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-
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.