These Carrot Raisin Muffins make the perfect grab-and-go breakfast that is both healthy and delicious!
(This recipe for Carrot Raisin Muffins was originally posted in September 2010, but was updated with new photos in 2019).
I've said it before that I was never really big into baking. I think one of the issues I've always had with it, aside from the fear of having to follow a recipe exactly, is the fact that I'll have an entire pie in front of me calling my name every time I walk into the kitchen. Or an entire container of cookies begging to be devoured. Or 24 cupcakes starring at me for days. And now that I'm not working in an office, I can't bring the leftover baked goods to share with co-workers and I'd have the sweet treats all to myself. Which, for some, might sound heavenly, but I know myself and I know I'd be tempted to "taste" whatever it is every 10 minutes until I had frosting smeared all over my face and I'd have to start living in elastic waistband sweats.
While at the gym recently, I ran into Nancy Clark, the internationally known sports nutritionist and author who runs her private practice out of Healthworks at Chestnut Hill. Somehow the topic of We are not Martha came up and Nancy so kindly signed and gave me a copy of her book, Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. I do enjoy a free book especially when it's loaded with recipes and the kindest woman I've met in a while gives it to me. Nancy flagged a bunch of recipes for me to try out so I'm going to slowly work my way through to share with you all. One of the baking recipes she flagged was for a banana bread but since my bananas haven't yet ripened enough, I decided to try the recipe for Carrot Cake Muffins (original recipe adapted from Evelyn Triobole RD). Now, I'm no health nut and know very little about nutrition but these just sounded delicious. And with simple substitutions they seemed like the perfect guilt-free muffin.
CARROT RAISIN MUFFINS RECIPE
Not only are these carrot raisin muffins made with half whole wheat flour, they're absolutely packed with shredded carrots. There is some granulated sugar in them, but raisins help give them a little extra sweetness and if you want, you can also add walnuts for some crunch and extra flavor.
Start by mixing together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, followed by the carrots, apple, raisins, and nuts if you're using them. Add the flour to the mixture and stir until just blended. Make sure not to over-mix the batter as that will result in a dense muffin.
The original recipe called for the carrots to be shredded "finely," but mine weren't really fine at all. I actually just bought a bag of pre-shredded carrots and ended up chopping them up a bit since they were super long.
Using an ice cream scoop (or spoon), fill the muffin cups with the batter. The recipe said to bake for about 30 minutes, I set the timer for 23 just to take a peek and they they were already almost done. I recommend checking at 23 minutes and baking for up to 26 minutes.
For real, these carrot muffins may be turning me into a serious baker. Who would have ever thought carrot muffins could do that to a person?? But seriously, these were perfecto. The most amazing density, the perfect amount of sweet, the ideal amount of chewy from the raisins, and the best amount of crunch from the carrots and apple. What more can you ask for in a muffin? Besides a little slab of melted butter added on, of course 😉 These carrot raisin muffina really had it going on.
I guess they wouldn't be quite as healthy with that slab of butter... But I mean, look at all those carrots you're getting into your diet first thing in the morning! You deserve a slab of butter.
I also realized while making these that my biggest "fear" with baking is that I'll mess up since everything has to be exact. I once had the same fear with cooking, back in the day, but my mom always used to say... "You're going to mess up sometimes... just keep trying" and I think that's the attitude I need to bring into baking. Know that not every recipe is going to be perfect and know that the only way you can learn is if you do mess up. However, let's just get this out there... I did not mess these carrot raisin muffins up. Not at all. They are a keeper.
Also, I highly recommend you purchase Nancy's book if you're at all interested in the whys and the hows of food and nutrition. I, in no way at all, consider myself to be an athlete anymore, but this book is loaded with tips, tricks, and facts from everything about BMI to the secrets for light and fluffy quick breads that are bound to help everyone. But please, start with these carrot muffins!
