Healthier Carrot Cake Cupcakes (paleo option, grain-free, gluten-free)

Moist, lightly sweetened with honey and even a little fluffy, these grain-free and gluten-free healthier carrot cake cupcakes (or muffins!) are the perfect Easter treat. With a paleo and dairy-free option.

First up, if you prefer a grain-containing healthier carrot cake recipe, I have you covered! This 100% whole grain carrot cake is the best carrot cake I’ve ever had. Hands down.

These naturally sweetened grain-free and gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes have the best light and fluffy texture! With a paleo and dairy-free option.

If grains aren’t your thing, these healthier carrot cake cupcakes are awesome. I feel like a broken record, just because I say this all the time, but I used a combination of almond flour and coconut flour to achieve the perfect texture. I want my grain-free baked goods to taste as close to grain-containing ones as possible and these are pretty darn close!

People often ask if there’s a substitute for coconut flour and there really isn’t. You can easily order it online or you can make your own homemade coconut flour! And the only substitute for the almond flour would be almond meal (which is a lot cheaper than almond flour!) or another nut flour.

These gluten-free and grain-free carrot cake cupcakes have the best fluffy texture! With a paleo and dairy-free option. Naturally sweetened with honey.

So now that we’ve got the healthier carrot cake cupcakes out of the way, we need some healthier cream cheese frosting! This is the same cream cheese frosting recipe that I used in my last post on carrot cake scones.

It uses just a little maple syrup as sweetener. I really thought cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar was impossible but this maple syrup version was just as good! It’s quite thick so if you want to thin it out, just add some milk.

I’m just guessing that if you’re interested in grain-free baking, you’re not into mounds of frosting on top of your cupcakes. The amount that this cream cheese frosting recipe yields is just enough for a thin slathering on each cupcake. If you want to pipe it like I did, you can pipe about twice as much as you see in the pictures.

These gluten-free and grain-free carrot cake cupcakes have the best fluffy texture! Naturally sweetened and with a paleo and dairy-free option.

I recommend frosting the cupcakes right before serving because once you frost them, they need to be refrigerated. They can sit at room temperature for about 4 hours so if you want to frost them in preparation of a party – no problem! They just taste better and fluffier if you keep them at room temperature and microwaving cream cheese frosting sounds like a bad idea.

Obviously cream cheese isn’t dairy-free but there are dairy-free cream cheeses out there. If you don’t like the thought of using that, just leave out the frosting or use my vegan cream cheese recipe.

It’s naturally sweetened, doesn’t have any unusual ingredients and is also paleo-friendly! Half the recipe should yield enough for a nice slathering on top of each cupcake. You can also find my directions for making these carrot cake cupcakes into an 8″ cake on that post.

Want an Easter dessert that’s a little more unique than these paleo carrot cupcakes? Try these blueberry carrot cake bars with granola from Cotter Crunch! They’re gluten-free and dairy-free and look amazing.

And for something with more of a cake texture (like angel food cake!) be sure to give my paleo blueberry muffins a try!

Want more grain-free treats?!

  • These paleo chocolate banana muffins are bursting with banana flavor and are super rich and decadent! (honey sweetened, grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free)
  • Vegan Paleo Lemon Cookies {grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free}
  • Vegan Paleo Lemon Cookies {grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free}
  • These paleo chocolate cupcakes are moist but not eggy and have a rich, dark chocolaty taste! (grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free)

Healthier Carrot Cake Cupcakes (grain-free, gluten-free, paleo and dairy-free options)

♥♥♥♥♥
Rated 4.9 by 50 readers
Healthier Carrot Cake Cupcakes (paleo option, grain-free, gluten-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 muffins

Ingredients

    For the carrot muffins:

  • 1 1/4 cups (125 grams) blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) refined coconut oil, melted (if you use unrefined coconut oil there may be some coconut taste to the muffins)
  • 1/3 cup (106 grams) honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) grated carrots
  • For the cream cheese frosting: (for paleo / dairy-free, use a half batch of this vegan "cream cheese" frosting)

  • 2 ounces (56 grams) cream cheese
  • 4 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • a dash of salt
  • additional milk for thinning, if desired

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with 8 muffin liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). Set this aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry mix to the wet mix just until combined and then gently fold in the grated carrots.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not frost until completely cool!
  7. For the cream cheese frosting, mix everything together until thoroughly combined. If it's too thick for your liking, add a teaspoon of milk at a time until it's your desired consistency.
  8. Spread a thin layer on top of each cupcake or pipe it on. Do note that if you pipe it, you'll have some leftover if you pipe it as lightly as I did in the pictures.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

Pin post on Pinterest Share post on Facebook Share post on Twitter Share post on Google+

281 comments on “Healthier Carrot Cake Cupcakes (paleo option, grain-free, gluten-free)” — Add one!

