Kaja’s Carrot-Cake Muffins
Delicious carrot cake in the form in handy little bite-sized treats. You can make these as regular full-sized muffins but our favorite way to have them is as mini muffins! I’m not much of a baker which is why this recipe comes strait from the kitchen of my confection aficionado friend Kaja. She’s a wiz with the KitchenAid and mixed up this recipe as a sweet, healthy treat for her 1 year old. No added sugar means they are great for little kids, but big kids will love them too! For the add-ins you can add up to 2 cups of your choice of raisins, coconut, nuts or chocolate chips. You can do any combination you like, that’s part of what makes this recipe great. Try 1 cup raisins, 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup chocolate chips for my favorite, or create your own combination.
Makes: 34 mini muffins/15 muffins
Preparation time: 15m
Cooking time: 15m
Total time: 30m
- 1 2/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (3-5 large carrots)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened apple sauce
- 5 dried plums (lovingly known as prunes)
- 3 pitted dates
- 2 organic eggs
- 1/4 cup mashed rip banana (1 medium banana)
- 2 cups add-ins (optional: raisins, coconut, chopped nuts, dark chocolate chips)
Equipment: muffin tin/mini muffin tin, large bowl, blender/food processor
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Spray cupcake tins with cooking spray or use paper liners. Try to use liners with wax or foil inside, or spray them with cooking spray. Since this recipe has almost no fat in it the muffins tend to stick to plain paper liners.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
- Place the carrots into a food processor and pulse until you get a medium to fine shredded mixture. Measure the amount of shredded carrots, you will need about 1 1/2 cups. Remove 1/2 of the carrots and stir them into the dry mixture in the large bowl, leave the other 1/2 in the blender.
- Add the applesauce, prunes, dates, eggs and mashed banana to the remaining carrots in the blender. Puree on high until smooth.
- Pour the wet mixture from the blender onto the dry mixture in the bowl and fold together gently with a spatula. Be careful not to over mix. You want the dry ingredients to be well incorporated but over mixing will knock all of the air out and cause the cakes to be dense and heavy.
- Gently mix in the raisins, coconut, chopped nuts, and/or chocolate chips. You can reserve some of the coconut/nuts/chocolate chips to sprinkle on top if you wish.
- Fill the cupcake tins/liners almost to the top with batter. These will not rise very much so it’s important to fill the cups pretty full. Sprinkle with the remaining coconut/nuts/chocolate chips if you decided to reserve some.
- Bake in the middle of the oven. If making mini muffins bake for 15-18 minutes. If making regular-sized muffins bake for 22-25 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. They defrost in 10-20 minutes at room temperature. Enjoy!