Packed with classic carrot cake flavors, these Oatmeal Carrot Cake Muffins are made with whole grain oats instead of flour. Lower in sugar and fat than standard carrot cake, these delicious muffins are the perfect treat that carrot cake lovers can enjoy on a regular basis!

Plate of healthy carrot cake muffins on a plate with a wooden plate in the background.

If you’re like me and carrot cake recipes bring you all the joy in the world, I have a feeling you’ll just adore these delicious carrot muffins.

Made with whole grains and less added sweetener, these muffins boast delicious carrot cake flavor but are secretly good for you!

The ideal muffin for those who love all the flavors of carrot cake and want to feel zero guilt about enjoying it any day of the week with no occasion necessary.

I also find muffins to be much easier to make than cake because there is no pressure to decorate them into a beautiful, presentable result. 

If you follow a low-carb diet, make my sugar-free Low-Carb Carrot Cake Muffins.

For those who eat a paleo diet or a grain-free diet, check out my Paleo Carrot Cake Banana Muffins with No Added Sweetener.  

Let’s dive into the ingredients for carrot cake muffins. The great news is all of the ingredients are straightforward and easy to find at any grocery store.

Carrot Cake Muffins Ingredients:

Quick Oats or Rolled Oats: Taking the place of regular all-purpose flour, we blend up whole grain oats for a healthier muffin.

Oats are complex carbs that contain fiber, which helps blunt the blood sugar response in comparison to white flour.

You can use quick oats (or instant oats), old fashioned oats or rolled oats. To make gluten-free carrot cake muffins, be sure you use certified gluten-free oats. I use gluten-free sprouted oats.

Unsweetened Applesauce: Applesauce is a miracle ingredient here because it adds moisture and a small amount of extra sweetness, which replaces some of the oil and sugar. In addition, it brings just the slightest apple flavor which I find to be lovely.

Eggs: A couple large eggs help the muffins rise to a fluffy texture.

Pure Maple Syrup: Keeping the muffins refined sugar-free, we use pure maple syrup instead of regular cane sugar.

The recipe as written isn’t incredibly sweet, and it’s just the right level of sweetness for me.

For those who enjoy sweeter treats, consider adding 1 to 4 tablespoons of brown sugar for extra sweetness.

Avocado Oil: Adding richness and moisture for a moist crumb, we need some form of fat. I like using avocado oil because it is a flavorless oil that contains healthy omega 3 fatty acids and it has a neutral flavor that you can’t taste. 

Pure Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla extract adds some warm flavor to the muffins.

Carrot Cake Additions: Shredded carrot, unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped walnuts or pecans, and raisins. These are the traditional additions to carrot cake that make up its recognizable flavor.

I know we have some nut and coconut allergies in the house. You can skip any of these ingredients (except for the grated carrots) if you have a food allergy or you don’t enjoy them.

Baking Powder: The leavening agent here, baking powder helps the muffins rise and ensures the ingredients hold together nicely.

Ground Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Sea Salt: Warming spices like ground cinnamon and ground ginger are paramount in achieving classic carrot cake flavor.

If you have ground nutmeg on hand, feel free to add some in. Salt is a big flavor enhancer, so be sure you don’t skip it.

White plate of carrot cake muffins with one sliced in half so you can see the inside.

Tips for The Best Carrot Cake Muffins:

Tip #1: Use Fresh Carrots: It can be tempting to use pre-shredded carrots that come pre-packed in the grocery store rather than taking the time to grate fresh carrots.

While this is definitely an option, I find the texture of the carrot strands is too thick to soften up during the baking process. If you’d like to save time, use the grating attachment on a food processor to grate the carrots. 

Tip #2: Mix up the Dried Fruit: Any kind of dried fruit works in this easy muffin recipe, including dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, golden raisins, or dried blueberries.

If you prefer using flour over oats, you can substitute 1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour or oat flour for the rolled oats.

Tip #3: Be Mindful of the Oil: You can replace the avocado oil with olive oil. If you make this swap, don’t use extra virgin olive oil because the olive flavor will shine through.

I don’t recommend using vegetable oil or coconut oil, which are rich in omega 6 fats; however, if you aren’t concerned about your saturated fat intake, go for it!

If you use melted butter, use 5 tablespoons instead of 4.

Vegan Option:

Swap the regular eggs for two flax eggs for an egg-free option. The muffins will turn out less fluffy (denser), but they should still taste great.

One flax egg is 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons of water. For this recipe, we need two eggs, so use 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed and 6 tablespoons of water.

Mix together and wait for 15 minutes until the mixture resembles the consistency of beaten eggs.

White plate full of carrot cake muffins. A golden napkin to the side and a wooden plate in the background with a muffin on top.

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients, let’s bake a batch of healthy carrot cake muffins!

How to Make Oatmeal Carrot Cake Muffins:

​Rinse the carrots well and use a box grater to grate them. You need two cups of shredded carrot, which is about 2 medium-sized carrots or one large carrot.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tray with muffin papers. This recipe makes 12 small muffins or 10 larger muffins.

Transfer the oats to a high-powered blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until a flour forms.

Rolled oats in a blender, ready to be blended into a flour.

Add in the baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon and ground ginger (the dry ingredients) and blend for 10 seconds longer or until all of the dry ingredients are well-mixed.

