Carrot Cake Muffins

Ahhhh carrot cake, my secret love.

It's one of those cakes that I used to dislike. Not sure why, but I just didn't fancy it. Now that I'm old I find it ranking in my top faves after developing an unhealthy obsession with cinnamon. Real stuff mind. Cinnamon jelly beans are still a no-no. Am I the only one who thinks cinnamon flavour jelly beans taste absolutely vile and somewhat burns your mouth as you're eating it? I shudder at the thought of it.

I find carrot cake is best served with the smallest amount of buttercream but it's not something I often bake to eat at home because, if you didn't know already, carrot cake is ridiculously high in calories. Sometimes more than a slice of chocolate cake. I know right? Carrots! They trick you into false sense of security by sounding healthier.

So. Without depriving myself of this yumminess, I made carrot cake into muffins. Sans buttercream. Don't worry though, they still taste great. And I made it healthier by reducing the sugar and replacing most of the oil with low fat yoghurt so you can enjoy them even more!

The trick to having perfectly domed muffins is to fill the batter practically to the top of the case and baking it at a high temperature for the first 5 minutes, then reducing the heat to bake for the remaining time. The amount of times I've read a muffin recipe that sounds amazing but the accompanying photo of a flat topped muffin discouraged me from trying it out but with this method you'll have beautiful, perfectly domed bakery style muffins.

Yields 12 muffins

300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Thumb size piece of fresh ginger, grated
300g finely grated carrots
2 tbsp stem ginger spread (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
250g dark brown soft sugar
150ml oil (I used vegetable but any other neutral tasting oil will work)
150g low fat yoghurt

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with your favourite liners.
  2. Sift the plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs and brown sugar together until the mixture becomes light. Whisk in the vanilla extract, ginger spread (if using), yoghurt and oil until combined. 
  4. Fold in the flour mixture until mostly incorporated (bits of flour showing is fine), add the grated carrot and ginger and fold until just combined. Do not overmix as this will lead to a tough textured muffin!
  5. Divide the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, making sure to fill each liner full. I left maybe 5mm of space at the top.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes at 220°C then reduced the heat to 180°C for a further 15minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before turning the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


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Interior designer & part time baker. Lover of architecture, design and all things cute.