My husband and I have a birthday pact; every year he buys me ‘flours’ for my birthday and then I make myself carrot cake muffins to celebrate! This year is no exception. Well, except for that fact that I’m turning 60 and setting aside last year’s keto carrot cake muffins recipe in favour of this one (if only just for this special occasion).
I used to treat myself to Dufflet Carrot Cake each year because it’s gluten free and delicious! But we’ve been refined sugar free for years, so this gluten free muffin recipe solves that problem. Instead of sugar, we use Swerve.
Dufflet doesn’t use walnuts or raisins, but I love these additions. Leave them out if they’re not your thing. But if you do use the raisins, be sure to soak them in hot water to plump them up. Otherwise, they’ll soak up all the moisture in the cake batter and you’ll end up with hockey pucks. Canadian hockey pucks at that!
The trick to tasty carrot cake is adding the cinnamon into the oil, instead of with the dry ingredients. It blooms the spice. After creaming the oil and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time.
You can grate the carrots by hand, but I prefer a food processor. In less than 5 minutes, you’re done. The quicker the shredding, the faster I can enjoy my carrot cake muffins! The batter will be pretty thick.
I also speed up filling the muffin tins by using an ice cream scoop.
Ready to bake!
While those are baking, I mix the cream cheese icing. The best cream cheese icing uses slightly more cream cheese to butter ratio. I only mix up a small batch, because Hubs prefers these muffins plain. By the way, he hates carrot cake, but loves this recipe. So it has to be pretty good!
I also toast some coconut to sprinkle on top.
Be sure to watch the pan; it browns quickly so get it out of the pan as soon as that happens so it doesn’t over-brown.
Let cool before icing or the frosting will melt.
A sprinkle of coconut and a few extra walnuts later. Of course, I bake these the night before so I can enjoy the next day. But I can’t wait until my birthday to taste one.
On my birthday, after the first few ‘sacrificial’ muffins, I get much better at piping!
Just for today, I’m piping that cream cheese icing high! It’s not everyday I turn the big 6-0. Happy birthday to me! I get the most delicious gluten free carrot cake muffins AND a senior discount now! What can I say? Life is good.
Carrot Cake FAQs
Why is butter not used in carrot cake?
Oil keeps the batter moist and extends its shelf life in the fridge! But don’t worry, you’ll be adding plenty of delicious butter to the cream cheese frosting.
Why is my carrot cake dry?
If you used raisins, be sure to soak them in water first so they don’t absorb moisture from the batter. Another reason is baking for too long so test them for doneness at the minimum baking time. Before putting your own spin on a recipe, don’t deviate from the ingredients and instructions the first time you use it.
What is the secret to a moist cake?
A neutral oil will help keep carrot cake nice and moist. If you prefer less oil, substitute some yoghurt or sour cream and apple sauce.
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Carrot cake muffins
- 1 Stand mixer or hand mixer
- 2 Bowls
- 1 mixing spoon
- 1 food processor or box grater
Carrot Cake Muffins
- 1 1/4 cup cup neutral oil such as grape seed oil
- 3/4 cup cup yoghurt we used 3.5% goat milk yoghurt
- 1 cup Swerve sugar substitute
- 1/4 cup Swerve brown sugar substitute
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups gluten free flour we used Robin Hood
- 4 cups peeled and shredded carrots (about a one-pound bag)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup raisins
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 6 oz unsalted butter softened
- 8 oz Swerve powdered sugar substitute
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp 10% cream or milk
- 1 pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and put 20 paper liners into 2 cupcake tins. Soak the raisins in warm water for about 15 minutes. Drain before using.
- Peel the carrots and shred in a food processor (or you can grate by hand on a box grater). Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda to combine. Add carrots (and nuts and raisins if desired). Stir until combined.
- In another bowl, add the cinnamon and nutmeg into the oil, then the sugars. Cream together in a mixing bowl or with a hand mixer until well mixed. Add youghurt, then the eggs one at a time, and beat until light and well mixed.
- Using an ice cream scoop, fill prepared muffin tins with the batter. Bake until golden and a cake tester comes out clean (about 20 - 25 minutes, depending on your oven).
- Turn out onto a cooling rack while still warm. Cool fully before decorating.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Combine all ingredients, starting the mixer on low to not cause a powdered sugar explosion. Gradually increase the mixer to medium-high and beat until fluffy and smooth.
- Pipe or spread icing on with a knife. Add desired toppings like toasted coconut and additional walnut pieces.