  • Vivian says
    August 15, 2017 @ 12:21 am

    Hello Erin,
    I don’t have any coconut flour. Any replacement for that?
    Thank you,
    Vivian

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Vivian
      August 15, 2017 @ 6:38 pm

      Hi Vivian! Coconut flour is unfortunately not interchangeable with any other flour as it absorbs so much more liquid. Sorry about that! I wish I had a better answer.

      Reply
      • Vivian replies to Erin
        August 15, 2017 @ 11:42 pm

        Thank you for your reply. It is okay. I will give it a try!!!

        Reply
  • Ree says
    August 8, 2017 @ 9:04 pm

    Is there any changes for high altitude or am I all good?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Ree
      August 8, 2017 @ 9:08 pm

      Sorry, but I have zero experience with high-altitude baking. I found this, though. I hope that helps and that you’ll enjoy the cupcakes!

      Reply
  • Deborah says
    July 15, 2017 @ 11:02 pm

    These are absolutely delicious! I added 1/2 c chopped walnuts to the batter as the last step, and they work great with it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe – it’s outstanding!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Deborah
      July 16, 2017 @ 9:59 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed them! I’ll have to try some chopped walnuts next time, too. Sounds good! Thanks for your comment. :)

      Reply
  • Vicki Moss says
    July 8, 2017 @ 4:35 am

    I added zucchini to mine and they are devine .Thankyou for your recipe and I will be using them again.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Vicki Moss
      July 10, 2017 @ 6:43 pm

      How much did you add? And did you wring out the liquid? I’d like to try, too! Thanks for the tip. So happy you liked them! :)

      Reply
  • Megan says
    June 29, 2017 @ 8:16 pm

    Hi there! I’m gearing up to make these, and realized I don’t have any coconut oil! Could I use butter or something like Spectrum shortening? I also have avocado oil. These look great and I’m looking forward to eating them!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Megan
      June 29, 2017 @ 8:24 pm

      Butter would work! Never used shortening so I don’t know. I’d probably go with olive over avocado oil. Enjoy!:)

      Reply
      • Ned replies to Erin
        July 25, 2017 @ 5:49 am

        I made these tonight and used butter (my stomach won’t tolerate coconut oil) and they are LUSCIOUS! I had to bake them 25 minutes and the carrots were still slightly chewy but gosh these are so fluffy and light and my husband has bagged them all for his lunch so I have to make another batch for me! Thanks for a great recipe!

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Ned
          July 27, 2017 @ 7:38 pm

          Haha. He bagged them all for his lunch?! I love that. It’s great to know that the butter version worked out well! The carrots shouldn’t really be noticeable so I definitely recommend grating them finer next time. :) Thanks a bunch for your comment! I hope you hid that second batch for yourself. ;)

  • Alex says
    June 26, 2017 @ 6:05 pm

    Anything healthier that can replace the coconut oil? I was going to try apple sauce but t I’m not sure how that would turn out

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Alex
      June 29, 2017 @ 8:23 pm

      Sorry for the slow reply! I’m in the process of moving and haven’t had internet since Sunday. I’m one of those people who thinks coconut oil is super healthy so I’m not sure what you’d consider healthier. I personally haven’t had good luck with subbing applesauce for fat but I know others don’t mind the change it makes to the taste and texture. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you!

      Reply
    • Nuno replies to Alex
      July 7, 2017 @ 6:07 pm

      Coconut oil is the very healthy!
      You should learn more about it… find some books on coconut on amazon and learn! You will improve your health and many myths regarding the saturated fats!

