When you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about baking, you know it’s a sign that you should probably do it. Such was the situation I found myself in three nights ago: awake at about 3am dreamily convinced I needed to make carrot cake muffins.
I’m not sure if carrot cake muffins were a real thing prior to my dream, but I can assure you they are now. And they’re delicious. I’m particularly proud of the cream frosting, as being someone who stays away from refined sugars, frostings and toppings of any kind can be a bit of a challenge to make. I think I’ve just about nailed it here, and I hope you think so too. This topping is definitely on the creamier side, so don’t expect a sugary frosting.
A note: Although the frosting is delicious, it does make the muffins that much more decadent. They are equally delicious without it so feel free to skip the topping if you’re looking for something less rich. These muffins will store for a couple of days if covered in the fridge.
Carrot Cake Muffins (vegan, gluten-free & sugar-free)
For the muffins
- 1½ tbsp ground flaxseed, mixed with 4 tbsp water and set aside
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup coconut nectar/maple syrup/agave syrup
- 1 large apple, grated
- 1¼ cup grated carrot
- ½ cup almond milk (unsweetened)
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1¼ cup ground almonds
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- ⅓ cup raisins
For the frosting - ensure all ingredients are chilled
- 1 cup coconut cream (Chill a can of high quality coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Use only the hardened cream that separates from the liquid.)
- ½ cup coconut yoghurt
- 3 tbsp coconut nectar/maple syrup/agave syrup
- ¼ tsp vanilla essence
- ½ tsp lemon juice
For the muffins
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C and grease a 12-muffin tin with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flaxseed, coconut oil and coconut nectar until combined.
- Add the apple, grated carrot and almond milk and whisk again.
- Add the coconut sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ground almonds and rice flour and stir until just combined.
- Gently fold in the walnuts and raisins.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin tins and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes (until a knife comes out of the centre of each muffin clean).
- Leave the muffins in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting
- To make the frosting, chill a large bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. Also ensure all ingredients have been refrigerated (if ingredients are different temperatures it causes the frosting to curdle).
- Using an electric whisk, beat the coconut cream in the chilled bowl until thick and all lumps are removed.
- Gently add in the yoghurt, coconut nectar, vanilla and lemon juice, whilst continually whisking until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes total).
- Refrigerate the frosting until ready for use, then using a spoon or icing bag decorate the top of each muffin with the it. Enjoy!