Healthy muffins! That taste like carrot cake! Oh, I think these healthy carrot cake muffins 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. By the way, if you haven’t tried my grain free healthy carrot cake recipe, DO IT!
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.
What makes these carrot cake muffins healthy?
Traditional muffin recipes can be packed with oil or butter and lots of refined sugars. To make these carrot cake muffins healthier, this recipe is made with applesauce and just a bit of olive oil for moisture plus pure maple syrup to sweeten them naturally. That’s right, these muffins aren’t baked with any refined sugars (except the glaze if you use it!)
Everything you need to make carrot cake muffins
Not only are these carrot cake muffins delicious, but they’re also made with nutrient-dense ingredients compared to a regular slice of carrot cake. Natural sweeteners, whole grains, and both fruits and veggies make them the perfect brunch treat or snack for both kids & adults. Here’s what you need:
- Flour: I like to use white whole wheat flour because it has the same nutritional benefits as whole wheat flour, but are 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: I prefer maple syrup but honey would also do the trick.
- Unsweetened applesauce: I love baking with applesauce because it naturally sweetens the recipe, adds fiber and vitamins and provides moisture to give these muffins a nice texture. Even though I use a few tablespoons of healthy oil in this recipe, most of the healthy fats come from walnuts or pecans.
- Milk: feel free to use any milk you’d like! I love using vanilla almond milk or coconut milk for a little extra flavor in the muffins. To keep these dairy free, use a dairy free milk.
- Eggs: you’ll just need one to help these carrot cake muffins stay together.
- Shredded carrots: you’ll need to shred about 2-3 medium carrots, but make sure to measure 1 cup full total. If you’re feeling like you want more, you can use 1 1/2 cups.
- Cozy spices: cinnamon & nutmeg add a cozy flavor to these healthy carrot cake muffins and gives them that carrot cake flavor goodness.
- For the glaze: cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and a splash of almond milk.
Simple ingredient swaps
Out of a few ingredients? Here’s what I can suggest for substitutions:
- Swap the applesauce. If you’re out of applesauce you can actually use 1 ripe mashed banana instead.
- Choose the oil. Melted and cooled coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil will all work well in the recipe. Or choose an oil like walnut or hazelnut oil. Butter also works great — totally up to you!
- Milk of choice. I like to use almond or coconut milk in this recipe, but feel free to use any milk you’d like.
Can I make them gluten free?
I haven’t tested these carrot cake muffins with a gluten free flour, but I think chickpea flour or an all purpose gluten free flour should work well!
How to make vegan carrot cake muffins
Yes, these healthy carrot cake muffins should work well with a vegan substitute! Simply replace the egg with a flax egg. Learn how to make a flax egg here! Remember to also leave off cream cheese frosting (or use a dairy free cream cheese) and instead sprinkle tops with cinnamon and coarse sugar.
Have fun with mix-ins
Try adding shredded coconut, raisins or even fresh pineapple to these carrot cake muffins! Everyone prefers their carrot cake differently, so feel free to add them or enjoy the muffins as-is.
Tips for the best carrot cake muffins
- Follow the recipe. The best way to ensure the success of these healthy carrot cake muffins is to follow the recipe and use the exact ingredients as written (unless I note specific substitutes).
- Use finely shredded carrots. Shred those babies nice and thin so that they mix well in the batter.
- Do not overmix the batter. If you overmix batter you’ll end up with dense and gummy carrot cake muffins instead of fluffy and soft ones.
- Use fresh baking soda. If your baking soda is older than 3 months, I suggest grabbing a new one for best baking results.
Looking for a carrot cake bread?
I think these healthy carrot cake muffins can be made into a bread, too! Simply pour the batter into an 8×4 inch loaf pan greased and lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
Alternatively, try my famous carrot cake banana bread for a wonderful option.
How to store carrot cake muffins
- In the fridge: store these carrot cake muffins on the counter in an airtight container for a day, then transfer them to the fridge for up to 4-5 days. 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!
- Freezer-friendly carrot cake muffins: Feel free to freeze these babies for later! Allow them to cool completely after baking, then place them in an airtight container or reusable bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them, you can microwave them for 45 seconds-1 minute or until warm. I suggest freezing them without the the glaze and simply adding the glaze when you’re ready to enjoy them.
- Mixing bowls
- Box grater
- Wooden spoon
- Muffin tin
- Muffin liners
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Wire Rack
Don’t forget to check out all of our favorite kitchen essentials.
More carrot cake recipes you’ll love
- Healthier Carrot Cake Banana Bread with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal Cups
- Carrot Cake Smoothie
- Healthy Carrot Cake Cookies (made with coconut oil + dairy free!)