      Reply
      • Erin replies to Nuno
        July 8, 2017 @ 5:37 pm

        I totally agree with you. :)

        Reply
      • Karen replies to Nuno
        July 12, 2017 @ 11:42 pm

        I just started reading The Secret Life of Fat. Fat is being given a very bad name. I’ve started increasing my fat and decreasing my grains and haven’t felt this good in ages!

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Karen
          July 16, 2017 @ 6:23 pm

          Same here! I feel much better with more fat and fewer grains.

    • Dainty replies to Alex
      July 14, 2017 @ 10:56 pm

      I’ve made this with the oil and with applesauce and there is no difference! –Except about 700 calories ;)

      Reply
      • Erin replies to Dainty
        July 16, 2017 @ 10:02 pm

        Good to know! Thanks for the tip. :)

        Reply
  • Risa
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    June 21, 2017 @ 6:35 pm

    Really good! I wanted to make these for an early first biryhday party for my daughter, so I couldn’t use honey and don’t want her to have sugar. So I replaced the third cup honey with a combo of unsweetened apple sauce and real grade A organic maple syrup and they where still yummy and my dsughter loved them! I just wsnted to share in case anyone else finds themselves in the same sinerio :) Thsnks for the good recipe!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Risa
      July 1, 2017 @ 10:21 pm

      So happy you enjoyed them! That’s great that your sub worked out. I’ll have to try that myself. :) Thanks for your comment and sorry for the super slow reply! I’m in the process of moving and haven’t had internet for a while.

      Reply
  • Nikki says
    May 22, 2017 @ 8:29 am

    Does anyone know if you can use all coconut flour instead of almond flour? Thank you

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Nikki
      May 23, 2017 @ 11:35 am

      Coconut flour is unfortunately not interchangeable with any other flour as it absorbs so much more liquid. Sorry about that

      Reply
  • Petra Jorgensen says
    May 4, 2017 @ 6:42 am

    Can this recipe be used to make a carrot loaf / bread, instead of 8 muffins? What would the baking temp & time be then?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Petra Jorgensen
      May 4, 2017 @ 10:43 pm

      I haven’t tried it but I’m doubtful it’d work out well. Grain-free muffins don’t often convert well to loaf pans. I also have no idea of the baking temp and time. Sorry I’m not more of a help!

      Reply
      • Margaux replies to Erin
        August 3, 2017 @ 10:07 pm

        Thoughts on whether or not this recipe would be good for a small layer cake? Say 6″ diameter? I plan on using agave for the honey for the lower glycemic index.

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Margaux
          August 4, 2017 @ 8:44 am

          I’m not sure about a 6″ but I doubled it and you can see it here: vegan cream cheese frosting. Check out the two paragraphs after the second picture.

  • Bracha says
    May 3, 2017 @ 3:41 pm

    Has anyone ever tried these with puréed carrots? Just thinking my picky eaters won’t like to see but if carrots :(
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Bracha replies to Bracha
      May 3, 2017 @ 3:42 pm

      **bits of carrots

      Reply
    • Erin replies to Bracha
      May 4, 2017 @ 10:44 pm

      I haven’t but you can really hardly even tell that there are carrots in there!

      Reply
  • Erica says
    April 28, 2017 @ 4:51 pm

    These are SOOOOOO good. Thank you thank you for developing a healthy version of carrot cake. They’re simple to make and even kid approved!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Erica
      April 28, 2017 @ 6:46 pm

      Aww, yay! So happy that you and your kid enjoyed the muffins. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • Jacinta
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    April 28, 2017 @ 6:00 am

    this is the first reciepe i have made from your website.. Definately going to try more!! Love using almond and coconut flours and these turned out perfectly! Instead of piping the frosting i spread it and topped with some chopped walnuts :-)
    Thankyou for sharing your talents 😘

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jacinta
      April 28, 2017 @ 6:48 pm

      What a nice comment! Thanks so much. I’m glad that you liked the muffins and that you’ll try out more of my recipes! I hope you’ll enjoy them just as much. Thanks again! :)

      Reply
  • Angela says
    April 25, 2017 @ 12:39 am

    Do you have the nutrition info available for these muffins? They look great! Trying to monitor sugar intake

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Angela
      April 25, 2017 @ 1:27 pm

      I don’t have that info but you can copy and paste the recipe here for the nutritional profile, if you’d like. :)

      Reply
  • Sari Stevenson
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    April 16, 2017 @ 11:53 pm

    These are outstanding. I’ve recently gone gluten free and was excited to try these. I did tweak the recipe a bit, by adding crushed pineapple and raisins, and a bit more almond flour. They turned out great.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Sari Stevenson
      April 18, 2017 @ 9:38 pm

      Yum! I’ll have to try these with pineapple and raisins. That sounds great. Thanks a bunch for your comment!

