Is it a muffin or a pastry? I’m here to let you decide on that one. Regardless of whether you are craving a subtly sweet and warmly spiced treat for breakfast or an after-dinner dessert, these whole wheat carrot muffins make a small batch of 6 and fit the bill.
As far pastry-like things go, cakes, pies, and donuts are all on my “thanks, but no thanks” list. Muffins, though, straddle the line. My goal for these whole wheat carrot muffins is to make them something I crave and want in my baking arsenal, despite being pastry adverse.
This whole wheat carrot muffin recipe is bound to stir up the online food space as it breaks all of the so-called carrot muffin rules and does its own thing unapologetically while coming out on top. In other words, it is a trailblazer.
I was determined to have a wholesome, moist, light, and tender muffin without compromising the incredible flavor and richness butter brings to the table. To accomplish a light and tender crumb, I adapted pastry sensibility by cutting super cold butter into the flour mixture to create layers of air pockets throughout the muffin. The addition of almond flour keeps these muffins moist for days despite forgoing the traditional addition of oil. Plus, the use of whole wheat flour, carrots, and raisins make these muffins perfect for breakfast or an after-dinner treat.
That’s right; I figured out how to have my muffin and eat it too. In other words, I won. And so do you if you make these muffins
Possible Substitutions: Use what you have
WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR. Feel free to substitute Whole Wheat Flour for All-Purpose Flour or 50% All-Purpose Flour and 50% Whole Wheat Flour.
ALMOND FLOUR. Finely ground almonds are an excellent substitute for almond flour. Additionally, whole wheat flour also works as a substitute, though the muffins won’t stay moist for quite as long.
RAISINS. Substitute black raisins for golden or simply eliminate the raisins altogether.
BUTTERMILK. Easily substitute buttermilk with the milk of your choice; dairy-free, lactose-free, fat-free, 1%, or 2% all work.
Frequently Asked Questions about Carrot Muffins
There are two possibilities. Too much liquid, in this case, buttermilk, can cause a dense, overly moist muffin. Another possibility is too much baking soda or baking powder caused the muffins to rise and then collapse.
Place the box grater on a cutting board. Pick up a carrot by its thick end, and slide its tip down the large holes of a box grater. Continue this downward shredding motion until 1-inch of the carrot remains intact. Discard the remaining 1-inch carrot stub to avoid cutting your fingers.
No. Store-bought shredded carrots tend to be drier, and the moistness the carrot brings to these muffins is essential.
Use tulip-style or Lotus cupcake liners. To make these tulip liners at home, trace and cut out six 6-inch (15-cm) squares on a piece of parchment paper. Working with 1 square at a time, place it on your kitchen counter, and position the bottom of a drinking glass in the middle of the square. Fold the edges of the square up around the glass. Then place the paper cup in the muffin tin.
Make sure the muffins are fully cool – not the least bit warm – before storing. Once the muffins are completely cooled, wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap or store the muffins in a freezer-safe bag and squeeze out all of the air (using a straw works great for this).
Yes. Make sure the muffins are fully cool before wrapping. Place the muffins in a freezer-safe plastic bag and suck the air out of the bag using a straw. Be sure to remove all air in the freezer-safe bag before freezing the muffins.
Alternatively, tightly wrap each muffin with plastic wrap and then foil and place it in the freezer. Store muffins for up to 3 months in the freezer.
To eat, thaw muffins at room temperature without unwrapping. If you are only thawing one muffin, remove the muffin from the freezer bag and place it in another bag to thaw. While this may seem tedious and wasteful, it prevents moisture from forming on the surface of the muffin. No one likes a sticky muffin!
More Whole Wheat Recipes to Try
- Whole Wheat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- My Favorite Whole Wheat Pancakes
- Jammy Fruit Crumble Bars with Whole Wheat Flour
Light and Fluffy Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins
Is it a muffin or a pastry? I’m here to let you decide on that one. Regardless of whether you are craving a subtly sweet and warmly spiced treat for breakfast or an after-dinner dessert, these whole wheat carrot muffins fit the bill.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6 muffins 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup (128g) whole wheat flour*
- 1/4 cup (30g) almond flour*
- 1/3 cup (75g) white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon*
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger*
- 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, fridge-cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (127ml) buttermilk, fridge-cold*
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup (75g) coarsely grated carrot, about 1 medium-large carrot
- 1/4 cup (43g) raisins
- 1/4 cup (29g) raw walnuts, coarsely chopped, optional
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Position the oven rack to the middle position. Line a 6-well muffin tin with tulip-style or Lotus cupcake liners for a loftier rise or, if using regular paper liners, butter the top rim of each muffin well in case the muffins spillover.
- Combine the dry ingredients. If using an electric mixer: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Lightly fluff the flour mixture with your hands until all of the ingredients are uniformly distributed, about 5 times. Add the diced butter to the flour mixture and mix at medium speed until the butter is the size of peas and there are no discernable pieces of butter, about 2 minutes. By hand: In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices Lightly fluff the flour mixture with your hands until all of the ingredients are uniformly distributed, about 5 times. Add the cold, diced butter to the flour mixture. Pinch the butter into the flour mixture using your fingers or a pastry blender until the butter is the size of peas and there are no discernable pieces of butter, about 5 minutes.
- Combine the wet ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently fold the ingredients together until the batter is well-blended with no clumps of dry ingredients remaining, about 1 minute.
- Add the add-ins. Add the shredded carrots and raisins to the batter and gently fold them into the batter, about 1 minute
- Bake. Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin wells, completely filling each well. Top each muffin with chopped walnuts, if desired. Bake the muffins for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C). Continue to bake until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of each muffin comes out clean, about 18 minutes.
- Serve. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 2 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
FLOUR. If you opt to measure by volume instead of weight, whisk the flour first to aerate it, then spoon into a measuring cup, and then level it off with the back of a knife.
BUTTERMILK. Combine 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1/2 cup milk and let the mixture sit until the milk looks curdle-like, about 3 minutes.
STORAGE. Store muffins tightly wrapped for up to 3 days at room temperature.
- Serving Size: 1 muffin
- Calories: 231 calories
- Sugar: 18.9g
- Sodium: 113mg
- Fat: 9.3g
- Saturated Fat: 5.1g
- Carbohydrates: 35.1g
- Fiber: 1.7g
- Protein: 3.7g
- Cholesterol: 22mg
Keywords: small batch carrot muffins, carrot cake muffins, healthy carrot muffins