These healthy carrot cake muffins with a decadent vanilla cashew frosting are a delicious way to enjoy your favorite cake flavor. The recipe is vegan and gluten-free, yet the muffins are light and moist. These muffins would a delicious birthday treat or Easter dessert!
Are you a cake or icing fan? I am more of a cake fan with a little bit of icing. Unless it’s cream cheese icing. Game over.
Carrot cake is one of those classic flavors that we always had around for holidays, especially Easter. I would convince myself that somehow it was a little healthier because there are carrots in it. That’s a valid point, right?
With this recipe for healthy carrot cake muffins you don’t have to convince yourself that they’re good for you. Because they are good for you, thanks to healthy swaps made to the traditional recipe.
Here are some of those simple swaps that we are making:
- Swapping all-purpose flour for a combination of oat flour and almond flour
- Adding applesauce to create a moist texture and cut down on added sugar
- Using maple syrup instead of cane sugar for a less-refined sweet ingredient
- Making these muffins vegan by swapping 2 eggs for 2 flax eggs (however, you could swap backwards on this one and swap in 2 eggs if you like)
- Swapping canola oil for coconut oil for a dose of heart-healthy fats
- Instead of using cream cheese for the icing, we are swapping for the creaminess of soaked cashews
Like I said, super healthy, yet insanely delicious.
If you have been around here for a little while, you know oat flour and almond flour is one of my favorite swaps. For these muffins I was having a hard time getting that “rise.” You want to know the trick? Add some baking soda and apple cider vinegar to allow the baking soda to work it’s magic. It works like a charm!
When it comes time for the frosting, here’s a little trick for you. Add the cashew frosting to a ziploc bag and push to one corner. Snip off the corner and you’ve got a homemade piping bag!
Whether you’re making these for a special occasion or because you just love carrot cake, these healthy carrot cake muffins with vanilla cashew frosting will satisfy your sweet tooth in every way. Heck, they’re so healthy you could get away with having dessert for breakfast.
These healthy carrot cake muffins with a decadent vanilla cashew frosting are a delicious way to enjoy your favorite cake flavor. The recipe is vegan and gluten-free, yet the muffins are light and moist.
- 1¼ cup oat flour (gluten-free if necessary)
- ¾ cup almond flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 2 flax eggs (2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed + 5 Tablespoons water)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrots
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup chopped pecans
Vanilla Cashew Frosting
- 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- To make the flax eggs, combine the ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes, until gummy.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oat flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the applesauce, almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, flax eggs, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk until incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in the grated carrots, coconut flakes and pecans.
- Add cupcake liners or spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Evenly divide the batter between 10 muffin cups, filling the cup almost to the top.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool before adding the cashew frosting.
- To make the frosting, rinse and drain the cashews. Add the cashews to a high speed blender along with the maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt. Blend until completely smooth, at least a few minutes. Don’t add water unless absolutely necessary to get the mixture going (the more liquid that is added, the thinner the frosting will be).
- To frost the muffins, add the frosting to a ziploc bag and snip off one corner. Squeeze the icing onto each muffin. Store the muffins in the refrigerator until ready to eat, up to 1 week.