Carrot muffins are moist, soft, and so easy to make. Expect a perfect harmony of carrots, pineapple, coconut, and banana. Every bite is heavenly. The oat crumb topping adds a nice crunch on top. These are one of my favorite muffins for breakfast and brunch, and they easily feed a crowd. You should try my carrot cake and carrot cookies as well. By the way, you could bake them in the air fryer as well and make air fryer muffins.
Ingredients notes and substitutions
- All-purpose (plain) flour - make them gluten-free by using Bob's Red Mill or Doves Farm gluten-free blend, for example.
- Oil - I prefer canola or mild vegetable oil, but olive oil or coconut oil works well too. Keep in mind that strong-flavored oil alters the taste of the muffins, though. Butter doesn't work so well since it makes the muffins a little dry.
- Eggs - substitute the eggs with either ½ cup of applesauce, yogurt, or mashed bananas, or use your favorite egg substitute.
- Spices - a blend of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg is my favorite. You can leave ginger and nutmeg out if you wish, but I recommend using cinnamon at least.
- Carrots - I recommend using only freshly, finely grated carrots rather than pre-packaged carrots from the store. The reason is that pre-packaged carrots are thicker and dryer, and they would make the muffins dry and crumbly.
- Pineapple - I use canned pineapple tidbits (chunks) and chop them that they are about ¼-inch (0.5cm) in size. You can use crushed pineapple as well. I use the juice from the canned pineapples as well. However, you could use fresh pineapple and pineapple juice instead.
- Banana - the mashed banana adds additional moisture and perfectly harmonizes with the carrots, pineapple, and coconut. It's so subtle that you don't even notice it much. You could use greek yogurt instead, 1:1, if preferred.
- Coconut flakes - if you prefer nuts, you could swap the coconut flakes for pecans instead.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk bananas and brown sugar to combine. Then, slowly add the oil while whisking.
Then, add the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the pineapple juice and vanilla as well.
Then, add the flour mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined.
Finally, add the carrots, pineapples, and coconut flakes and whisk just to incorporate.
In a medium bowl, use your fingers to combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and butter until the mixture is crumbly. Then, spoon the batter into the prepared wells until almost full and top with the streusel. Then bake.
Note: The photo below doesn't show the streusel on top of the batter.
- You can use regular muffin liners and fill them almost full, or you can use tulip liners and fill them up until the batter is on the same level as the muffin pan. Alternatively, you can make your own tulip liners.
- Make sure to preheat the oven and bake them at a high temperature for the first 5 minutes. This lets them rise beautifully high right from the beginning. Continuing with the lower baking temperature lets them still rise, though. The photo below shows how much they have risen after 5 minutes.
If you plan to freeze them, let them cool completely. Then wrap each muffin tightly in plastic wrap, one by one, and place in freezer bags. They freeze well up to 3 months. To thaw, unwrap, and place them on the kitchen counter for 1-2 hours.
To make mini carrot cake muffins, make the recipe as directed and fill the batter into about 50 mini muffin liners. Then top with the streusel. Adjust the baking time as follows: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°) and bake for 6-8 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Note: Because of the short baking time and the size of the mini muffins, the baking temperature is 350°F. There is no high-temperature phase in the beginning.
More muffin recipes
If you love muffins as much as I do, you will love the following recipes as well. They are some of my favorites and well received by family, friends, and readers around the world.
- Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Buttermilk Blueberry Muffins
- Banana Walnut Muffins
- Double Chocolate Muffins
- White Chocolate Muffins
Carrot Cake Muffin Recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup mashed bananas (about 1 large banana)
- ¾ cup packed dark or light brown sugar
- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup pineapple juice (from the canned, drained pineapple chunks)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups freshly, finely shredded carrots - not packed
- ¾ cup drained pineapple chunks - about ¼ inch (0.5cm) in size
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line two 12-well muffin pans with about 16 paper liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl, using a whisk, mix together bananas and brown sugar to combine. Slowly add the oil while whisking. Then, add the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the pineapple juice and vanilla as well. Then, add the flour mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Finally, add the carrots, pineapples, and coconut flakes and whisk just to incorporate and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, use your fingers to combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and butter until the mixture is crumbly. Do not overwork; otherwise, it will become a paste rather than crumbs.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared wells until almost full and top with the streusel. You will end up with about 16 muffins. Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 5 minutes. Then, leaving the oven door closed, lower the heat to 350°F (175°C) and bake for another 11 to 13 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Small batch Just divide the recipe in half and you will get about 8 regular-sized muffins or 25 mini muffins.
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This recipe was originally published on March 6th, 2019 but has been reworked and improved based on readers' feedback.