- The Best Healthy Carrot Cake You’ll Ever Eat (gluten free & paleo-friendly!)
Get all of our carrot cake recipes here, and our Easter recipes here!
I hope you love these healthy carrot cake muffins! If you make them I’d love for you to leave a comment and a rating letting me know how you liked them. I greatly appreciate it – xoxo!
Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze
Healthy carrot cake muffins packed with carrots, coconut, raisins and nuts. These deliciously moist carrot cake muffins are naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup and applesauce. Top them with a light cream cheese glaze for a delicious snack or healthy treat!
- Dry ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour (all purpose flour or all purpose gf flour also works!)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Wet ingredients:
- 1 cup finely shredded carrots (from about 2-3 carrots)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup natural unsweetened applesauce (or sub 1 mashed ripe banana)
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted coconut oil, walnut oil or avocado oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk (any milk will work)
- Optional mix-ins:
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- For the glaze:
- 4 oz light cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoons almond milk, to thin glaze
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.
Next add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to a medium bowl; stir to combine and then set aside.
In a separate large bowl, add carrots, maple syrup, applesauce, egg, oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine wet ingredients then slowly stir in milk and flour mixture until just combined.
Fold in shredded coconut and raisins, if you'd like. Divide batter evenly between muffins cups or liners. 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.
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 10-20 seconds or until cream cheese is somewhat warm and a little runny. Stir gently and add in powdered sugar, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of milk; stir again and add more milk if necessary until glaze reaches desired consistency; not too runny and not overly thick.
Dip each muffin top into cream cheese glaze then place back on wire rack. Sprinkle with shredded coconut or walnuts/pecans if desired. Makes 12 muffins.
To make vegan: replace the egg with a flax egg by combining 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons of water. Learn how to make a flax egg here! 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.
See the full post for storing & freezing instructions.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
Originally published on Feb 12, 2015, republished on April 4th, 2020, updated with new photos and republished on March 30th, 2021, republished on April 8th, 2022, and republished on March 28th, 2023.
suggestions/recommendations if I was to use coconut or quinoa flour?
I think you could use 1 1/2 cups quinoa flour and they would come out fine, but not 100% positive. If you go with coconut flour, try using 1/2-3/4 cup and increasing the eggs to 2. I’m really not positive if coconut flour would work at all.
I’m with you on the coconut flour – I haven’t had great success with Coconut flour and I find it usually requires a great number of eggs.
As for Quinoa flour I have used it 1 for 1 in many recipes and all went well. Yap 1 1/2 cups flour – quinoa works 🙂
A healthy muffin that looks this good sounds incredible!! I’m all in!
Thanks so much. Will try the quinoa flour and let you know!
OMG! I was just creating a healthy carrot cake cupcake recipe and this came up! Wow, that’s so cool <3 Anyways this looks super tasty and I'll try it sometime!
Could a combination of sorghum, rice, and almond flours and tapioca starch be used as another (other than the suggested almond flour alone) gluten-free substitute for the wheat flour? Would it be recommended to also add xanthan gum? (I use these ingredients quite frequently in all of my GF baking/cooking.)
In addition, would substituting stevia or maple syrup for the powdered sugar work in forming the glaze?
This is a bit late, but for others looking at this wonderful recipe…! We are dairy and wheat-free due to food allergies and I mix up a big batch of 1-to-1 gluten-free flour using a recipe I found online for “self-rising gluten free flour”. I actually just omit the baking powder so that I can add that in when I make individual recipes. The ingredients are sorghum, rice, almond and tapioca as you’ve asked about and the recipe also has xanthan gum. It works wonderfully for all kinds of cakes and muffins and I like it better than any store-bought 1-to-1 GF flour I’ve tried! Side note though- maple syrup will not work for the glaze! I tried this before – also tried with agave – and you’ll end up with a drippy mess! Never tried Stevia…
Is whole wheat pastry flour different from just regular whole wheat flour? That’s all I have on hand so just wondering! Thanks!
Hi there! Yes, it is different however you can still use regular whole wheat flour, I would just use a bit more applesauce or milk in the muffins. Whole wheat pastry flour is a lighter form of whole wheat flour.
I’ve been thinking about this recipe all day! Got all my ingredients together, time to get baking!
These look so decadent, I can’t believe that they are healthy!!! Yay!!!
I love these muffins! They look so amazing, and that almond coconut milk has been my favorite for a while. It’s so delicious! Pinned this.
I’ve got to try your version of carrot cake muffins! Your recipes are always so healthy! I was super excited when I saw these on Instagram awhile back! Oh, what plug-in do you use for your related posts and share buttons at the bottom of your posts?
These look so good, Monique. I love carrot cake! Already pinned.
