These easy carrot cake muffins are scrumptious hand-held treats that are loaded with irresistible flavors and textures you’d expect from a slice of traditional fluffy carrot cake!
These flavorful muffins are moist without being overly sweet and are packed with freshly grated carrots, warm spices, and crunchy walnuts - perfect for an easy breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
Our family loves easy desserts and baking recipes, especially when the fall season rolls around each year.
- Flour - I’ve used all-purpose flour which is a sturdy flour that’s great for holding add-ins like the grated carrot and walnuts so that they don’t sink to the bottom. You can also use whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour like almond flour.
- Butter and eggs - These two ingredients should be at room temperature which will help to incorporate them into the rest of the muffin batter. Unsalted butter is preferable otherwise omit the salt called for in the recipe. If you don’t want to use butter then you can use vegetable oil, canola oil, or even coconut oil instead.
- Sugar - I’ve used granulated white sugar which adds caramelization to the muffins and also offers a crispy outer edge. You could use brown sugar instead or use a combination of white and brown sugar. Brown sugar will create a deeper flavor and a moist texture.
- Carrot - Grating your own carrot will ensure extra flavor in the batter.
- Spices - I’ve used ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon in these carrot cake muffins. They are typical spices used in carrot cake recipes that provide warmth.
- Baking powder and soda - Check the expiration date on your baking powder and baking soda as this will impact the rise of the muffins.
- Vanilla extract - Use a high-quality vanilla extract to elevate the flavor of these muffins. An orange extract with some orange zest would also work really well in these carrot cake muffins.
- Walnuts - These are the most well-known nut used in carrot cake recipes but feel free to use almonds, pecan, or even hazelnuts instead. Keep extra nuts to the side as a possible garnish alongside some seeds like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or caraway seeds.
For the full list of ingredients, please scroll down where you'll find the recipe card.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars on low. Add cold eggs one by one.
One by one add eggs and yolk. Beat on low until all combined. Stir in the grated carrot.
In a separate large bowl combine dry ingredients and then add to wet ingredients. Mix on low until everything combines. Fold in the walnuts.
Divide the wet mixture equally about ¾ full into regular muffin tins with paper liners (I made about 17 muffins out of this batter but you can make more if you make mini muffins).
Decorate with nuts and seeds and more shredded carrots if using.
Bake for 25 minutes. Let the muffins rest in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you love these muffins try our Carrot Cookies next!
- You can cover the muffin cups towards the end of the baking time if you notice that the garnish (nuts, seeds, and extra grated carrot) is starting to get overly brown in color.
- Having the eggs and butter at room temperature assists the muffins in rising well and combining with the flour mixture.
- Since all ovens differ, I suggest checking the muffins by inserting a toothpick into the center. The toothpick should come out moist but clean.
- You can easily double the ingredients to make an extra batch of these sweet muffins and store them away in the freezer to enjoy later.
- You can use muffin liners in the muffin tin or simply spray the muffin tin with baking spray.
- You can use a large cookie scoop to portion out the muffin batter equally. The batter is slightly sticky still.
- This recipe doesn’t add a glaze or cream cheese frosting but if you choose to add a sweet topping like this then be sure to first allow the muffins to completely cool.
- You can either use a box grater or a food processor with a grating attachment to grate the carrot. If using a food processor, be careful that you don’t puree the carrots accidentally
Freezing and Storing Instructions
- To store let the carrot cake muffins cool completely on a wire rack. In an airtight container add a layer of parchment paper.
- In the container, arrange the muffins in a single layer. Add a paper towel layer on top. Store in a cooler place at room temperature for 48 hours. Or refrigerate for 2-3 days.
- However, baked goods (with the exception of meat or chees products) will store better at room temperature. In the fridge, they will dry out quicker.
- You can freeze the muffins right after baking for up to 2-3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. I’ve used all-purpose flour in this carrot muffin recipe but you could use gluten-free flour instead such as Bob’s Red Mill. If you don’t have gluten sensitivities then all-purpose flour is an excellent choice as it’s a very sturdy flour that will help to suspend ingredient add-ins such as the grated carrot, nuts, and golden raisins without them sinking to the bottom of the muffin batter.
I’d say that these moist carrot muffins, while still a sweet treat, are similar to bran muffins in that they pack a lot of healthy fiber thanks to the grated carrot and nuts. The nuts also provide a healthy source of plant-based fat. Aside from that, making your own carrot cake muffins at home will usually always be a healthier option since you have complete control over the ingredients and their quantities. I haven’t added a glaze or frosting to these muffins, so there's no added sugar.
I’ve used butter in these healthy carrot muffins instead of oil so the batter will naturally be thicker than if oil was used. A thick batter is totally normal and will produce soft, moist muffins! Avoid over-stirring the batter otherwise, you’ll end up with dense muffins.
Easy Breakfast Recipes
We love baking recipes, especially refreshing sweet berry muffins for breakfast. Our reader's all-time popular recipes include soft and chewy Cookies and Cream Cookies, moist Peach Cobbler Cake made with fresh peaches and soft and delicious Oatmeal Banana Cookies, and fall season favorite Rustic Apple Galette.
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Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe
- 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup carrot, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup walnuts
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, room temp.
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Garnish: mix of nuts and seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars on low. Add cold eggs one by one.
- One by one add eggs and yolk. Beat on low until all combined. Stir in the grated carrot.
- In a separate large bowl combine dry ingredients and then add to wet ingredients. Mix on low until everything combines. Fold in the walnuts.
- Divide the wet mixture equally about ¾ full into regular muffin tins with paper liners (I made about 17 muffins out of this batter but you can make more if you make mini muffins). Decorate with nuts and seeds and more shredded carrots if using.
- Bake for 25 minutes.