Healthy Carrot Muffins are the best thing to add to your kids’ lunchbox this spring! They’re also delicious for Easter or Mother’s Day brunch, and you can even freeze them to always have a quick breakfast on the go on hand.
Are you as obsessed with carrot cake as I am? Well, good. We can be friends, then.
I don’t know. There’s just something about it. Maybe my fond memories of carrot birthday cakes, studded with a million marzipan carrots ❤ (And no, my mom wasn’t mean and denied me chocolate cake, but I was a spring baby AND I’ve always loved carrot cake 🐰)
I don’t really have a set preference for carrot cakes. I like spongy ones as well as really moist and dense ones. I like cream cheese frosting on top or icing, or nothing. I like them as a layer cake, as a sheet cake, as a bread. I guess the only things that bother me are a) dry carrot cake and b) pineapple in carrot cake.
No. Go away.
I might change my mind about the pineapple some day, because I do generally love pineapple. But the dryness? Nah-ah.
I already have a recipe for very, very dense and moist and also super healthy carrot muffins here on the blog, so I wanted to give you a lighter, more kid-friendly one, too. Bonus points because this one is positively PACKED with shredded carrots – great to sneak veggies into your family’s diet!
What I love about these healthy carrot muffins:
- Easy to make! Seriously. My other carrot muffins are a bit complicated, but this one? A case of mix dry – mix wet – combine – bake. My kids love helping!
- They freeze really well. I freeze muffins all the time and not all recipes taste that amazing when defrosted. But these? I think I might like them even better after being frozen. Ha!
- They’re made from real ingredients. No refined sugar, no processed fats and no artificial anything! And there’s a lot of shredded carrot in these, not just an alibi amount. You can send these to school with your kids without any guilt. If you’re at a nut free school, just make sure to leave out the optional walnuts!
But I think the part I like best about these muffins… Is eating them. One of my absolutely favorite healthy spring-inspired muffin recipes I have here on the blog to date! And I do have a few… Healthy High Protein Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Greek Yogurt, Healthy Blueberry Lemon Muffins… Oh, and an evergreen Double Chocolate Banana Muffins recipe. Did I mention I love muffins?
By the way, if you don’t have white whole wheat flour, you can do half whole wheat and half white. It works like a charm! You could probably even do 100% regular whole wheat, as I do in my whole wheat banana bread without any issues. (Also, the Cinnamon Crunch Banana Bread is out of this world amazing for a special brunch treat!)
No I know I said these are super easy, but I’m just going to give you a few tips for making them anyways. I like to make sure to warn you of any little mishaps or questions you might run into, so you can be sure this is an absolutely foolproof recipe!
How to Make Healthy Carrot Muffins:
- Start by preheating the oven and lining a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- Mix all dry ingredients very well. I use a balloon whisk for this, as I want the baking power and soda to distribute evenly all among the flour.
- Mix all wet ingredients EXCEPT for the walnuts and carrots in a separate bowl or measuring jug. A measuring jug makes it easy to transfer the wet to the dry ingredients!
- Once the wet ingredients are all whisked together and smooth, add the shredded carrots and walnuts, if using. I add these ingredients after mixing the rest, because that way it’s easier to make sure the eggs are completely whisked in.
- Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. This is important, if you overmix you’ll end up with dense and chewy muffins. Some flecks of dry flour are totally fine!
- Divide the batter between the prepped muffin cups. I like using a large cookie scoop like this one – so mess free and easy! FYI, I make a commission for purchases made through this link.
- Bake the muffins. This is the only thing I do a little more complicated than most recipes. I start at a high temperature, then lower it after the first 5 minutes in the oven. That way the muffins will get a fast initial rise and you’ll get a nicer dome.
- Cool the muffins first in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them and cool on a rack. This will help the muffins to firm up, but prevent them from getting “sweaty” and collecting moisture at the bottom, turning them soggy.
Maybe this sounds intimidating and like a lot (especially if you’ve never made muffins from scratch before), but I promise these are simple to make. If you just carefully follow the recipe step by step and make them a few times, you’ll be whipping them up in your sleep.
Sigh. But just look at these healthy carrot muffins one more time:
My carrot cake obsession is definitely not going away any time soon. Gosh I LOVE carrot cake anything!
Get the printable recipe for these Healthy Carrot Muffins:
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons apple pie spice mix
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce, mine is quite thick and creamy
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup oil, or melted butter
- 2 large eggs
- Zest of 1/2 orange, optional
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots, about 4 large
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or lightly grease.
- Mix dry ingredients: Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, apple pie spice mix and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients: Whisk together all renaming ingredients EXCEPT for the carrots and walnuts until smooth.
- Combine wet and dry: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add the carrots and walnuts and fold together just until combined. Do not overmix!
- Divide between muffin cups: Using an ice cream or cookie scoop, evenly divide the muffin batter between the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake: Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C). Bake the muffins for 5 minutes. Without opening your oven, reduce the oven temperature to 360°F (180°C) and finish baking the muffins for another 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out just clean. Do not overtake, or the. muffins will be dry.
- Cool: Cool the muffins in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them from the pan to cool completely on a cooling rack.