These spiced carrot raisin muffins are easy to make, and good for you too! Thanks to some smart ingredient substitutions, they are lower in added sugar and fat than most muffins, and vegan also. They have a delicious flavor that reminds me of my aunt’s carrot cake…tender, tasty, and just right to pack in your lunch, for an after-school snack, coffee break, or a light breakfast!
Ingredients Needed for Spiced Carrot Raisin Muffins
- Carrots: these can be grated by hand (I prefer a box grater) or with the grating disc of a food processor. I used orange carrots, but rainbow ones would be a fun substitute.
- Raisins: you can use brown or golden raisins.
- Applesauce: this is used as a replacement for egg. You could instead use a “flax egg”. To make this, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 2 tablespoons of warm water. Let this sit for a few minutes and then stir until combined. Choose unsweetened or homemade applesauce to limit added sugar. I did try substituting banana for this step but it didn’t come out as well: the muffins still tasted great but were too dense.
- Whole wheat flour and all-purpose unbleached flour: the whole wheat flour adds fiber, magnesium, and phosphorus. But using all whole wheat flour can make the finished product too dense, so I used half all-purpose flour.
- Sugar: I chose brown sugar for the moisture, color, and flavor
- Oil: I have made these with both olive and canola oil and both worked great: they are both high in monounsaturated fats
- Spices: cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. If you don’t have allspice, try ground clovers or pumpkin pie spice instead
- Other: baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place cupcake wrappers in your muffin tin or spray them with nonstick spray. I have had this recipe make 12 – 15 muffins – probably because carrots are different sizes.
In raisin muffins, the dried raisins can pull moisture out of the batter. To avoid this issue, I soaked them in hot water first so they would be plump and juicy.
Peel and grade the carrot. One medium carrot may work out to a cup once it’s grated, or 2 – 3 smaller ones.
Next, mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl: whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. Stir these well with a whisk. Then add in the raisins and grated carrots and stir well.
In a medium bowl, combine the applesauce, soy milk, water, and oil. Mix this together with your whisk.
Add the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon, and stir just until the ingredients are combined. It is important not to overmix these.
Fill each muffin tin with a half cup of batter. Bake for about 19 minutes.
Cool for 5 – 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove and place on a cooling rack until completely cool.
Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, fiber, and folate. You can learn more about their nutrition, history, and fun facts from this link to the Better Health site from Victoria, Australia.
Raisins add a lot of natural sweetness, along with potassium and fiber. The applesauce replaces some fat and the egg plus adds potassium.
Many recipes for muffins contain butter at about a half of a cup for a dozen. I have been able to decrease the fat and switch it to a plant-based source with much less saturated fats and no cholesterol. Eggs are not used either.
The third of a cup of sugar in this recipe plus natural sugars in the fruits and vegetables are more than enough to make these muffins sweet. Typical muffin recipes can have about a cup of sugar!
Vanilla soy milk provides calcium, vitamin D, and protein. It is fine to use a different type of plant-based milk, but they generally have much less protein.
- Try adding some chopped pineapple, raisins, currants, or dried cranberries.
- Add a few tablespoons of chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts.
These taste great on the first and second day after baking. On the third day, I suggest heating for a few seconds in the microwave or a few minutes in an oven or toaster oven. After that, I suggest freezing them for up to 3 months.
More Recipes You May Enjoy
- Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- Healthy Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins
- Vegan Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chunks
- Chocolate Mocha Nice Cream
- Slow Cooker Apple Crisp – Gluten-free and Vegan
Amazing Carrot Raisin Muffins
- Muffin tin
- Box grater
- Large bowl
- Medium bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Rubber spatula
- ½ cup raisins
- 6 ounces soy milk vanilla
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour unbleached
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 4 ounces natural applesauce
- ⅓ cup light olive oil
- 2 ounces water
- Soak the raisins in a bowl of warm water.
- Mix the soy milk with the vinegar and stir.
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Spray 12 muffin cups with non-stick spray or place a cupcake wrapper in each.
- Stir the dry ingredients (whole wheat flour through allspice) in a large bowl thoroughly with a whisk. Drain the raisins and add, along with the grated carrots. Mix these into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.
- Combine the soy milk with vinegar, applesauce, olive oil, and water in a small bowl with the whisk. Add into the large bowl. Mix the ingredients together just until combined with a wooden spoon.
- Place ½ cup of batter into each muffin cup. An ice cream scoop works well for this.
- Bake for 19 minutes or until the tops are firm and lightly browned.
- Cool for 5 – 10 minutes in the pan until the muffins can be handled. Then remove from the pan and finish cooling on a baking rack.
Have you tried these carrot raisin muffins? Please leave a rating and let me know in the comments how you liked them.
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