Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins

Healthy vegan carrot cake muffins let you enjoy carrot cake for breakfast! These moist muffins are made healthy with warm spices, whole-grains, and applesauce. This vegan muffin recipe is a breakfast-approved twist of one of your all-time favorite recipes.

For more carrot recipes, be sure to try these Carrot Cake Cookies and this Vegan Carrot Cake.

 A spoon is dropping some tasty frosting on vegan carrot cake muffins. There's a white dish with more frosting in the background and more muffins too.

You know, I had my fling with the carrot cake a couple of years ago when I made my first one from scratch. The thing is, I had been an eater of carrot cakes, but never a maker. Now I’m a believer in all things carrots, including these carrot cake muffins.

I like finding easy ways to make things. It’s one reason I based my carrot cake on my easy wacky cake recipe. I added some shredded carrots, nuts, and spices, and voila! If you’d like a healthier twist, be sure and try my Healthy Carrot Cake recipe, too.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Using whole wheat pastry flour adds a healthy kick without impacting the tender texture of these muffins.
  • Fresh carrots add flavor and moisture, making these muffins so delicious.
  • Adding applesauce means soft and tender muffins without lots of added fat.

Recipe Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Whole wheat pastry flour — This is different than whole wheat flour, so if you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour you can combine half all-purpose flour with half whole wheat flour
  • Baking soda — Make sure you use fresh baking soda for the best results
  • Spices — We’ll add both ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg t
  • Salt — A bit of salt adds a desirable complexity of flavor
  • Carrots — One or two fresh carrots should be enough. I don’t even peel the skin. Just wash them off
  • Coconut sugar — You can substitute brown sugar here
  • Vegetable oil — We’ll add just a bit of vegetable oil, I use canola
  • Applesauce — Use unsweetened applesauce for this recipe
  • Chia seeds — The chia seeds serve as an egg replacer. You can substitute ground flax seed too
  • Plant-based milk — You can use any plant-based milk — soy, almond, cashew milk, and more
  • Apple cider vinegar — Vinegar interacts with the baking soda to create lift in these muffins
  • Vegan cream cheese — The frosting will have a little bit of vegan cream cheese for flavor — I typically use Tofutti or Daiya
  • Maple syrup — Any syrup sweetener will do here, such as agave nectar
  • Peanut butter powder — A little bit of peanut butter powder adds a bit more flavor and texture without added sweeteners.

How to Make Carrot Muffins

Making this easy carrot muffins recipe is fun and begins with wholesome ingredients. They’re ready in a few, simple steps, so let’s discuss them.

Step One: Combine Dry Ingredients

Begin by combining the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt in a mixing bowl. Give it a good stir to combine.

Dry ingredients, like flour, in a glass bowl.

Step Two: Prepare the Carrots

Add chopped carrots to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until the carrots are broken down into smaller pieces. Add the coconut sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce, chia seeds, vanilla extract, plant-based milk, and apple cider vinegar. Pulse again until everything is combined.

Ingredients from a food processor are being poured into a glass bowl full of the flour ingredients.

Be sure and leave some bits of carrots! Pour this into the bowl with the flour and stir until just combined.

Step Three: Distribute into Muffin Pan and Bake

Divide the batter equally between the muffin compartments. I think it helps to use a cookie dough or ice cream scoop.

A hand reaches in with a cookie dispenser to add carrot cake muffin batter to an empty compartment of a muffin tin.

Bake the carrot cupcakes for 20 to 22 minutes until the muffins are done. It helps to insert a tester in the center of one of the muffins. If it comes out clean, the muffins are done.

Making Moist Muffins

Oftentimes it’s the fat content that makes muffins so moist. However, I used a different approach by adding applesauce to the recipe. I love how applesauce creates a moist muffin while adding a hint of sweetness to it as well.

