Vegan carrot cake muffins are perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast or an afternoon snack. They’re also a terrific addition to an Easter brunch buffet! They’re oil-free and free of refined sugar, so they're a healthier option than traditional carrot cake or carrot cupcakes. This vegan recipe is quick and easy to make!
Carrot Cake Craving
Do you remember that Carrot Cake Smoothie recipe I posted a few weeks ago? While I was typing up that blog post, I found myself with a serious carrot cake hankering. And it wouldn’t go away.
So, I gave in and made vegan carrot cake. Well, I made vegan carrot cake muffins. What’s the difference between carrot cake cupcakes and carrot cake muffins? Frosting! I have used maple syrup as a sweetener instead of granulated sugar, so they’re not quite a sweet as traditional carrot cake.
Traditional Carrot Cake
As I mentioned in that smoothie recipe, it’s believed that the origins of carrot cake may trace back to the Middle Ages. In England and other areas in Europe, people sometimes stuffed carrots with spices, cream, eggs, sweeteners, and raisins for dessert. Because sugar was too expensive, people also began using carrots as a sweetener in desserts.
Carrot cake has long been a favorite dessert in Europe, particularly in Switzerland, where it’s often served at birthday parties. It became a popular dessert in England during World War II because of sugar rationing.
These days, carrot cake is usually loaded with sugar in addition to carrots. It’s often topped with sugary cream cheese frosting, too.
How to Make Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins
This recipe can be made in just a few steps!
- First, add the apple cider vinegar to soy or almond milk.
- Then, mix together the dry ingredients.
- Next, add the wet ingredients, including the clabbered milk, to the dry and mix. Fold in the carrots, nuts, and raisins.
- Finally, divide the mixture among the wells of your muffin tin and bake!
These muffins are so easy to make that it’s almost silly not to bake up a batch. It’s simple as mixing everything together and popping it in the oven. Well, there are a few steps than that, but not many.
The first thing I do when baking muffins is to raise the top rack of my to the upper third. This is a trick I learned in Fran Costigan’s Essential Vegan Desserts course, and it’s the key to nicely domed muffin tops.
Then, I clabber non-dairy milk by adding apple cider vinegar to it. Clabbering thickens and curdles milk, giving it a buttermilk-like consistency. To make clabbered milk, you just need to add vinegar or lemon juice to almond or soy milk. (It won’t work with other non-dairy milks.) The acid in the apple cider vinegar activates the baking soda , which helps the muffins rise.
This recipe is made with grated carrots. Rather than spending half an hour using a box grater and risking the skin on my knuckles, I use the grating blade on my food processor, which only takes a few seconds.
Serving Your Carrot Cake Muffins
I like to have a carrot cake muffin and a cup of tea in the afternoon as a little pick-me-up. They’re fun at potlucks, and they’re a terrific addition to spring brunch – especially Easter and Mother’s Day!
Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins
- ½ cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1½ cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup apple sauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrots (about 3 medium-sized carrots)
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil the cups of a muffin pan or line it with paper liners.
- Mix the almond or soy milk and apple cider vinegar together and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup apple sauce, vanilla, and almond or soy milk mixture.
- Pour the wet mixture into dry mixture and mix until there are no visible lumps of flour. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick.
- Carefully fold in the carrots, raisins, and walnuts or pecans.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them ¾ of the way full.
- Bake until the muffins are golden brown around the edges and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 17 to 20 minutes.
- Place the muffin tin on a wire rack and allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes before carefully removing them.
Other Vegan Muffin Recipes you Might Enjoy Include:
- Lemon Poppy Zucchini
- Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
- Vegan Cheddar, Bacon, and Potato Muffins
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins