Muffins have been my saving grace when life gets busy and I need ‘on the go snacks’. Throughout the last couple of years I have baked enough muffins to supply the army, and then some. During one muffin crazed college semester, I baked a new batch of muffins every week. I tried ingredients that probably should not have been in muffins. Flax seeds, blueberries, cranberries, lemon, orange, almonds, chocolate, zucchini, pumpkin, sweet potato etc. You name it, I think I have baked it.
If anybody out there knows me even the slightest bit, you know carrot cake is my achilles heal when it comes to dessert. It all started when my mom made a carrot cake for my birthday. I had my best friend with me, we ended up eating the whole sheet cake by dawn the next morning. Carrot cake unknowingly became our friendship tradition. Let me tell you, carrot cake decorated with cream cheese icing weighs about 10 pounds on the pan and about 15 in your stomach. To this day, I still can’t resist a bite of my mom’s traditional carrot cake.
Carrot cake.. don’t be fooled by the little vegetable in the name, it’s not angelic. Baked with more sugar, flour, eggs, and butter than carrots, this is when it turns on you. The health benefits go down, and the fat and calories go sky rocket. When my best friend went gluten free, I knew I had to create a gluten free version of our special treat. I headed straight to the kitchen, pulled out the mixing bowls and went to work. Not only is this recipe gluten free, but it also lacks the eggs, butter, and white sugar, which reduces the calories and fat.
*note– I included a recipe for cream cheese icing that does contain white sugar (but no butter), the muffins still taste great without the icing if you’re looking for a healthier option.
makes 10 regular sized muffins
For the cake
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
- can substitute for regular all-purpose flour
- 1 cup ground oatmeal flour
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup grated carrots
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup apple sauce
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp water
For the icing – (optional)
- 1/3 cup cream cheese
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 Tbsp water
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
- Grease a 12-count muffin tin with olive oil or use muffin liners
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, chopped walnuts, and baking soda
- Mix the dry ingredients together until well combined
- In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, combine the grated carrots, brown sugar, apple sauce, coconut oil, and water
- Stir the wet ingredients together until well combined
- Pour the carrot mixture into the dry mixture and fold until all the flour is incorporated. Careful not to over mix, this could cause the muffins to become too dense
- Separate the batter into individual muffin liners, filling the muffin liners 3/4 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
- Let cool for 20 minutes
- OPTIONAL– While the muffins are cooling, wisk together the cream cheese icing ingredients until it forms a smooth texture
- OPTIONAL– Once the muffins are cool, glaze the icing on top of each muffin separately
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. ENJOY!
All photos used in this article were taken by Stephanie Rackley for and by The Healthy Chew
-all rights reserved
This is an original ‘Healthy Chew’ recipe- all rights reserved
For Jessica Stovall
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email me at StephanieRackley@thehealthychew.org