Dry ingredients in a blender to make oatmeal waffles

Transfer the eggs, applesauce, pure maple syrup, avocado oil, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients well until everything is combined.

Mixing bowl full of wet ingredients for carrot cake bread.

Pour the flour mixture into the large bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter forms.

Add in the grated carrots, shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and raisins. Mix well until the carrot cake ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the muffin batter.

Mixing bowl of carrot cake batter with shredded carrot, shredded coconut, chopped pecans and raisins ready to be mixed in.
Carrot cake bread batter in a mixing bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling the muffin cups ⅔ of the way up for smaller or all the way up for larger muffins. If you’d like, sprinkle the batter with extra shredded coconut.

Carrot cake batter in a muffin pan

Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 22 to 26 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and are cooked through.

To check for doneness, insert a digital thermometer into the center of one of the muffins. Muffins are fully cooked when they reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the best results, bake the muffins to an internal temperature of 190 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (no more, no less). This is the best tip for achieving the best results every single time!

Muffin tin with baked carrot cake muffins fresh out of the oven, ready to eat.

Allow the muffins to cool to room temperature before removing the paper liners to eat. If you try peeling off the muffin papers when the muffins are still warm, you’ll lose some muffin to the paper.

You can remove the muffins from the muffin tin 15 minutes after they come out of the oven, or you can allow them to finish cooling completely in the muffin tin.

Store muffins in an airtight container or a zip lock bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze muffins in a large zip lock for up to 3 months.

To reheat a frozen muffin, place one on a plate and microwave for 25 to 35 seconds, or until warm.

If you want to get real wild, slice a warm muffin in half and spread the inside with butter. This is my idea of a great time!

Can I Use This Recipe For Carrot Cake Cupcakes?:

Yes! This carrot muffin recipe can easily double as a carrot cake cupcake recipe. Simply frost the tops of the cooled muffins with cream cheese frosting or drizzle them with a powdered sugar glaze and you’ll have yourself a cupcake recipe.

To keep it low in sugar and health-minded, use my Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe, which is made using raw cashews instead of cream cheese.

Can I Turn This Recipe into Bread Instead of Muffins?:

Absolutely! If you prefer quick breads over muffins, bake the batter in a loaf pan at 350 covered in aluminum foil for 60-75 minutes. Or, follow my recipe for Healthy Carrot Cake Bread

Carrot cake muffins in a muffin tray

The next time you’re craving carrot cake, there’s no need to wait for a special occasion to quench your thirst!

Simply whip up a batch or two of these healthy muffins and keep them on hand whenever the desire strikes. 

These moist muffins are a healthy snack the entire family can enjoy!

If you love healthy muffin recipes, also try these reader favorites.

More Healthy Muffin Recipes:

Enjoy this celebration of carrot cake in muffin form!

White plate full of carrot cake muffins. A golden napkin to the side and a wooden plate in the background with a muffin on top.

Oatmeal Carrot Cake Muffins

5 from 2 votes
Whole grain healthy Carrot Cake Muffins made with oats instead of flour! A great option for those who love carrot cake but enjoy keeping baked goods lower in sugar and fat.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings: 10 Muffins

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • ​Rinse the carrots well and use a box grater to grate them. You need two cups of shredded carrot, which is about 2 medium-sized carrots or one large carrot.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tray with muffin papers. This recipe makes 12 small muffins or 10 larger muffins.
  • Transfer the oats to a high-powered blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until a flour forms. Add in the baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon and ground ginger (the dry ingredients) and blend for 10 seconds longer or until all of the dry ingredients are well-mixed.
  • Transfer the eggs, applesauce, pure maple syrup, avocado oil, and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Mix the wet ingredients well until everything is combined.
  • Pour the flour mixture into the large bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until a smooth batter forms.
  • Add in the grated carrots, shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and raisins. Mix well until the carrot cake ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the muffin batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling the muffin cups ⅔ of the way up for smaller or all the way up for larger muffins. If you’d like, sprinkle the batter with extra shredded coconut.
  • Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 22 to 26 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown on top and are cooked through.
  • To check for doneness, insert a digital thermometer into the center of one of the muffins. Muffins are fully cooked when they reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit. For the best results, bake the muffins to an internal temperature of 190 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit (no more, no less). This is the best tip for achieving the best results every single time!
  • Allow the muffins to cool to room temperature before removing the paper liners to eat. If you try peeling off the muffin papers when the muffins are still warm, you’ll lose some muffin to the paper. You can remove the muffins from the muffin tin 15 minutes after they come out of the oven, or you can allow them to finish cooling completely in the muffin tin.

Notes

*You can also use 1 ¾ cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour or oat flour.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin (of 10) · Calories: 302kcal · Carbohydrates: 17g · Protein: 6g · Fat: 17g · Saturated Fat: 5g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 5g · Cholesterol: 33mg · Sodium: 363mg · Fiber: 5g · Sugar: 18g
Author: Julia Mueller
Course: Breakfast, Muffins
Cuisine: American
Keyword: carrot cake recipe, easy oatmeal recipe, gluten free muffins, gluten-free dairy-free carrot cake recipe, healthy carrot cake muffins, healthy muffin recipes
Did You Make This Recipe?I want to see it! Tag @the.roasted.root on social media!

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Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living, Brit.co, etc.

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