I’m definitely repeating myself here, but this just looks so good……………..again!
These look wonderful, bookmarking and will be using GF substitutions.
Do you think this might work if I replace the applesauce w Greek yogurt? Only ingredient I’m missing but can’t wait to make these they look great!
I think you should replace the applesauce with banana. You’ll probably get better results. Greek yogurt may also work, I just haven’t tested it.
How much banana can we use? Same amount as applesauce? Love your recipes!
You got it! 🙂
These muffins look amazing! Thanks!
I will be making these today for desert! Can’t wait!
I made these yesterday and my family loved them! I left some without frosting and prefer them that way. They are so flavorful they don’t need the frosting in my option. Great recipe, thanks for this healthy recipe. I will be making them again.
Could I use spelt flour instead of whole wheat flour?
Made these yesterday… they’re the best carrot muffins I’ve ever tasted! Super moist, flavourful and healthy, love it!
Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment! 🙂
newbie cook here, if the frosting is too runny should i just add more confectioner sugar? what is the desired consistency (slightly gooey, stiff – like the store bought kind?) thanks! I don’t know i fi can wait for a reply, i’m too eager to dive in and eat these! 🙂
Yes just add a little more confectioner sugar!
Made with the walnuts and coconut, and no icing. The teens loved them. Great ‘healthy cake’ recipe
ps- regular whole wheat flour worked just fine…. wasn’t gummy
Absolutely delicious! I decided to replace a 1/2 cup of the flour with 1/2 cup of oatmeal. The family raved about them. The next time I replaced the egg with 1tblsp flaxseed soaked in 3 tablespoon water for 10 minutes. They were still amazing.
These turned out great. I replaced the maple syrup with honey and used a little under 1/2 cup. They still turned out wonderful. Made a wonderful breakfast paired with fruit and cottage cheese.
Made these for Easter brunch and let’s just say, I’m handing out this recipe to just about everyone who was present. I made it in the form of a cake (doubled the recipe, stacked the cakes). SO moist and while I did use a classic cream cheese frosting recipe, I will be trying to glaze on muffins for the office this weekend/next week. YUM! I can’t stop craving this this week.
Hi, tried your cake today with a few alterations. Came out very well!!! Thank you for the amazing recipe. I Used 1 cup oat flour and 1/2 cup all purpose flour. 1 flax egg , 1/2 cup honey instead of maple syrup and 1/4 cup olive oil instead of apple sauce. Omitted nutmeg, instead added 1tsp each of powdered Cinnamon, Cardamom and dried ginger. Made as a cake and came out flavorful, moist and needless to say delicious. Keep sharing such great recipes!!! Thank You !!!!
This recipe sounds great! Do you know if rice flour could be used instead of the wheat flour? Would anything else in the recipe need to be altered in that case?
This receipe is AMAZING!
Love it and taste DELICIOUS!
I switched the apple sauce with pinnaple and wow! Addeded a quater of a cup of mapple syrup less than suggested, almonds and coconut (no raisins) and really good too!
My question is how many calories withouth the glace?
How did you replace the applesauce with pineapple? Did you get the chunks or tidbits and just mash them up? I’m going to try this recipe tonight as is but would love to add the pineapple – so excited!!
Also! I use rolled oats instead and I blended into flour!
Steel oats for next time as I like it crunchy 😛
What would the nutrition information be for the muffin without any glaze?
Hi there! Looking to try this recipe out for Thanksgiving! Would you recommend making them the same day or would they still taste fine if I baked them the night before and glazed them the day of? I’ll be cooking all day so a dish I can prepare the night before would be less time in the kitchen!
They will be fabulous either day. I do recommend frosting them the day of though.
Do you have any suggestions for alternatives to the wheat flours? Me and wheat do not agree with one another.
I made these last week and they were delicious! I used regular milk and sugar because I didn’t have almond milk or maple syrup on hand but the texture was great, very moist, and they had nice flavor. My husband loved them too! I used my mini muffin tin and got about 36 muffins. It took us about a week to eat them but I stored them covered in the fridge and they tasted just as good on the last day as they did on the first day. Thanks for the recipe. I will make them again this weekend!
Im wondering whether it would be ok to substitute plain flour with baking soda +/- baking powder with self raising flour??
Hi Monique, I was wondering if this would work as one large cake? if so, would you know what sized pan to use or how long I should cook it for?
That could definitely work! 🙂 Try baking for 20-30 min.
What would the sugar amount be without the glaze/topping? My husband is about to undergo Weight Loss Surgery and sugar is a big no no, but he loves carrot cake and I thought these might be a nice bite-size treat after (without the glaze, perhaps).