Marly’s Tips

Use these tips and tricks in my recipe for perfect carrot muffins:

  • Be sure to have your oven heated and ready to go once you combine the wet and dry ingredients to get fluffy muffins.
  • Make sure you don’t over mix the batter — stir until you don’t see flour pockets.
  • Fill the muffin compartments 3/4 full.
  • Use a cookie scoop to help distribute the batter equally among muffin compartments.
  • This recipe uses applesauce, but you can substitute a mashed banana to make banana carrot muffins.
  • For the moistest muffins, be sure not to overbake muffins.
  • Don’t over-process the carrots. Just make a few short bursts in the food processor until they’re broken down into smaller bits.
  • Wait until the muffins cool before adding the cheesecake drizzle.
  • Transform these into carrot raisin muffins by adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup raisins to the batter before baking.
  • Make these as Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes by adding vegan cream cheese frosting.

One of my favorite healthy but delicious muffins are these Applesauce Muffins. So good!

Healthy Carrot Muffins

We’re all looking for healthy ways to start out our days and these healthy carrot cake muffins deliver on both flavor and healthy. Here’s how:

  • I use whole wheat pastry flour to keep add fiber to make each carrot muffin healthy
  • Carrots are naturally healthy and with lots of beta carotene
  • Making carrot muffins with applesauce helps to keep the fat content down
  • You’ll also find chia seeds as an egg replacer

There are a lot of reasons to love the healthiness of these whole wheat carrot muffins.

More Carrot Cake Recipes

Storage Tips

Allow the muffins to cool completely and then transfer them to an airtight storage container. They can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 to 4 days. You can refrigerate them for up to a week or freeze them for up to 2 months. To thaw, let them out at room temperature for an hour or so.

A vegan carrot cake muffin sits in the foreground with some maple drizzle on the top. There are more muffins int he background.
A spoon is dropping some tasty frosting on a vegan carrot cake muffin. There's a white dish with more frosting in the background and more muffins too.

Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins

You're about to make these delicious Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins, and it's going to be a treat. These easy muffins are made healthy in a stealthy kind of way. And that vegan cream cheese topping makes it even better!
5 from 3 votes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup applesauce , unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ cup plant-based milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Vegan Cream Cheese Drizzle

  • ¼ cup vegan cream cheese , softened
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter powder

Instructions

  • Heat your oven to 350°F. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a medium bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, add the carrots. Pulse until broken down into large pieces. Add coconut sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce, chia seeds, milk, and vinegar. Pulse again until carrots are broken down to grated texture.  
  • Pour the ingredients from the food processor into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined (be careful not to over mix). Divide batter evenly between muffin containers. 
  • Bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Insert a tester in the middle of one of the cupcakes to make sure it comes out clean.  When done, remove from oven and cool for 5 to 7 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool some more.
  • Make cream cheese drizzle by placing vegan cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl with maple syrup. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir the cream cheese and maple syrup together. Add the vanilla and peanut butter powder and stir until you get a spreadable consistency. Drizzle over the top of each muffin.
  • Store muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can freeze these muffins for up to two months.

Recommended Equipment

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Notes

If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can use raw sugar or brown sugar. 
 If you like this recipe, please give it a 5-star rating!
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins
Amount Per Serving
Calories 125 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 188mg8%
Potassium 116mg3%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1805IU36%
Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Enjoy!

This post was originally published in 2018 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.

6 Responses to Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJamie Reply

    Definitely going to try these, but instead of sugar I will use really, really ripe bananas and instead of wheat flour I will use oatmeal ground in my processor. I have been making different versions of muffins using oats and nanners forever. The carrot cake will be a new one. THANKS!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Oh, Jamie. Your changes sound delicious! I think the oat flour will add some extra flavor too. Let me know how it goes!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyElise Reply

    Made these this morning. My toddler and I gobbled them up!
    Only change I made is I finely shredded the carrots instead of chopping and pulsing in food processor, then added them in the bowl with the wet ingredients. Also, I used regular brown sugar in place of coconut sugar.

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyClaudia Reply

    Hi! is there any problem if i just skip the chia? if that’s the case, can i replace with any other ingredient? thank you!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Claudia! Yes, you can absolutely skip the chia! Do you have any ground flax seed? If so, add 1 tablespoon ground flax seed in place of the chia seeds. Or add 1/4 cup applesauce in place of the chia. Hope this is helpful!

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPatt Reply

    Thank you for this delicious recipe! Have you tried adding commonly used additions in carrot cake like crushed pineapple and coconut? They’re in my old favorite recipe, but I ‘m not comfortable experimenting in this period of empty grocery shelves. Thanks in advance!

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