      Reply
  • SF mom says
    April 16, 2017 @ 6:30 pm

    Amazing! Delicate crumble. Didn’t have coconut flour so substituted 4 tablespoons of oat flour and 2 tablespoons all purpose because it’s what I had on hand. Ran out of honey halfway into pouring it out so used a tiny bit of maple syrup to top it off. They were incredible. Just a light bit of sweetness that was perfect. This recipe is a keeper. We are not gluten-free but wanted to try something different. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to SF mom
      April 16, 2017 @ 10:12 pm

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed them! And how awesome that you decided to try them out, despite not being GF. :) Thanks a bunch for your comment! I hope you’re having a nice Easter.

      Reply
  • Maria says
    April 15, 2017 @ 8:22 pm

    I just made these and they turned out WONDERFULLY!!! Since we aren’t eating them until tomorrow, would you recommend storing them in airtight containers in the fridge or is it ok to leave them in airtight containers on the counter?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Maria
      April 15, 2017 @ 8:40 pm

      I’m so happy that they came out well! An airtight container on the counter for a day or two is totally fine. Hope you have a nice holiday! Thanks for your comment. :)

      Reply
  • Ann says
    April 11, 2017 @ 1:43 am

    Looks Delilah. Can this be made with egg substitute? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Ann
      April 11, 2017 @ 8:17 am

      I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure. Sorry about that!

      Reply
  • Beth says
    March 24, 2017 @ 2:17 pm

    UPDATE: I calculated 20 mini muffins to be around 6 carbs each. (I substituted maple syrup for honey). I consider this a keto friendly recipe for sure and I’m making more TONIGHT. Thanks again for sharing this lovely recipe.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Beth
      March 24, 2017 @ 9:54 pm

      That’s great! Thanks for sharing your calculations. I’m happy that they fit your diet and that you enjoy them! :)

      Reply
  • Beth
    ♥♥♥♥♥
    says
    March 18, 2017 @ 2:31 pm

    I found this recipe while looking for keto or low carb desserts. I haven’t actually calculated the carb count yet but just eyeballing the recipe tells me that these are lower in carbs than standard cupcakes.
    I made 20 mini muffins and they were DELIGHTFUL. I substituted olive oil for coconut oil and maple syrup for honey. So yummy and my 4 year old ate them. The icing was perfect for me without any milk but I would like to know how everyone got their icing smooth without tiny cream cheese lumps??? Thanks for the recipe! I’ll definitely be back for more!!!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Beth
      March 18, 2017 @ 9:54 pm

      They’re definitely lower carb than regular cupcakes but not the lowest carb due to the honey. Low-carb is not my forte. ;) I’m happy that you and your little one enjoyed them! I just used a sturdy silicone spatula to make the frosting but if yours came out lumpy, try using a hand mixer. It definitely shouldn’t be lumpy! Thanks for your comment. :)

      Reply
    • Jillian
      ♥♥♥♥♥
      replies to Beth
      April 4, 2017 @ 8:27 pm

      Just got a tip today regarding the tiny lumps in the cream cheese.(:
      You need to whisk well the cream cheese before adding the other ingredients.

      Reply
    • Becky replies to Beth
      May 23, 2017 @ 6:56 am

      Beth, I’m looking to do these mini to increase the chance of my picky five year old eating them. How long did you bake, may I ask?

      Reply
      • Erin replies to Becky
        May 26, 2017 @ 10:35 pm

        I don’t think Beth will see your comment so I’m just going to guess that you should start checking at 5-7 minutes. Minis cook so quickly!

        Reply

Comments? I’d love to hear from you!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *


*


Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment immediately, don’t panic… it went through! Thank you so much for taking time to leave feedback!

Please help others by rating the recipe: