We recently took a trip to Portland, Oregon where I visited several of our favorite bakeries and coffee shops. Perhaps my favorite is Crema – home of the biggest, fluffiest, most perfectly sweet zucchini muffin I’ve ever had.
Since I’ve already mastered the art of the Gluten-Free Zucchini Cake (<- OMG have you tried it yet?), I wanted to venture into the land of carrot cake. This recipe would certainly work as a cake, but I wanted to go the healthier route that didn’t require frosting.
Muffin tin, loaf pan, cake pan: Whatever route you choose this 1-bowl, vegan, gluten-free recipe is going to blow you away! I literally couldn’t stop eating these (always a good sign).
The recipe starts with some of nature’s best sweeteners: Banana, apple and carrot.
You can either use applesauce or grated sweet apple (a tip I got from a friend). I’ve tried both and they work well. Plus, it replaces some of the oil to provide plenty of moisture.
Top these muffins with crushed walnuts for an extra kick of healthy fats, protein and Omega 3 fatty acids.
In an ideal world I would eat a handful of walnuts every day; sometimes on top of a muffin, sometimes in granola, sometimes straight from the jar. It doesn’t always happen but it’s a personal goal of mine. Can’t get enough of these nutrient-packed nuts.
Not only do these muffins require just one bowl, they’re also vegan and gluten free and surprisingly healthy!
The only exception to the “healthy” label is the brown sugar (which I don’t mind in reasonable amounts). But if you’re looking to keep this recipe more natural, I’ve included muscovado (an unrefined brown sugar) as a substitution suggestion.
You’re going to love these wholesome, fruit- and veggie-packed muffins. They’re
Tender and light
Loaded with carrot and apple
Keep these muffins on hand for a quick, on-the-go breakfast or snack. I love packing these when we’re going on trips instead of having to buy super sugary and processed alternatives.
If you make this recipe be sure to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! I love seeing what you guys cook up. Cheers!
1-Bowl Carrot Apple Muffins (Vegan + GF)
- 1 ½ Tbsp flaxseed meal (to make flax eggs)
- 4 Tbsp water (to make flax eggs)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup mashed very ripe banana
- 1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or finely grated apple)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (or sub muscavado)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup plain almond milk (unsweetened)
- 1 heaping cup (packed) grated carrot
- 2/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 heaping cup gluten-free flour blend
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts (chopped // for topping)
- Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl by mixing flaxseed meal and water and let rest for a few minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
- Prepare muffin tin with liners or lightly grease them.
- To the flax eggs, add mashed banana, agave or maple syrup, olive oil and whisk to combine.
- Next add applesauce, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and whisk to combine.
- Add almond milk and stir.
- Add grated carrot and stir.
- Add oats, almond meal, and gluten-free flour blend and stir.
- Divide evenly among 12 muffin tins, filling them all the way up to the top, and top with crushed walnuts (optional).
- Bake for 32-36 minutes, or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. When you press on the top it shouldn’t feel too spongey, so don’t be afraid of over baking! The GF blend just takes longer to bake.
- Remove from oven and let set in the pan for 15 minutes. Then flip on their sides still in the pan to let cool completely.
- If you try to unwrap them too quickly, they have a tendency to stick to the wrappers.
- Once cooled, store in a covered container or bag at room temp to keep fresh. Freeze after that to keep fresh.
*If baking in a loaf pan or cake pan (8×8), bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour and check every 5 minutes thereafter for doneness.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.