Grain-Free Carrot Cake Muffins

April 8th, 2014 at 6:06 am

Grain-Free Carrot Cake Muffins |

It was early on in my healing journey when I dipped my toe into the world of gluten-free muffin making. And let me tell you, I had some total disasters.

Bitter buckwheat hockey pucks. Grainy rice-based mounds that crumbled to the touch. Oh, and let’s not forget the vegan flaxseed cornmeal muffins that even my dog wouldn’t touch.

Thank goodness I’ve now mastered the art of the mighty muff! Now that I develop recipes professionally, I’ve lost count of the batches I’ve made. But this recipe for Carrot Cake Muffins recently joined my league of personal favorites.

There are two secrets to really good carrot cake: 1) lots of carrots, and 2) subtle spices that infuse flavor but don’t overpower. These muffins offer both.

But carrot cake for breakfast? Isn’t that a little indulgent? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! These muffins are naturally sweetened with fruit and a little honey. Because they’re grain-free, they’re also super moist and high in healthy fat and protein. (See you later, blood sugar spike.)

Cinnamon, allspice, and ginger lend aromatic depth of flavor that pairs very well with the carrots. Of which there are a lot! I packed these muffins to the brim with grated carrots, both for a big nutrient boost as well as extra moisture and texture.

Grain-Free Carrot Cake Muffins |

Let’s put muffins on the back burner for a second, because I want to tell you something that happened to me last weekend: I got glutened.

Boo. :(

For those of you scratching your heads right now, “getting glutened” is the term many of us use to describe the lousy event of accidentally eating gluten…and then feeling the side effects for days. I haven’t been glutened in years, but suffice it to say that this past weekend confirmed that I definitely still have a gluten intolerance, in case I was wondering. (I wasn’t.)

I’m sort of embarrassed to admit how it happened, since it was totally my fault. I ate something that I just “assumed” was gluten-free without even reading the label. A few hours later, the constricting stomach cramps that hit me were a dead giveaway. I checked the label and sure enough: barley AND rye.

I sighed and hung my head, so upset with myself for letting it happen! I know that many of you can relate. When you work so hard day in and day out at making smart (and safe) food choices, supporting gut health, and healing with real foods, a simple slip-up like this feels like a huge blow.

You should have seen my stomach! I seriously looked pregnant. I texted a picture to my mom aptly captioned, “Gluten baby. This sucks.”

Anyways, after a painful weekend, I’m getting back to status quo again. I’ll be working on a post soon about getting glutened and strategies you can use to speed up healing. (Subscribe to free updates here so that you don’t miss it.)

Okay, rabbit trail over. Let’s enjoy some nice safe gluten-free muffins!

Grain-Free Carrot Cake Muffins |

Since I know you might ask, there is no substitute for the eggs in this recipe. Coconut flour loves its liquid, so they’re necessary for the right flavor and texture.

Also, the baking time might seem longer than usual for these guys. That’s because these muffins are so moist. While all ovens vary and some cook more quickly than others, the 25-30 minute range is most likely what you’ll need.

Grain-Free Carrot Cake Muffins

Yield: Makes 12

Enjoy carrot cake for breakfast! These grain-free muffins are naturally sweetened and packed with protein and heart healthy fats.


4 extra-large eggs (or 5 large eggs), room temperature

1/2 cup virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled

1 medium banana, broken into chunks

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2-1/2 cups grated carrots

1/3 cup dried currants or raisins

1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 12 cups of a standard muffin pan with paper liners.

In a food processor or blender, combine the eggs, oil, banana, and honey. Process until completely smooth. Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, baking soda, and salt. Process until smooth.

Pour the batter into a large bowl. Stir in the carrots, currants or raisins, and nuts (if using). Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for 25-30 minutes (rotating the pan once halfway through), until just firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool the muffins for 10 minutes in the pan. Then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before serving. (Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or freeze for longer storage.)




  1. So sorry you got glutened. Yes there is the chagrin of doing it to yourself, and I have been there, more than once. It happens. You can’t live your life on high alert all the time!

  2. I feel for you, Hallie…getting glutened is NOT fun! I felt like a real nimrod when it happened to me 2 years ago…can you imagine grabbing the gluten-version of my GF burrito from the freezer, then eating it without noticing the wrapper?! Actually, the 2 versions look almost identical…but still, it was not my finest moment! Glad to hear you’re feeling better, and can’t wait to try these muffins! :)

  3. I was just thinking about making some kind of muffin as a treat this morning, and presto your recipe pops into my email box! Perfect. Thanks for this wonderful addition to my morning and my recipe box.

  4. These look fantastic! I love carrot cake, but I’ve been looking for a recipe with less sugar. These are perfect!

  5. Thank you Hallie, these sound great, and I have all the ingredients on hand :)

  6. Looks like a great recipe. Would you happen to have the nutritional information for this recipe?

    • Liz: Thanks! I don’t calculate nutritional information for my recipes because of several reasons, the biggest being that numbers can vary widely depending on the ingredients/brands used by each individual, so accuracy becomes an issue.

      That said, if the info is something you’d like to calculate, I usually suggest using a free program like for an estimate.

      Enjoy! :)

  7. Hallie- wondering g if you have experimented with how to reduce or eliminate the eggs and cook with coconut flour? Using chia, apple sauce, milk ?

  8. Looks good! Do you think this could be made without raisins or currants? I’m not a huge fan of dried fruits in my muffins.

  9. I only use Jules Gluten free flour for baking. It is the kind we think tastes better than others we have tried. Have you used it? If so does it compare favourably with others that you use? Could it be used for the carrot muffins?
    My family does not like the taste of coconut so I would use plain virgin oil also. Thoughts?
    Thank you,

  10. Hi Hallie:

    I made these muffins on the weekend and they were super star delicious! I made a few modifications since I didn’t have enough eggs or coconut oil at home:
    – 3 eggs plus 4 eggs whites
    – 1/4 cup coconut oil
    – 1/4 cup applesauce

    Regardless of these changes they still came out moist and yummy :)

    Thanks so much,

  11. How imperative is the banana? I have a banana intolerance (apple, too.) Any substitution recommendations?

  12. Just baked these- adjusted to cut the recipe in half to only make 6 muffins. The muffins are absolutely AMAZING- definitely a recipe I will come back to! For the half batch I added 3 tablespoons of walnuts, and 3 mini boxes of raisins (about 42g). Like Hallie, said before- nutritional data changes based off brands and ingredients, but for my 6 muffins I got;
    210 calories, 14.2g fat, 3.4g fiber, 11.9g sugar, and 3.9g protein.

    Hope this helps someone to get an idea!

  13. Alexandra said on March 4, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Can I use Carrot Pulp from juicing?

  14. I am currently trying to heal myself (majorly) but also, at the same time trying to find solutions for my highly food intolerant daughter. She’s reached a point where I realised that the only veg she will eat is cucumber. She’s stopped eating everything else, tomatoes (unless cooked), carrots, sweetcorn and peas – she’s never been a great veg eater but has now reached a shocking point. She’s the youngest of 4 and I never imagined this level of non-veg eating would happen to ‘us’. Thank you for this recipe, she can eat absolutely everything in it (we’ve been lucky she hasn’t been visited by the egg & nut allergy fairy) and I wonder if she’ll manage to eat some carrots this way. Let the experiments begin! (I can’t eat egg but I’ll happily make this if it means she will eat it).

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.