These were perfect! Perfect enough that I didn’t even need the cream cheese frosting. I finally have fond a recipe that works and is delicious, thanks!
There are great gluten free flour blends that have a 1:1 ratio with all purpose flour – I’ve had great success using those in recipes that call for flour. That’s what I’m going to do with this recipe, and I’ll report back how it turns out. Otherwise, I like using a blend of sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, oat flour, and ground chia seed to make my own gluten free blend. Bojon Gourmet’s blog taught me that combo, and it works so well. I hope this helps the gluten free folks!
Thanks for the tip!
I recently made these using whole wheat flour, since that is what I had on hand. They are incredible. I decided to skip the glaze as a way of limiting the calories. I didn’t miss it one bit. Thanks for a great, delicious, healthy muffin. I’m sure to make them again and again.
Wonderful recipe. I used whole wheat white flour, substituted coconut oil for the applesauce and used pumpkin spice coconut milk. Added walnuts and raisins.
Followed recipe as written and it is awesome! Moist, flavourful low calorie muffin. Looks pretty with a sprinkle of shredded carrot on top of icing. Thank you for this recipe I will make it over and over again.
Thanks so much!!! This is a fantastic recipe, and I can’t believe how guilt-free it is!!
May I substitute honey for the maple syrup? If so, how much would you recommend?
Excited and can’t wait to make this again!!!
Yes you can use honey. I would recommend the same amount or even 1/4 cup.
These are delicious and moist! I used coconut oil.
These were so amazing, I can’t believe they’re even remotely healthy. Great job and thanks for sharing!
Love them! Cut maple syrup to just under 1/4 cup and used 1/2 c. white flour, 1/2 c. whole wheat, 1/2 c. oats. I didn’t have nutmeg, but I put a dash of cloves. I didn’t use the glaze and they are still in the dessert category in my opinion. Thanks for the recipe.
I’m always on the hunt for healthy recipes! Thanks so much for sharing.
Next Tuesday is my birthday. Since I am doing the Healthy Glow I wanted to make a healthy birthday cake. (I never pass up birthday cake.) This recipe looks perfect! Thanks again Monica!
I found your recipe while searching for a way to use up leftover juice pulp. Made these yesterday and holy moly they are so delicious! I left off the frosting. The juice pulp I had was a mix of carrot, pineapple, apple, orange, ginger, celery, and cucumber. So so good. I will definitely make these again, and never feel guilty about wasting perfectly good pulp again!
this was so delicious! i sub’ed maple syrup with honey (i didn’t have any syrup), so might have been higher in calories but holy moistness, it was a hit! i forgot to spray the muffin liner with oil so family complained that so much of the “best carrot cake you’ve ever made” was lost on the liner. was also out of powder sugar, so i melted regular sugar with almond milk and speed-whisked it into the cc, made the frosting extra glisten-y (not a word?) and made it look even tastier. your recipe is my go-to cc recipe now, thank you!
These were INCREDIBLE. Holy cannoli. SO moist and delicious. I was able to make 15 muffins, and ate probably 10 of them. That is after licking the leftover batter out of the bowl (whoops).
What do you think about using pumpkin puree instead of applesauce?? Can’t wait to try these for Easter! Yum!
Hi, I would love to make these but I only have sweetened almond milk, should I alter something or follow recipe as follows?
Hi! I love your recipes 🙂 I have really been wanting to make a carrot cake muffin with pineapple in it (almost like a hummingbird cake)! To add pineapple to the recipe– do you happen to have any recommendations on type and amount. Canned? Fresh? ~1/2 cup? Thanks for the great recipes!
Hi Geetha! That sounds delicious. I haven’t tried adding pineapple to this recipe, so I’m not entirely sure how it will affect the ratios here (pineapple is very water-heavy, so you’ll likely need to add more dry ingredients).
That looks great!! I’ll try to make them for my daughter for school snack. By the way, how did you make the icing??
Just made these. Used whole wheat flour and whole oat flour. Stuffed them with hemp seeds, walnuts and chia seeds. Plus couldn’t help but add some ginger and cloves too as I love the gingerbread flavours.
I also swapped the maple syrup for dark molasses as its what I had on hand. So so so so so good! Will slather them in nut butter I think. Perfect as a snack or breakfast… Thank you for the inspiration!
Perfect!! Ginger + cloves sound amazing in here. Best snack or breakfast!
Wonderful recipe…my husband was blown away! We’re trying to get away from breads more, so I’ve been looking for breakfast ideas to send to work with him. Awesome!! I used 1 cup of unbleached flour and 1/2 cup of brown rice flour. I’m a bit cinnamon sensitive, so I did 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp ginger. I also used honey in the frosting in place of powdered sugar. Seriously….amazing!!!
