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healthy carrot cake muffins on a wooden board

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!

Course Breakfast, Dessert, Healthy, Muffins, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy carrot cake muffins, moist carrot cake muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 180 kcal
Author Monique Volz of Ambitious Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  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.

  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, applesauce, egg, oil and vanilla. Whisk to combine wet ingredients then slowly stir in milk and flour mixture until just combined. 

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 

  6. 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.

Recipe Notes

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.

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze
Amount Per Serving (1 muffin (with glaze but without mix-ins))
Calories 180 Calories from Fat 35
% Daily Value*
Fat 3.9g6%
Saturated Fat 1.6g10%
Carbohydrates 34.4g11%
Fiber 2.5g10%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 2.8g6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.