The BEST Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins made with your favorite mix-ins, and topped with a dreamy delicious, lightened up “Cream Cheese” frosting. If you are a carrot cake fan, you will LOVE these muffins!
Guys. I’m having a bit of a love affair with these Carrot Cake Muffins.
I mean, I always thought Chocolate Cake was my favorite, but Carrot Cake is coming in HOT…and after testing these Carrot Cake Muffins for the better part of the last month, I’m still craving them.
And don’t let the semantics sway you from making these for your Easter dessert, birthday, or random Tuesday that you are craving Carrot Cake, because I could just as easily call these Carrot Cake Cupcakes or even bake these muffins into a cake and it would totally be fitting. So what I am saying is, call them what you want and make them ASAP. You won’t regret it!
Healthy Carrot Cake Muffin Ingredients + Subs
These Carrot Cake Muffins are inspired by one of my favorite Carrot Cake recipes that is made from Almond Flour, but since I love the texture and flavor of combining almond flour with oat flour like in my Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins, I decided to go that route. And it was a damn good decision.
Here’s everything you need to make these yummy muffins!
- oat flour – It’s so easy to make your own Oat Flour just from regular rolled oats! Just add your oats to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until the oats become a fine flour.
- almond flour – I recommend using a fine blanched almond flour. Make sure you pack the almond flour like you would with brown sugar!
- salt and spices- just a pinch of salt to bring out the natural sweetness of the cake and my favorite carrot cake spices cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Feel free to adjust these to fit your taste.
- baking soda – I use baking soda, not powder for this. Tip: be sure your box isn’t old, as your baked goods won’t come out as good if it’s been sitting around for awhile!
- eggs at room temperature – if you are in a hurry, place your eggs in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to take the chill out
- pure maple syrup – you could also swap in honey if you would like, but I LOVE the flavor that maple syrup brings to this and the extra moisture it gives to the muffins
- pure vanilla extract – just an essential
- unsweetened almond milk – you could also swap in any plant based milk or dairy milk that you have on hand
- coconut or avocado oil (melted if using coconut) – both of these oils work great
- apple cider vinegar (or fresh lemon juice) – this will help activate the baking soda but remove any baking soda taste from the muffins. You won’t taste it at all.
- carrots – freshly peeled and grated carrots (I used my food processor) – not baby carrots – will give you the perfect sweetness want to see. If you have picky family members, you can use a box grater for smaller carrot pieces, but the food processor is so fast and easy, it’s my favorite way to grate them!
Healthy Carrot Cake Mix-ins
I asked in my Ask the Fit Foodie Group about Carrot Cake Mix ins, and wow…you guys really have some strong opinions on what gets stirred into your carrot cake besides, well, the carrots! So you can pick and choose what you want to add or don’t add anything at all. Do you!
- chopped nuts – I love using walnuts or pecans in these
- raisins – I love the extra sweetness that raisins provide
- pineapple – this is a super controversial one…but some people love to add pineapple to their carrot cake. I actually prefer them without, but if this is your thing, go for it!! You can add 1/3 cup of crushed pineapple that has been drained really well.
These muffins are super yummy with the mix of oat flour and almond flour, so I highly recommend following the recipe as-is. But if you are in a pinch, or have an almond allergy, you can try them with all oat flour. (Remember the food processor trick from above!) Also – if you aren’t gluten free, and want to try a version made with whole wheat flour, my friend Stephanie has a yummy Carrot cake recipe, too!
Lightened Up Cream Cheese Frosting
The most intimidating part of making a Healthy Carrot Cake for the blog was deciding how to make a Cream Cheese Frosting when cream cheese isn’t on the list for the 21 Day Fix. I know Autumn uses it in some of her recipes on Fixate, but she is Autumn and can do what she wants. And I’m just Nancylynn trying to make sense of it all. Anywho…
You could use a lighter cream cheese for this frosting if you wanted to, but I do feel like I struck gold with my recent discovery of Laughing Cow Cheese. Guys…these little cheese wedges are so light and creamy, you can have three for a half of a blue on the FIX. And when you add some sweetener to them, like I did for this frosting recipe, it totally tastes like traditional Cream Cheese Frosting.
Have extra cheese? Try this Mini Cheesecake Recipe!
Is Powdered Sugar Approved for the Fix?
Unlike the gray area that is Cream Cheese, powdered sugar is totally a go for the Fix because the list only says sugar. It doesn’t specify what kind of sugar. Plus Powdered Sugar is just basically sugar with cornstarch or arrowroot. You can even make your own powdered sugar at home! If I am buying it at the store, I look for an organic Powdered Sugar, but any will do for this recipe.
