These paleo carrot cake muffins are super moist, lightly sweetened with honey and even a little fluffy! These grain-free and gluten-free healthier carrot cake muffins are the perfect Easter treat. The reviewers love them! With a 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.
Or actually, it’s tied with this gluten-free carrot cake, which is the same exact recipe as the healthy carrot cake, but with gluten-free flour.
If grains aren’t your thing, these healthier carrot cake muffins 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. And the only substitute for the almond flour would be almond meal (which is a lot cheaper than almond flour!) or another nut flour.
So now that we’ve got the carrot cake muffins 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 muffins or cupcakes. The amount that this cream cheese frosting recipe yields is just enough for a thin slathering on each muffin. If you want to pipe it like I did, you can pipe about twice as much as you see in the pictures.
I recommend frosting the muffins 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 muffin. 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 cake muffins? 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!
Healthier Carrot Cake Cupcakes (grain-free, gluten-free, paleo and dairy-free options)
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Ready in:
- Yield: 8 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
- 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
For the carrot muffins:
For the cream cheese frosting: (for paleo / dairy-free, use a half batch of this vegan "cream cheese" frosting)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with 8 muffin liners.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). Set this aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla.
- Add the dry mix to the wet mix just until combined and then gently fold in the grated carrots.
- Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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628 comments on “Paleo Carrot Cake Muffins (grain-free, gluten-free)” — Add one!
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So bummed… I keep failing the vegan frosting. Refrigerated and unrefrigerated. Coconut cream and milk. Never peaks, only split coconut milk into oil chunks and liquid. I’ve tried mixing more and less. I’ve added ingredients to coconut cream earlier. It splits, separates, and doesn’t rast right. Vegan gluten-free birthday tomorrow and I am at a loss. Can you be in touch? In tears over here…
Hello! Sorry for just now responding. You commented after midnight my time, so I was sleeping. I’m so sorry that you had issues! So the issue is that you can’t get past step 2? I’ve been whipping coconut cream for about 10 years and never had an issue until a few cans last month. It was the same brand I’ve always used. I checked the cans and apparently nothing had changed. But they just wouldn’t whip. It even looked curdled. I think I tried 3 different cans and none of them worked. I bought some more a few weeks later and it whipped up fine, just like before. I have no idea what the issue was. I’m sorry it happened to you! There’s unfortunately nothing you can do to fix it. :( I would try a different brand if you have time!
Thank you for your feedback Erin! I will for sure consider different coconut milk brands next time. And, I will try again.:-)
Just made these and they are DELICIOUS! Thank you! I added crushed pineapple too and pecans.
Yay! Glad that you enjoyed them. :) How much pineapple did you add? I’m surprised that it worked well. Thanks for your feedback!
Thank you for this recipe! I made a half-batch, but I got 3, so next time I’ll just use the recipe as is to make 6 lol. These were so delicious and one of the few recipes where I love to use almond/coconut flour! Thanks again!
You’re welcome! I’m so glad that you enjoyed them. :) And yes, a half batch is too little. 😂 Thanks for your feedback!
These were delicious! I used maple syrup instead of honey and they turn out great
Woohoo! I’m happy to hear that. Thanks a bunch for your feedback!
I love it- moist and not too sweet. However mine tasted a bit bitter. I put extra vanilla, would this affect the taste to be bitter??
Thank you !
Hi! No, that shouldn’t cause them to be bitter at all. Did you make any other changes?
My batter is super dry. No moisture to it at all. What am I missing? I followed this recipe aside from not using almond flour. I used coconut flour (same ratio) instead.
As I said in the post, “People often ask if there’s a substitute for coconut flour and there really isn’t. And the only substitute for the almond flour would be almond meal (which is a lot cheaper than almond flour!) or another nut flour.” You can’t use coconut flour in place of almond flour. It will absorb way, way too much of the liquid and not work out all. If you want to use coconut flour, you have to find a recipe already calling for that. There’s no way to use it in this recipe. Sorry about that!
Just ask you I like reciepe to much instead of egg what can I put member of my family is allergic to eggs. Sorry. Anita
Hello! I would find an egg-free recipe. I’ve tried chia eggs in this recipe and the results were not good. I think egg subs are just hard in grain-free cake recipes. Sorry about that!
Hi! Can these be frozen? Wondering if I can make these in advance for a birthday party?
Hi! Yes, they can. Up to 3 months. :)