What's your favorite breakfast muffin? Because I'm pretty sure these are mine 🙂
If you're looking for more muffin recipes, be sure to check out my Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Muffins or my Tuscan Lemon Muffins! I also love these Apricot Muffins with Pistachio and Oats from Lil' Cookie!
Carrot Raisin Muffins
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 medium apple, peeled and shredded
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with papers or cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda
- In a separate bowl mix together eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, followed by the carrots, apple, raisins, and nuts (if you’re using them). Add the flour to the mixture and stir until just blended, taking care not to over-mix.
- Using an ice cream scoop (or spoon), fill the muffin cups with the batter. Bake for 23-26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Let muffins cool in tin for a couple minutes before moving to metal racks to cool completely.
- For a fat-free option you can replace the canola oil with ⅓ cup of applesauce and use 6 egg whites instead of the 3 whole eggs.
Those look sooooo good! I'm not much of a baker either, I hear ya. Nancy is one of THE top dietitians for sports nutrition in the country. Heck, even the world. She wouldn't steer you wrong 😉
Those are beautiful. I enjoy a muffin with some texture. Nancy sounds like one rocking lady. My favorite breakfast muffin is probably corn.
I love baking, but I usually give it (or half of it) away! I make granola on the regular for my dad and I bake a lot of treats for the other group fitness instructors!
Simply Life says
Thanks for sharing the recipe -they look great!
These muffins sound really great! Wonderful combination of yummy flavors and healthy ingredients - can't wait to make 'em.
I'd have to say my favorite muffins are of the pumpkin variety - at least for this time of year. During the summer I love blueberry muffins.
Fun and Fearless in Beantown says
I'm like you and not a huge fan of baking. After a weekend at King Arthur Flour, I'm definitely feeling more comfortable. I love a good pumpkin muffin for the fall and blueberry the rest of the year!
these sounds pretty yummy, i'll have to give them a try! i wish i didn't like eating baked goods... 😉
ps- voted for you gals!
Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says
I would love a carrot raisin muffin for breakfast. I'm actually not a big muffin eater but when I do treat myself to one, I usually like blueberry, or anything banana.
Seriously? These are good for you? I am not a huge muffin eater- a muffin lover and increasingly muffin shaped - but they're always too big, too sweet and scary. Now with apples and raisins and carrots, I may be able to embrace them. And share the wealth.
those are gorgeous! I love a carrot muffin with chunks of tasty goodness! these look great and im soooo gonna try these... along with every other delicious thing you two concoct! 😛
Emily @ The Happy Home says
it HAS to be healthy if you can see carrots pointing out the top! c'mon!
oddly, my sweet tooth is going away, if just an eensy bit. i think if someone asked me (going back a few weeks) if i wanted chocolate or apple pie for dessert... ok, i'd still want chocolate, but it'd take a few minutes to decide.
Muffins are my favorite baked goods for breakfast! I recently made Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip muffins and they were divine!
Yummie, would love to have these muffins for breakfast....it is almost having a dessert 🙂
sarah k. @ the pajama chef says
these look really pretty! i love the carrot in it. 🙂 favorite breakfast muffin? pumpkin chocolate chip! mini-size so i can eat more. hehe.
Evan @swEEts says
I love muffins in the morning.. these look delicious and if they're in a sport nutritionist's book then you know they're good for you too 🙂 I don't know what I'd do if I didn't work in an office to bring all my baked goods to!
my nana makes something similar, they're yummy!
The exact thing you dislike about baking is what I love about it. Less guesswork. Perhaps it's the scientist in me that loves measuring out ingredients to perfection although these days I do a little more straying than I used to! These muffins look healthy and delicious. Can't wait to try them out!
Elina (Healthy and Sane) says
Chels, these muffins sounds phenomenal. I've been craving muffins like it's my job. Need to really make some!!
I just made these for my kiddos snack day at school and they are lovely! Good thing I made a double batch...husband and kids kept grabbing them throughout the day. Delish!