Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe

This Carrot Cake Muffin recipe is a delicious and easy way to enjoy the classic dessert in a portable form. Made with fresh grated carrots, and warm spices, these muffins are moist, flavorful, and perfect for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

Not only are these muffins tasty, but they are also packed with nutrients. So, you can feel good about enjoying one of these treats in the morning. 

Carrot cake muffins on a white serving dish with a brown rim around it.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • These homemade carrot muffins taste just like your favorite muffins from coffee shops but are made in your kitchen. 
  • It’s a great way to use up leftover carrots before they go bad. 
  • I used some healthier ingredients by cutting most of the all-purpose flour for oat bran and whole wheat flour. I also replaced some of the oil with applesauce.
  • They also make a delicious grab-and-go breakfast for busy mornings. 

Are you looking for another traditional muffin recipe to make for your family? If so, check out these Protein Pumpkin Muffins. They are another great way to start your day.  

A muffin sliced in half on a white serving plate.

Ingredients Needed

​While this ingredient list may seem a little long you may have many of these on hand already. If not, a quick trip to the grocery store will have you well-prepared for these delicious muffins.

Dry Ingredients

  • whole wheat flour – I use white pastry whole wheat flour. This flour is light and fluffy.
  • all-purpose flour
  • oat bran – Found in the cereal aisle of the grocery store. I like Bob’s Red Mill brand.
  • sweeteners: brown sugar, granulated sugar. You can also lower the carbs by using a sugar alternative like golden monk fruit.
  • leavening agents: baking powder and baking soda
  • Spices: ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground ginger
  • salt

Wet Ingredients

  • large eggs
  • milk – any variety will work in this recipe. I like to use unsweetened almond milk.
  • canola oil – any neutral-tasting oil can be used for the oil.
  • unsweetened applesauce – this ingredient cuts the fat used in the recipe, but still adds moisture to the muffins.
  • vanilla extract
  • grated carrots
  • chopped walnuts or pecans (optional) – nuts add texture.
Ingredients to make carrot cake muffins.

How to Make This Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe

This is a quick overview of the steps that you need to follow to make this delicious recipe. You can find the full ingredients in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. 

Step 1: Preheat the oven and prepare your muffin pan. 

Preheat oven to 350° degrees. Prepare muffin pan by lightly coating them with baking cooking spray or use paper muffin liners.

Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients. 

Dry ingredients for muffins in a blue mixing bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, oat bran, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and salt.

Step 3: Combine the wet ingredients.

In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients; eggs, oil, applesauce, milk, and vanilla.

Wet ingredients for muffins in a blue flowered mixing bowl.

Step 4: Finish the batter

Pour wet ingredients into the dry mixture until incorporated (don’t over-mix).

Wet ingredients added to dry ingredients to make the muffin batter.

Step 5: Add Carrots and Nuts (optional)

Gently fold in the shredded carrots and chopped nuts if using. Again, don’t overmix.

Shredded carrots added to the muffin batter.

Step 6: Bake the muffins.

Fill each muffin cup about halfway and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown. After 10 minutes, place on a baking cooling rack.

Baked carrot cake muffins in the tin cooling.

What To Serve With This Dish 

These healthy carrot cake muffins are delicious with a cup of coffee or hot tea in the mornings. However, if you want to add a little protein to these muffins you can also pair them with a main entree like this Green Chile Egg Casserole.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Swap out the canola oil and use sour cream for extra moisture in your muffins. 
  • Don’t have canola oil? You can use any type of flavorless oil that you have on hand in your kitchen. 
  • Want to add a little extra sweetness? Add a smear of velvety cream cheese frosting on top of each muffin for some extra rich flavor. 
  • Looking to add a drizzle of frosting? Use the cream cheese frosting from this Carrot Cake Loaf recipe.

    Freezing: You can also freeze them for longer storage. Wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe bag. They will last up to 2-3 months in the freezer.

Carrot cake muffin sliced in half next to a cup of coffee ready to enjoy.

How To Store

Storage – Store the leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just make sure that you only store completely cooled muffins, otherwise, moisture may get trapped in the container. 

Freezing: You can also freeze them for longer storage. Wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer-safe bag. They will last up to 2-3 months in the freezer.

Sandra’s Pro Tips

​Here are a few tips that you can use to ensure that this recipe turns out perfectly for you when you make it.

  • For the best results, I recommend that you grate the carrots yourself instead of using the shredded carrots from the grocery store. You will get the best flavor from the freshly grated carrots.
  • Use the small holes on your grater. The carrots will be soft when baked.
  • Allow the muffins to cool for 10-15 minutes before you remove the muffin cups from the pan and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack. 
  • Don’t have a box grater to shred the carrots? You can use a food processor also. 
  • I like to use a regular bag of carrots instead of baby carrots when I am making a carrot recipe like this one. 
Carrot Cake Muffins-whole-wheat-breakfast-brunch-healthier


Do you have questions about this carrot cake muffin recipe? Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about this recipe. 

How can you tell muffins are done baking? 

A muffin is done with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin that comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached.  

Why do my muffins come out flat? 

Flat muffins can be the result of over-mixing the batter, using old baking powder, or not filling the muffin cups enough. Make sure to gently fold in your dry ingredients and check the expiration date on your baking powder. Also, fill your muffin cups at least 2/3 full for a better rise.

Should I spray my muffin liners with cooking spray?

If you are using paper muffin liners, there is no need to spray them with cooking spray. However, if you are using silicone or metal muffin liners, it is recommended to spray them lightly with cooking spray to prevent sticking. 

Other Delicious Carrot Cake Recipes You May Enjoy

Carrot Cake Muffins-whole-wheat-breakfast-brunch-healthier

Carrot Cake Muffins

All the flavors of carrot cake with some healthier ingredients; oat bran and whole wheat flour. These muffins taste great on their own, but try it with plain cream cheese mixed with a little agave or honey.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Baking
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot cake muffin recipe, carrot cake muffins, carrot muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 16 muffins
Calories: 162kcal
Author: Sandra Shaffer


  • Muffin tin
  • muffin paper liners 
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • medium bowl
  • box grater


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup grated carrots packed (about 2 large)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans optional
  • 1/4 cup milk any variety


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin pan by coating them with cooking spray use paper muffin liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flours, oat bran, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and salt.
  • In a sperate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients; eggs, oil, applesauce, milk, and vanilla.
  • Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture until incorporated (don't over mix), then gently fold in shredded carrots and nuts if using. Fill each muffin cup about half way for 16 muffins and 3/4 way for 12 muffins. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center is clean.
  • Serve with cream cheese mixed with a little agave or honey.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 162kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 149mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g


Please note that the nutritional information provided are guidelines and may vary based on the brand of products used. For your specific nutritional goals use My Fitness Pal or Verywell Fit recipe calculators. All content within this site is not intended as medical diagnosis or treatment and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise.

Recipe adapted from Woman’s World Magazine, May 13, 2013. This recipe was first shared in 2013. It has been updated with more content and photos in 2024.

Hugs Sandra Signature

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