It’s so freaking good, you guys. And I have big plans for using this Laughing Cow Combo in the future, too!
I don’t like frosting. Can I make these Carrot Cake Muffins without it?
Yes, totally! That is one of the best things about these little delights! They work with frosting, without frosting, as a breakfast, as a snack, as a dessert. I may have also eaten them for lunch one of my many testing days 😂. That’s normal, right?
How to store these muffins
For best results, I store these in the fridge for up to five days.
Can I freeze these Carrot Cake Muffins?
Yes! I made five different batches during testing, so I did end up freezing some and they work amazing! Just store them in a freezer bag or Stasher bag and grab them out to thaw when the craving strikes!
Are these muffins gluten free?
Yes! And dairy free, too. The frosting is also gluten free, but it does contain dairy. If you are looking for a dairy free sub for the frosting, you could try dairy free cream cheese! Once of my readers did this with great results!
All of that being said, these carrot cake muffins delicious whether you eat gluten or not and they are packed with extra protein and fiber from the oat and almond flour.
Looking for more delicious gluten free muffin and cake recipes? Check these out-
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Healthy Banana Oatmeal Blender Muffins
Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons oat flour don’t have oat flour? Make your own by grinding oats in your food processor or blender!
- 1 cup packed almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger optional
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of your choice
- 2 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil melted if using coconut
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- 1 ¼- 1½ cups grated carrots I used my food processor but you can grate them for smaller pieces
- ¼ cup chopped nuts walnuts or pecans are great
- ½ cup raisins
- 1/3 cup crushed pineapple very well drained optional
- 6 wedges Laughing Cow Creamy Light Cheese sub Dairy Free Cream Cheese if dairy free
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5-6 tablespoons Organic Powdered Sugar
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with parchment liners.
- Mix oat flour, almond flour, salt, spices, and baking soda in a medium sized bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, beat eggs, then whisk in maple syrup vanilla, almond milk, oil and apple cider vinegar.
- Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined – overmixing will affect the texture!
- Fold in your mix-ins of choice.
- Using a cookie scoop or ¼ measuring cup, scoop the batter evenly into 12 muffin tins.
- Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the muffins are set. **If you use the pineapple, this may take a little longer.
- While the muffins are baking, combine laughing cow cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Whip the frosting lightly with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer. You could also just use a whisk if you don’t have anything else. Allow frosting to chill in the fridge.
- After muffins are done baking, allow them to cool completely before frosting or enjoying. This is especially important if you use the pineapple!
- Frost each cupcake with ~2 tsp of the frosting and enjoy! These are also delicious without the frosting if you want a less sweet muffin.
Hi! Excited to make these. Is one muffin considered a serving or two? For container counting purposes, if I eat two, am I eating more than my allotment for the day? Thank you!
The container counts at the bottom of the recipe card are per muffin. You are welcome to eat two if it fits into the rest of your day, but you can totally make that work!
Can I freeze these? Should I freeze with or without frosting?
Totally! I have frozen them with frosting and it worked out fine, but I would probably recommend freezing without the frosting and then making it fresh, if you can!
Easter’s in 5 days and that means that I’m 5 days away from a day I’ve been tottttttally looking forward to! Easter= carrot cake cupcakes! This recipe is every bit of amazing… perfect for any carrot cake lover who’s looking for a healthier option. These are a fun tradition I have worked into our Easter dinner. I highly recommend everyone else to do the same!
This looks so yummy, but what do you recommend for those that are extremely allergic to treenuts/peanuts (almond flour sub) and eggs (I typically use applesauce, but that obviously would change the purple count). Thanks!
You can try all oat flour instead of using almond flour, and instead of eggs how about a flax egg? Applesauce can work too!
If I were to leave off the frosting, what would the container count be? Not that I actually want to leave off the DELICIOUS frosting, but then I could have more than one and not feel as guilty 🙂
Without frosting 1 muffin = 1/2 YELLOW, 1/2 TSP, 1/3 PURPLE SWAP (raisins), 2 sweetener tsp, (trace BLUE if you use nuts)
Carrot cake is my favorite and these didn’t disappoint at all! Thank you!!
This is awesome, Jennifer ❤️❤️❤️. Thank you for taking the time to rate and review!!!
