Brunch this Week: Carrot Cake Muffins

by Rebekahcooked up on April 15, 2012

Thank goodness it’s only Sunday! Yesterday we ran a bazillion errands and there’s still more things to do (but most of the ones left are fun!). We also spent the evening with friends, grilled out and ate delicious kebabs and pasta salad, which was an excellent, relaxing way to end the day. AND, our friends’ baby and I bonded in a totally new way: apparently my finger tastes AWESOME.

But, time to hit the rewind button to talk about this recipe, which we made yesterday morning. In keeping with our love of delicious breakfasts and with the fact that we have four partial bags of carrots in the crisper, Dave had the idea of making carrot cake muffins for the weekend.

We didn’t do a frosting or glaze, because the recipe was so good on its own, it didn’t need anything in addition. These were only slightly sweet – even though carrot cake functions like a muffin recipe normally (so sayeth Alton), this recipe is not just carrot cake made in muffin tins. It’s less sweet and contains whole wheat flour (unless you happen to not have any on hand, which we did not 🙂 ).

This recipe was only very slightly modified from the New York Times Recipes for Health.

You will need:

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour (original called for whole wheat – these muffins were the perfect consistency with AP – if you go with whole wheat I would add a little more milk and a little more baking soda)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk (I didn’t have any – subbed milk + 1 Tbsp. vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup raisins, tossed with 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots

It’s kind of a long list, but almost all of it is probably in your pantry.

As with all muffin recipes, this one uses “The Muffin Method.” Use a whisk to gently mix together the wet ingredients wand the sugar. Stir the dry ingredients together separately (excluding the carrots and raisins).

Add the liquid to the solid all at once, and stir as little as possible to combine. I recommend using a large whisk and stirring no more than 5-10 big strokes. When all of the flour has been worked into the liquid, add the carrots and raisins and gently fold in – it should take fewer than five more stirs to blend it together.

Pour into a well-greased muffin tin and bake at 375 for exactly 25 minutes. You can double-check if you want (or if your oven is historically funky), but this made mine totally perfect.

The recipe will make 15 smaller muffins, or if you like them to be a little bigger, the batter will all fit into 12 muffin tins and doesn’t expand enough that it would be a problem.


  1. […] Carrot cake muffins. No frosting or glaze needed. GET THE RECIPE, via PDX Food […]

    Pingback by Seasonal & Healthy Diet-Friendly Easter Brunch Recipes — March 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm

  2. Do you know the calories?

    Comment by Kerr — May 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm

  3. Hey Kerr, I just tried to figure it up, and here’s what I came up with – we split the batter between 15 muffins, but you might be able to fit into 12:
    If you make 15 muffins: Approx. 173 calories each
    If you make 12 muffins: Approx. 217 calories each

    Hope that helps! Thanks for reading 🙂

    Comment by bekky — May 15, 2013 at 7:18 pm

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Other brunch recipes to try:

Five Ingredient Mini-Quiches

One of my favorite breakfast and lunch treats - miniaturized and made in a muffin tin.

Pumpkin Maple Bundt Cake

This stunner belongs in your holiday get-togethers!

PB&J Smoothie Bowl

In the summer heat, it's all about the cold, easy breakfasts. But in my house, they'll be healthy, too :)