Love these for a quick & easy breakfast!! I’m glad those swaps worked out, too 🙂
These came out really nice! I added 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup pecans and used regular milk. Not too sweet, but perfect to be paired with a nut butter and coffee for a healthy and wholesome breakfast!
That sounds fabulous! Love that breakfast 🙂
Oh my, soo yummy! That glaze is the cherry on top! Now to pace myself and not eat too many in one setting!
So delicious! 🙂
Could I use AP flour as a sub? Thanks!
I made these with 1:1 gluten free flour and they cooked on the outside and were raw on the inside. Just a warning!
AP flour should work!
I made these with 1:1 gluten free flour and they cooked on the outside and were raw on the inside. Just a warning!
Noted! I suggest a gluten free sub in the recipe notes if you want to give that a try, too.
Could you recommend another healthy milk? Because we are allergic to the almonds.
Regular coconut milk from the carton would also work, or any dairy milk!
Love these carrot cake muffins so much!
Smell delish! Haven’t tried yet, but wanting to know how they are best kept? Refrigerate or table top etc?
These can stay at room temp for 1-2 days and then I’d recommend storing them in the fridge 🙂 Enjoy!
Love this recipe! Have made these several times and are my go to for a sweet, healthy snack.
So happy to hear that!
Can I freeze these with the frosting on?
Yes, however I recommend frosting right before serving.
For Chickpea flour, is it a 1:1 swap? Any other alt flour recs for this one? Thank you, I can’t wait to try these!
It should be 1:1 or you can try using an all purpose GF flour. Let me know if you give it a try!
My icing was chunky. How do I fix it?
Was your cream cheese at room temp before you used it? If not let the cream cheese sit at room temp for an hour, then try mixing again. also try using an electric mixer if you have one; it blends everything more smoothly!
So I baked these with what I had in the pantry. I replaced the olive oil with coconut oil and the maple syrup with agave nectar. We used shredded coconut and white chocolate chips. The texture really is amazing! Monique, you are the queen of muffins, bread and cookies in my book! Your blog is my go-to for snacks, desserts and healthy meals. 😁
Love these! Super easy and delicious
One question I have is – I left the muffins out in an air tight container. The next morning I went to have one and transfer to the fridge and there was small bits of mold on one of them. Any ideas ? Should I put them straight in the fridge next time ? Thanks !
Oh wow! Is it humid where you live? That’s crazy it happened so quickly. I would definitely recommend storing them in the fridge.
These were so easy to make and my whole family loved them – even those that normally hate carrot cake. They are light and delicious and healthy to boot!
So happy to hear that!
Came out both dry and very wet at same time. Added chocolate chips and raisins and walnuts. Frosting very thin.
Guess I was looking for cupcakes.
Sorry to hear that! I’m not sure how they could turn out both dry and wet – wish I could help troubleshoot for you!
These are amazing! I didn’t use coconut or raisins but added pecans to all of them and chocolate chips in half. I skipped on the icing because they were sweet enough with the chocolate chips. These are so easy and SO good! I asked my mom what she wanted for Mother’s Day and she requested these! I may try to make it into a cake this time to make it a bit fancier. Do yourself a favor and make these, you’ll love them!
Perfect! So happy to hear that 🙂
Thank you!! These were perfect!! We were craving carrot cake, but wanted something lighter. These were quick, easy to make, and delicious. Perfect for breakfast or desert.
So glad you found these ones! The perfect treat or breakfast 🙂
I can’t believe no one has commented on these yet bc thayeads me to believe no one has baked them yet??? Well, I have. Just now. And they are so tasty and filling! I used the flax egg as we are out of eggs and it worked great! I also added roasted chopped pecans and golden raisins. Two thumbs up from my kids and carrot baked goods hating husband.
So happy everyone loved them! If you click “show comments” you’ll see the rest of the comments 🙂
It’s not easy to get applesauce or maple syrup where I live. Can I substitute with yoghurt n molasses?
Hi! You could sub banana for applesauce and honey for maple syrup!
Amazing!!! This will stay in my muffin rotation for sure! The only changes I made was I reduced the maple syrup to a 1/3 cup and only used 1/4 cup of applesauce (I had pre frozen portions in this amount); then I made up the difference in liquid with extra whole milk (instead of the almond). I also added golden raisens and piped the glaze in a zigzag pattern over the top. They are moist, rich and taste deceivingly indulgent. Thank you!
I’m glad that worked out well! Love the idea of golden raisins (and a little glaze design!)
22 grams of sugar per muffin is not healthy.
Everyone’s definition of healthy is different 🙂 these muffins are made mostly with unrefined sugars like pure maple syrup, but if you’d like to reduce the sugar feel free to leave the glaze off!
