These Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins are easy to make with oatmeal, lots of fresh carrots, and a handful of other simple and healthy ingredients. Feel free to top them with a lightened-up cream cheese drizzle too!
Healthy Carrot Muffin Ingredients:
- 2 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats*
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or your preferred kind of milk)
- 1 cup (5 ounces) shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or any mild-flavored oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup optional add-ins (chopped pecans or walnuts, raisins, shredded coconut, or chocolate chips*)
- coarse turbinado sugar (optional)
Cream Cheese Drizzle Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup low-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 to 3 teaspoons almond milk (or your preferred kind of milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prep oven and muffin pan. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners, or lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Purée oats. Purée the oats in a blender or food processor until they reach a flour-like consistency. Add in the baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, ginger, nutmeg, and pulse a few more times until the mixture is evenly combined. Set aside.
- Mix the ingredients. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, shredded carrots, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract until evenly combined. Fold the oatmeal mixture in with the wet ingredient mixture, along with any optional add-ins, and stir until the mixture is just combined. (Try to avoid over-mixing.)
- Prep the baking cups. Portion the batter evenly into prepared baking cups. Then sprinkle a generous pinch of turbinado sugar on top of each cup of muffin batter, if you would like.
- Bake. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire cooling rack until the muffins cool to room temperature.
- Make the cream cheese drizzle. While the muffins bake, whisk together the cream cheese drizzle ingredients in a small mixing bowl until smooth. If the drizzle seems too thin, add in a few extra tablespoons of powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add in a tiny extra splash of milk.
- Serve. Once the muffins have cooled to room temperature, use a fork or a piping bag to top each muffin with your desired amount of cream cheese drizzle. Serve immediately, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate the muffins for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Oat flour: Alternately, you can sub in in 220 grams (7.75 ounces) oat flour. And as always, be sure to use certified gluten-free ingredients if making this recipe gluten-free.
Optional add-ins: Feel free to add 2/3 of extra add-ins total to this recipe, such as chopped nuts (I’d recommend chopped pecans or walnuts), raisins (or dried cranberries or cherries), shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened), chocolate chips (semisweet or white) — or a combination of any of these.
Prep time: The prep time listed above does not include the amount of time needed to let these muffins cool, which can vary between about 30-60 minutes. That said, if you’re in a hurry, you can always eat the muffins right away without the cream cheese drizzle, or spread the cream cheese frosting on with a knife as a spread.