flavor, try Almond Breeze almondmilk instead!

Other optional add-ins: Try adding coconut, raisins or pineapple to these muffins. I left them as optional as I feel like everyone prefers their carrot cake differently.

Healthy carrot cake muffins in a baking tray next to a carton of Almond Breeze almondmilk

Obviously I didn’t include the cream cheese glaze as healthy, but it’s really quite delicious on top of the muffins. Plus it’s only a tiny amount. If you want though, you could leave off and enjoy them as is.

A quick note: The muffins really do get better after sitting in an airtight container for a day; they sweeten up a bit and get super soft. Served with a big glass of almond milk and a side of zero guilt.

Healthy carrot cake muffins next to a dish of toasted coconut flakes

Let me know if you bake these by tagging #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram; I’ll be looking for your creations! xoxo

See how to make the carrot cake muffins:

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze

4.85 from 13 votes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Healthy, Muffins
Keyword healthy carrot cake muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves 12
Yes, you can have carrot cake for breakfast thanks to these nutritious muffins packed with whole grains and healthy fats. Freezer and waist friendly!


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots (about 2-3 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Almond Breeze Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmik Coconutmilk or Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almondmilk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes (optional and not included in nutrition info)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional and not included in nutrition info)
  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmik Coconutmilk or Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almondmilk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with liners and spray the inside with nonstick cooking spray to prevent batter from sticking to the liners. You can also omit the liners and generously spray the muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray; I prefer this method.
  2. Next add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to a medium bowl; stir to combine and then set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, add carrots, maple syrup, olive oil, applesauce, egg and vanilla. Whisk to combine wet ingredients then slowly stir in almond milk and flour mixture until just combined. 
  4. Fold in coconut flakes and raisins if you'd like. Divide batter evenly between muffins cups or liners. 
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan then transfer muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. Once muffins are completely cool, you can make the cream cheese glaze: Place cream cheese in medium microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 30-45 seconds or until cream cheese is somewhat warm and a little runny. 
  7. Stir gently and add in powdered sugar, vanilla extract and a few tablespoons of milk; stir again until glaze reaches desired consistency; not too runny and not overly thick. 
  8. Dip each muffin top into cream cheese glaze then place back on wire rack. Sprinkle with coconut flakes if desired. Makes 12 muffins.

Recipe Notes

To make vegan: Replace egg with a flax egg by combining 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons of water. Leave off cream cheese frosting and instead sprinkle tops with cinnamon and coarse sugar.

To make gluten free: Try using chickpea flour or an all purpose gluten free flour. I have not tried this option, but am quite certain it would work.

Important notes about nutrition: The nutrition information provided includes everything except raisins and shredded coconut. If you add both, your muffins will be around 200 calories of good nutrition.

Servings: 12 muffins
Serving size: 1 muffin
Calories: 149kcal
Fat: 3.5g
Saturated fat: 1.3g
Carbohydrates: 26.6g
Fiber: 2.7g
Sugar: 13.9g
Protein: 3.2g

Blue Diamond Almond Milk

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze. All opinions and text are my own; I love their products and bake with their almond milks all the time.

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