Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins



The other day I was browsing foodgawker and noticed how many carrot cake recipes were popping up. I’ve personally never associated carrot cake with Easter, but apparently many others do. All of a sudden I found myself craving carrot cake and began saving any recipes that looked good to me.

Of course I wanted my carrot cake to be lighter than your average slice, which can contain anywhere from 500 to 1000 calories – eek. I also decided I wanted them to be in the form of cupcakes or muffins. I found this Carrot Cake Cupcakes recipe on Baked by Rachel and thought it looked perfect. Since I slightly cut back on the amount of sugar and eliminated the frosting, I chose to call my version muffins rather than cupcakes.

These muffins have all of the flavor of traditional carrot cake, but at a fraction of the calories. I swapped out white flour for whole wheat flour and used honey instead of granulated sugar. They use applesauce and canola oil to keep them moist, rather than butter. One muffin has just 132 calories, 3.2 grams of fat, and 24.3 g carbs.  This recipe makes just 6 muffins, but you can easily double it. They make a perfect afternoon snack or even breakfast!

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins
adapted from Carrot Cake Cupcakes on Baked by Rachel

makes 6 muffins

  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup finely grated carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon



  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together applesauce, oil, honey, vanilla extract, and your egg. Stir in grated carrots.
  2. In a separate small mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon listed above). Whisk together to make sure all is well-incorporated, and stir into wet ingredients just until combined.
  3. Carefully spoon batter into your greased muffin tin. Fill each about 3/4 of the way full, almost to the top. Bake for 19-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving and enjoy 🙂

Start by grating your carrots if you haven’t already done so.


Whisk together the applesauce, canola oil, egg, vanilla extract, and gently stir in shredded carrots.


Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until combined.


Spoon the batter into a greased muffin tin, filling each about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for 19-21 minutes.


The muffins are done when a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.





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