Would oat flour work?
I haven’t tried it, but I think it might! 🙂 Let me know if you give it a shot!
Fantastic recipe! Muffins were so moist & delicious! Only changes I made was using 1% milk & added a 1/4 cup each of diced pineapple & raisins. Will definitely make again.
Can this recipe be used to make a loaf or cake?
So glad you liked these! And Yes, absolutely!
I just made these muffins for the first time and they are perfect. The flavour, the density, the glaze – everything. So so good.
The best carrot muffins! The texture, the taste, the flavors! Everything about them is perfect! Another recipe from here that doesn’t disappoint!
So glad you loved them!
Made these beauties vegan by using a flax egg, and used orange infused olive oil to add a bit of citrus – delicious!
Perfect! Great idea 🙂
Good muffins and straightforward recipe. Totally worth making.
Love it! Perfect snack.
Love them and a hit with the kids also! Made them with oat flour and included 1/2 cup shredded coconut and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. So good!
I’m glad that worked out well! So delicious 🙂
Another stellar recipe Monique! Tastes just as good as a cake without being overly sweet. Will definitely make again.
Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed!
So happy to hear that!
Amazing! So glad you love them 🙂
Delicious- definitely add the coconut and raisins (or craisins)! They are even great without the icing
Absolutely! Perfect snack 🙂
Just made these today, Gluten & Vegan Free. Absolutely love them 🙂 I did use all purpose gluten free flour and flax egg. I only had 1/4 cup of maple syrup on hand used that with 1 cup home made with cinnamon & a touch of lemon (no sugar). (NO icing)
Taste amazing! We might of put too much applesauce in ours as they came out gooey in the middle after 20 mins in the oven. The fork came out clear, but a bit gooey. Unsure it’s from the extra water with the carrots? Regardless, they taste super yummy and my toddler is obsessed.
So glad they were a hit! Hmmm yes double check those wet ingredients and maybe just bake for a few extra minutes next time 🙂
Can I use oat or rice flour? And I don’t have fruit, can I put yogurt instead of apple sauce or just omit it?
the swaps within the post are the only ones we suggest and can be confident with, though yogurt instead of applesauce could likely work fine!
Bonjour je voudrais savoir ce que vous entendez par fromage à la crème dans vos glaçages. Merci.
Do you think this would work as a loaf? I don’t have a muffin pan but it might be worth buying one if not!
Try this carrot cake bread! 🙂
Newbie at baking healthy here! I’d love to make this treat today, but only have almond flour, coconut flour, and oat flour on hand. Would either of those work in replacement of the wheat flour?
Hi! Unfortunately I haven’t tested this recipe with any of those flours. I think a chickpea flour or all purpose gluten free flour would work out well if you’d like to make these gluten free. Check the full blog post for all of my substitutions suggestions 🙂
Per usual, another great Ambitious Kitchen muffin – can’t wait to have these for breakfast/snacks the rest of the week!
So glad you enjoyed!!
Muffins smelled delicious. But mine came out browned on the outside and slightly undercooked near the top.
Not sure what I did wrong?
Any help would be appreciated!
Strange, I’ve never had that happen for anyone. Do you happen to have an oven thermometer? It sounds like your oven may run hot? Also, just to be sure, did you follow the recipe exactly as written?
These muffins were so good! We made them for Easter brunch and every thought they were so good!! We will definitely make again!!
Love it! So glad they were a hit!
Can i substitute the milk for yogurt?
I think that should work but you’ll want to use slightly less milk!
These are delicious – even without the frosting!
The crunch of pecans, the texture of the coconut and sweetness of the raisins are so lovely and the perfect accompaniment to my morning smoothie!
It is also nice to know that using a banana in lieu of applesauce- which I so rarely have on hand – works so well.
Thank you for another amazing recipe!
The best combo! So glad you loved them 🙂
Hi! What if I don’t want to use 1/2 c of maple syrup or honey? Could I drop it down to 1/4 c or omit it all together? Thank you!
Hi! You could probably use 1/4 cup and be fine, but I would suggest adding a few extra tablespoons of milk to replace the moisture lost.
Have made these 3 times,, my kids and I love them – ended up using the applesauce AND a small mashed banana for a bit of extra sweetness and moisture. Sometimes we skip the frosting but it is so easy and delicious
So happy to hear that! Perfect snack 🙂
THE ABSOLUTE BEST CARROT CAKE! I feel like I different person after eating all 12 of these in 2 days. lol im exaggerating a bit but holy cow, these are fantastic! Look no further, this is the best carrot cake Ive ever had. Knowing I can make this makes me so happy. Thanks Monique for making such amazing recipes! Ambitious Kitchen will forever hands down be my go to website for every meal inspo.
