I like to have gluten-free overnight oats during the work week for breakfast, but on the weekends and days off, I usually want something a little different. That way I don’t get too tired of my go-to breakfast. I don’t eat a ton of gluten-free carbs because it usually makes me feel too full and just sort of unhealthy. So I save any baked, carb-type things for weekends. I don’t feel deprived since I still get a treat, and I stay healthy by not having all the baked goods during the week. For my treat on the weekends, I had been eating half of a gluten-free bagel each day, but I decided I was ready for something different. I wanted to make a healthy muffin with something tasty inside it, like a vegetable or fruit. I’m not a huge zucchini fan, and my overnight oats already have a lot of fruit in them. So, my solution was carrots. I wanted a muffin that tasted like carrot cake, but wasn’t super sugary and wasn’t super heavy. So, the Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Oat Muffin was born!
The first step was gathering all my dry ingredients together – I combined gluten-free flour, gluten-free whole rolled oats, baking soda, salt, and a whole lot of spices – cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. I wanted to make sure the muffins were really flavorful so I felt like I was having a treat and not an “oat bran” type muffin. For the wet ingredients – unsweetened applesauce (I just think it makes everything moist and I also just love applesauce), an egg, vegetable oil, and I added brown sugar in here as well.
Now, for the fun part. I have a nice box grater that has several different sides for grating. I chose the smallest, finest grating size, and got to work grating three peeled, large carrots. After grating two of the carrots, it turns out I didn’t need to use the third! I cut it up and gave it to my son to eat, instead, but if you have smaller carrots, three may be just right.
I added the grated carrots to the dry ingredients, along with a half cup of golden raisins. Regular raisins would work too, I just like the way golden raisins look. I am not a huge raisin fan, so the golden color helps them blend into the batter and I forget I am eating raisins at all!
I mixed the raisins and carrots into the dry ingredients first (the flour and oat coating will prevent the carrots/raisins from sinking to the bottom of the muffins), and then added the wet ingredients. You can see the batter is thick, not runny.
Once everything was mixed together, I sprayed two large muffin pans with cooking spray (6 cups each, so a total of 12 muffins). I ran out of muffin liners so I made sure to spray the muffin pans thoroughly. You can see my muffin pans have gone through a lot of years of usage. Using an ice cream scoop, I placed scoops of batter into the pan, probably about 2/3 full per cup. This just made me 12 muffins. If you want very full muffins, or extra, you need to double the batter.
The muffins went into the oven at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes, and came out perfect. These do not come out with a big muffin-like crown (more like mini cakes), but I wanted them to be on the smaller side for portion reasons. I think reducing the baking soda, and adding baking powder, would help give these muffins a crown.
My husband tried a muffin and felt they needed a bit more sugar; I tried the muffins and thought they were just right since I didn’t want a sugary muffin. This is all a matter of preference, so you’ll see in the recipe below I gave two options for measurements of the sugar. I used 1/4 cup and it was not sugary at all, but if you like things a little sweeter, then I would use the 1/3 cup measure.
My plan is to freeze the muffins and put them into a big ziplock bag so that I can have a muffin on the weekends and on my days off, along side a big helping of eggs. The printable is below. Enjoy!
Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Oat Muffins
• 1 cup of gluten-free flour
• ½ cup of gluten-free whole rolled oats
•1 teaspoon of baking soda
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
• ½ teaspoon of ginger
• ¼ teaspoon of cloves
• 1 cup of peeled and then grated carrots (approximately 2 large carrots)
• ½ cup of golden raisins
• ½ cup of vegetable oil
• ¼ – ⅓ cup of brown sugar (depending on your preference for sweetness)
• 1 egg
• 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or thoroughly spray with cooking spray. Combine gluten-free flour, gluten-free oats, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. In a second smaller bowl, combine vegetable oil, brown sugar, egg and applesauce. Peel carrots, and finely grate with a box grater until you have 1 cup of carrots. If you don’t have a grater just use your vegetable peeler to make long peels of carrot that you can chop into smaller pieces. Add grated carrots and golden raisins to dry ingredients and mix. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix to combine. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, scoop batter about 2/3 full into each cup. Bake for approximately 18 minutes or until a fork or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for a few minutes, then cool on cookie sheet.