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Carrot cake muffins offer the deliciousness of carrot cake but in a convenient, handheld form! Warming spices and shredded carrot meet the moistness of muffins in this scrumptious and healthy recipe!

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Over the years I’ve shared about my husband’s love of carrot cake. While I personally wouldn’t want a carrot cake for my birthday (bring on the funfetti for me!) it’s C’s preference so every year on May 22nd, that’s what we do. I mean I can’t be mad that he wants vegetables in his birthday cake!

And while I do love a good cream cheese frosting, carrot cake is simply not feasible or desired the remaining 364 days of the year.

Enter these carrot cake muffins! They’re basically the best of carrot cake but in a smaller bite and with a healthful twist. And given that I’ve made my fair share of carrot cake, you can trust that these muffins have absolutely been put to the test and passed with flying colors!

Why Make This Recipe

They’re Healthy! – Instead of traditional fats and milk like butter and cream, these carrot cake muffins are made with coconut oil and almond milk. They’re also sweetened entirely with maple syrup!

Meal Prep + Freezer Friendly – These carrot cake muffins can easily be baked in advanced and either stored as leftovers or in the freezer. I’d recommend holding off on pre-making the cream cheese frosting and instead frost them fresh but it comes together easily so you can make it right before serving.

An extra serving of veggies – You can easily get a nutrition boost from the shredded carrots which basically means you’re eating carrots for breakfast!

Ingredients in Carrot Cake Muffins

  • All Purpose Flour – you could also use white whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour though I haven’t tested this myself.
  • Baking soda + Baking powder – For rise.
  • Spices – cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg for that traditional carrot cake flavor
  • Salt – This helps to amplify the flavors but you can omit if you’re watching your sodium.
  • Maple Syrup – this is the sweetener I like in these carrot cake muffins. You could also use honey if you prefer.
  • Coconut Oil – I’ve used coconut oil to keep these blueberry banana muffins dairy-free but you could also use butter.
  • Almond milk – you could also use a different dairy-free milk or regular dairy milk.
  • Egg – 1 large egg to help muffins bind and a source of protein.
  • Vanilla extract – All you need is 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to add a delicious vanilla bean flavor.
  • Carrot – 1 cup of grated carrot which is roughly 1 large carrot
  • Nuts – chopped pecans or walnuts are my favorite but you can use whatever you prefer or omit if nut free.
  • Raisins – wouldn’t be a carrot cake recipe without raisins!

How to Make Carrot Cake Muffins

STEP 1: MIX DRY INGREDIENTS

In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices + salt.

dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

STEP 2: MIX WET INGREDIENTS + COMBINE

In a large bowl stir together maple syrup, coconut oil, almond milk, egg and vanilla extract. Slowly add flour mixture to wet ingredients. Fold in shredded carrot, nuts + raisins.

carrot cake muffin batter in a large bowl

STEP 3: BAKE MUFFINS

Divide batter evenly into muffin pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and tops spring back. Test muffins by inserting a toothpick into center and when it comes out clean, muffins are ready. Allow to cool in tin for 20 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

baked carrot cake muffins in a metal muffin tin.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

This maple cream cheese frosting requires just 2 ingredients!

  • 1/3 cup whipped Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp Maple syrup

Just whisk together until super creamy and then spread on the carrot cake oatmeal bars as soon as they’ve cooled. This cream cheese maple frosting is seriously addicting.

maple cream cheese frosting in a blue and white bowl with a whisk

Easy Swaps + Substitutions

These carrot cake muffins taste delicious as is but there are a couple of swaps & substitutions you can make if required or desired.

  • Change the milk – I like unsweetened almond milk in these muffins but any dairy or non-dairy milk will do.
  • Substitute the flour – I have tested these with all-purpose regular white flour. I would imagine they would work with gluten-free flour or whole wheat flour (for a fiber boost!) but note I have not tested them myself.
  • Swap the coconut oil – don’t have coconut oil or allergic to coconuts? Feel free to substitute with butter. Just be sure to melt it.
  • Bake in a loaf pan – prefer a loaf to muffins? Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.

Storage Instructions

Let these carrot cake muffins cool completely before placing them in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to three days if you omit the cream cheese frosting. Otherwise store muffins in the fridge for up to 3 days if using cream cheese frosting.

*Freezer Tip

 Do not frost with cream cheese frosting! Store muffins in a single layer in a large ziploc bag (you may need to use more than one bag). Remove from freezer a few hours before eating to bring to room temperature. Feel free to make cream cheese frosting before eating.

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Carrot Cake Muffins

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Carrot cake muffins offer the deliciousness of carrot cake but in a convenient, handheld form! Warming spices and shredded carrot meet the moistness of muffins in this scrumptious and healthy recipe!

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Bake
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated carrot (about 1 large carrot)
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins

For the maple cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/3 cup whipped cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or silicone cups.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
  4. In a large bowl mix maple syrup, coconut oil, almond milk, egg and vanilla extract.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
  6. Fold in shredded carrot, nuts + raisins.
  7. Divide batter evenly into muffin tin.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and tops spring back. Test muffins by inserting a toothpick into center and when it comes out clean, muffins are ready. Allow to cool in tin for 20 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the maple cream cheese frosting:

  1. Whisk together cream cheese and maple syrup.
  2. Spread onto muffins (if desired) once cooled.

Meet the Maven

Hi! I'm Davida and welcome to my corner of the internet. I'm a wellness blogger, yoga teacher, certified herbalist, and green beauty lover.

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