Haha love that!! So glad you enjoyed!
I love these muffins and make them all the time! I follow them to the T (except I use flax egg). BUT why do my muffins never look smooth on the top like your pics, (they just look chunky).
I’m so glad! Hmmm it could be a slightly different texture from the flax egg, or try smoothing out the tops a bit before baking!
I used pecans and omitted raisins. So good! Made these for my breakfast meal prep. Excited to start my day with these!!
Love it! Best way to wake up 🙂
I did not know carrots and coconut can work so well together! I left out raisins and cream cheese frosting and the muffins still tasted really good. The perfect simple and healthy breakfast!
Love it! Such a great breakfast or snack 🙂
These muffins are amazing! I made without the glaze and they still were so good! They make a great healthy snack!! I highly recommend this recipe!!!
So glad you loved them!!
Is there sny chance you could convert the Cup measurements inro metric volume as those of us who live on the other side of the Pond have a problem understanding USA Cup measurements. Also our ovens use deg C not F….many thanks.
Hi! Unfortunately I don’t weigh my ingredients, so I’d suggest using an online conversion calculator to help. Let me know how it goes!
Thank you for the recipe! I loved it!
I baked it with all purpose GF flour and banana instead of applesauce. The texture is so good, so yummy. Will try again!
You’re welcome! I’m glad those swaps worked out well 🙂
Made this yesterday with a few substitutes as I didn’t have a bunch of things. I was a bit worried but they turned out to be the best damn muffins. Like easily accessible perfect bites of carrot cake.
I Swapped the applesauce for mashed banana. Swapped the milk for homemade Greek honey yoghurt. Added the sultanas and toasted coconut.
For sugar, I used about a tablespoon of maple syrup (last of the bottle) and 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar. With the mashed, ripe banana and the honey in the yoghurt it was plenty sweet enough!
I also used a mix of wholewheat and white flour (approx ratio whole:white is 40:60).
Final change I made was adding a bunch of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the cream cheese glazing (and omitting the vanilla extract here). I only used 1 tsp of milk then thought about adding lemon juice.
Next time we agreed it could do with even stronger lemon flavour so we will try adding lemon zest as well.
I’m glad those swaps worked out well! Perfect snack 🙂
I just spent the whole evening making these, followed recipe to a T. They are so moist, they taste raw in a way. Terrible. Quite disappointed. Had to throw them all away.
Hi, Jade. So sorry to hear that they didn’t turn out well. I’ve never had that happen! Mine are always a normal fluffy muffin texture. Do you think they were fully cooked?
These are very good. I used canned apricots and pureed for the applesauce. I had a partial can and needed to use. Added 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/8 tsp Chinese 5spice. Used 60 grams raisins. I also added 1/4 cup sugar. Great texture. Used 2egg whites in place of whole egg
This all sounds DELICIOUS! So happy you enjoyed them, Catherine!
Tripled the recipe to use up some carrots and ended up with 36 beautiful muffins, sure to last me months in the freezer! Moist, flavorful, and not too sweet.
Yay! I’m so happy it turned out well and that you’re enjoying them, Jillian! 🙂
These turned out perfectly, Will be using this recipe all the time!
Yay!! So glad to hear that 🙂
Every fall I make these and every fall I am reminded how absolutely delicious they are! LOVE this recipe!
I made these for our Valentine’s Day dessert. These are delicious! I think I prefer these over the full fat and calorie cake. Definitely will be making this recipe again.
Happy you loved them, Torrie! 🙂
These came out really good, super moist and wonderfully flavourful. Will make again and again!
I’m so glad! Thanks so much for leaving a review 🙂
Such an amazing recipe! I baked this in a 8×8 pan for about 30 min rather than making muffins and it turned out perfect! Only swap I made was honey instead of maple syrup, turned out delicious. Everyone loved it!!
I have made this so many times and they are the best muffin recipe!
I was just studying about the nutmeg today and found the same in your lovely recipe. I hope it’ll impart a good flavor. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.
Made these today with the gf alternatives and it was delicious and my kids both loved!
Delicious & healthier variation to other carrot cake recipes. I made these for my son’s 1st birthday & Easter. Plus just for a sweet treat when I have carrots to use up.
Thanks so much, Amy! I’m thrilled to hear you loved them. Such a fun birthday treat for little ones!
Great recipe! The muffins are delicious and perfectly moist. Had to add about 5 min to the baking time – perhaps because I used silpat muffin pan (my fave kitchen product ever). Thanks for sharing a yummy guilt-free recipe!
So happy you loved these!!