Making these tonight for the second time in about a week but this time I’m doubling the recipe!!!! These muffins are the bomb! I follow the muffin recipe exactly including the add-ins of nuts (pecans), raisins and pineapple but I don’t make the icing. Honestly, they are so good without it that I don’t even miss it! Patrick and Molly love them too! For those who are asking, if I did it correctly on MyFitness Pal, they come out to 127 calories each muffin without the icing. Thanks for another great recipe Nancylynn!
Thank you soo much for posting this information! So helpful to other readers!
Leslie Cady says
My 17-year-old son and my husband devoured these muffins. I was greatly surprised as they are both picky little poops. Little do they know what’s inside and that it’s actually good for them. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!
YAY! This made my day, Leslie! And picky little poops is my new fave phrase 😂
robyn Kungl says
All I have to say is…. you are a genius!!
I love this recipe! I am thinking about starting using the 21 day fix meal plan, as I am doing LIIFT4 and wanna get the most out of the program. I was looking on the food lists on the BOD website and i couldn’t see cream cheese on the Blue Container list. can you please tell me how you know it counts as a blue container?
You’re right, cream cheese isn’t on the list. I talked a little bit about it in the post, so check it out for more info. But the short answer is that the Laughing Cow cheese wedges count as a blue.
can we sub out the oat flour?
Hi! You can try white, whole wheat, or gluten free flour in place of the oat flour, but I haven’t tested it! Let us know if you do!
Also, if you have oats you can make your own oat flour at home by throwing in a food processor until it forms a flour!
I made these today and just wanted to let you know they are absolutely amazing!! I couldn’t find the light cheese so I just used the regular laughing cow. The icing is to die for! Thanks for all the great healthy recipes!
Thank you soooo much! Glad you liked them!
Deanna Hughes says
I love that you don’t stop with the recipe – you teach the how and the why! These are incredible! I do use them as a treat swap as well (keeps me honest hahaha – same with your instant pot apples with crispy topping LOL)
I had some currants left over from a recipe, and sprinkled those onto the “frosting,” – o wow.
Your blog has changed UPF for me and made it workable. I keep checking your recipes for a link to something I need to order cuz somehow I need to thank you for all of this!
Like… the brownies. Omigosh – THE BROWNIES!
I swear I make your veggie recipes too!
This is the absolute best compliment! Thank you so incredibly much!! And you are so kind to think of using the links, it’s so thoughtful! Enjoy alllll the recipes- desserts and veggies alike! 😉
I made the muffins with just carrots and raisins, but don’t use the 21 day fix or WW, do you know the calories for these muffins. Thanks.
Readers find MyFitnessPal really helpful for counting calories on Confessions recipes. They have a convenient copy and paste feature now, too!
Can I substitute white or wheat flour for almond flour? I don’t have a gluten allergy, so I never get almond flour.
If so – what would the substitution be?
Unfortunately almond flour doesn’t have a great 1:1 substitute. You could try using all oat flour in these muffins, but I haven’t tested it. Let us know if you do!
Can you use all almond flour and no oat flour?
It hasn’t been tested, but we don’t recommend using all almond flour, as the texture will likely be a little off!
Jess Ivanoski says
I can’t find the exact ingreditents/directions for the cream cheese frosting. Can you please send it to me? these look AMAZING. Carrot cake was one of our favorite desserts…but now I have an intolerance to dairy & my husband has celiac…this could be the solution to being able to enjoy carrot cake again! Thank you 🙂
These sound like the perfect solution for your dietary needs! Yay! The ingredients and directions for the frosting are on the recipe card.
One of the nutritionists that monitors the official monthly fix Beachbody group said that 3 wedges of laughing cow cheese is considered a full blue and also a treat. So this would be considered a treat swap because of the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and maple syrup. If a recipe has more than 2 or more treat ingredients it is considered a treat swap.
Hey Bethany – I think if someone wants to count these as a treat swap, that would actually be ok. However, I don’t agree that three wedges of laughing cow cheese – especially the light which is what I use here – equals a full blue, nor do I understand why they would be a treat swap. In addition, maple syrup and sugar are both on the list under the coffee bar and these muffins are less than 4tsp of sugar each, which is what is allotted per day according to the coffee bar. So that is why I count the containers and the sweetener spoons. BUT…I also think if someone wants to keep it easy and call these a treat, that’s cool, too. Hope that helps!
Dianna Golombek says
Is there no green container in these for the carrots? 21 day fix
It’s technically 1/8 Green or less per muffin, but I don’t count it because it is such a small amount!
Hi I am wanting to make these today but the ingredients doesn’t show how many eggs?
The directions Says mix eggs
Omg lol I found it sorry 🤣
I swear I scrolled several times and was like where are eggs lol
Glad you found it!