Just made these and just modified it ever so slightly with adding the toppings into the batter (raisins, nuts and coconut) and used vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. Turned out beautifully and taste great! I love that it is not too sweet and the glaze was the perfect touch to top these and balance the spices out. A wonderful recipe, I can’t recommend it enough!
Hi, Tammie! So happy you loved these. They are actually supposed to be mixed in, so what you did was correct! 🙂 Thanks so much for the review.
I used honey and about a half teaspoon of maple extract. Also added a little ginger and allspice along with the other spices. I used skim milk and cup 4 cup gluten free flour. I didn’t ice them. They were really yummy.
Made another batch with part white, part whole wheat flour. Used brown sugar, because I was out of honey. Added more applesauce to make up for the liquid. Again, used skim milk and added the extra spices and maple extract. I had a little bit of finely shredded unsweetened coconut, so added that as well. I didn’t ice these either. They were delicious!! This is a keeper!
This is actually Julie again! I forgot to mention— I made 24 muffins out of each batch instead of 12 so didn’t need to bake them as long. They came out like muffin tops! Yum!
Hi! So happy they came out well with those substitutions! Thanks so much for the review 🙂 Glad you enjoyed them!
I made these with my 3 year old daughter for Easter and they were SOOO GOOD that we made them again today! We used Trader Joes all purpose gluten-free flour blend and they came out AMAZING!! Thank you for this amazing recipe! 🙂
Carrot cake is the absolute best. If you want to spruce them up a bit but still stay healthy, https://www.thesugarart.com/ has vegan options! An a pumpkin cocoa bomb tutorial that I LOVE for Fall/Autumn.
These carrot muffins are sooooo delicious .. they hardly seem healthy at all! I’m trying to bake healthy treats for my neighbors with health concerns and these are great! I added raisins and pecans, used an egg white and half of a flax egg, skipped the cream cheese icing and just used a little simple powdered sugar and lemon glaze on half of them. Even my hubby who HATES anything healthy thought they were very good. Monique, thank you for such a delicious and healthy recipe!
This recipe is wonderful!! I usually don’t even make the frosting and they’re still delicious. My toddler absolutely loves them! The only change I make is using brown sugar instead of maple syrup, due to how expensive maple syrup is. I’d definitely recommend this recipe if you’re a carrot cake fan!
So delicious that they don’t need the glaze! Only had organic whole wheat flour on hand and it worked beautifully (maybe add a smidge more milk to balance it). Used raw honey instead of maple syrup, and avocado oil as my chosen oil. Added raisins (plumped in hot water) and chopped pecans. Whole family loved them. Will make again!
Glad to hear that all worked well and that you loved them! Thanks so much for the review 🥰
Absolutely delicious. Moist and not too sweet!
SO glad you love them, Catherine!
Any chance of metric measures and oven temp in centigrade please?
I’d recommend using an online conversion as I don’t have the metric measurements on hand – sorry!
These are delicious! We skipped the glaze and they were still a hit. My toddler just devoured one – he especially loves the raisins. 🙂 Thank you!
Yay!! So glad you both loved them 🙂
I’ve made these twice already and they are amazing! It’s hard to find a recipe that is healthy and actually tastes good so this recipe is a keeper!! The texture is nice and light but with the add-ins like nuts, coconut or dried fruit they are great, hearty snack. I used banana instead of the apple sauce but you can’t taste the banana which is a bonus. Also not too sweet, just perfect with the raisins. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!!!
Making this weekend, with the very ripe banana I have, trying the flax egg option, and adding 1/2 t ground mace in my dear Mom’s memory. If I still have mini cinnamon chips, I may add some of those too. I’ll post on the AK community FB page how they turned out.
I’m always searching for muffin recipes without a lot of sugar and butter or oil so this recipe is perfect. The muffins are light and naturally sweet.
Made these with my kids tonight and they turned out great! We added a little diced pineapple and walnuts to the mix. I wanted to skip the frosting at first, but my kids were persistent, and I’m so glad we did It. It came together so easily without having to lug my KitchenAid out. Thanks!!
Ah yum! So glad these muffins are a hit and everyone is enjoying them ❤️🙂
These are so delicious!!! I actually used your frosting recipe from your carrot cake to top these and they’re divine! Thank you!
These were delicious! I used gluten free 1:1 flour. I also skipped the mix ins and used some cream cheese frosting I had leftover from something else (basically the same recipe). My picky toddler and I loved them!! New go-to recipe!
Delicious!!!! Added dried apricots and walnuts and these were fantastic! The cream cheese glaze is phenomenal!
Sounds delicious! Glad you loved these!
I’ve made these a couple of times. They’re a lovely little treat and 1 of your five a day 😉
I wanted to give them a five star rating but the site wouldn’t let me