Welcome to a world where dairy-free, vegan baking doesn't compromise on taste or texture! Today, we're introducing a recipe that promises to be a delightful surprise to your palate: banana carrot muffins. Not only are they utterly delicious, but they're also a healthier alternative to your standard muffin, packed with natural ingredients and brimming with nutrients.
With the naturally sweet flavors of banana and carrot harmonizing beautifully together, these healthy carrot cake-inspired muffins are as perfect for an indulgent breakfast as they are for an afternoon snack. Plus, being vegan and dairy-free makes them an inclusive choice for various dietary preferences or needs.
Why is this banana carrot muffin recipe a total winner? Simply put, it's all about the unique blend of flavor, nutrition, and ease. The grated carrot offers a subtle, earthy sweetness that complements the robust banana flavor while infusing the muffins with valuable nutrients.
The beauty of these easy vegan carrot muffins extends beyond their taste and nutritional value. The simplicity of the recipe is another factor that sets it apart. This is a straightforward, no-fuss muffin recipe that novice and experienced bakers can easily whip up.
Even better, the ingredients are all plant-based, making these banana muffins a wonderful option for those adhering to a vegan diet or anyone seeking to reduce their consumption of animal products. So, whether you're seeking a healthful breakfast, easy snack, or satisfying dessert, these banana carrot muffins fit the bill perfectly.
🧡 Why you will love them
- Utterly Delicious
- Healthier Alternative
- Simple & Easy
This muffin recipe is made with just a few ingredients:
- Fresh carrots: The grated carrots provide an earthy sweetness and add moisture to the muffins, all while packing in vitamins A and K.
- Ripe banana: Acting as a natural sweetener, ripe bananas also lend moistness to the muffins and are a good source of potassium and vitamin C.
- Wheat flour or gluten-free flour blend: These serve as the foundation of the muffins, giving structure and texture, with a gluten-free blend offering an alternative for those with dietary restrictions.
- Chia seeds: A superfood packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and protein, chia seeds give an extra nutritional boost to the muffins.
- Soy milk: It adds additional moisture to the muffin batter while contributing to its plant-based nature, and it is an excellent source of protein.
- Fresh lemon juice: This ingredient reacts with the soy milk to create vegan buttermilk, adding a bit of tang and extra moisture to the muffins. Additionally, it assists in activating the baking soda for fluffier muffins.
- Coconut Oil: This tropical elixir adds moisture and richness to your muffins, making them decadently tender. Plus, it's a dairy-free alternative to butter, keeping things 100% plant-based.
- Brown Sugar: This adds natural sweetness and a caramel undertone that pairs like a dream with the banana and carrot. The molasses in brown sugar also contributes to a moist texture.
- Cinnamon: With its warm and sweet spice, cinnamon enhances the flavors of carrots and bananas and adds an aromatic touch.
- Vanilla extract: A dash of vanilla boosts the overall sweetness and aroma of the muffins, complementing the other ingredients.
- Baking powder & Baking soda: Both these ingredients help the muffins rise and become fluffy while baking, providing the desired light texture.
- Salt: A pinch enhances all other flavors in the recipe and balances the overall sweetness.
- Optional pecan nuts or walnuts: These offer a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to the muffins and provide a dose of healthy fats and proteins.
See the recipe card for quantities.
- Soy milk - feel free to use any other type of milk; our preferred ones are soy milk, and oat milk, due to their high protein content, which results in a better buttermilk.
- Gluten-free muffins:
- Oat Flour: Swapping All-Purpose wheat flour with oat flour will create a slightly denser muffin with a mild, slightly sweet, and nutty flavor.
- Almond Flour: this will create a rich, moist muffin with a nutty flavor. However, these muffins may not rise as much as those made with all-purpose flour.
- Spelt Flour: Using spelt flour will give your muffins a mildly nutty and sweet flavor. It's important to note that spelt flour might make your muffins denser.
- Gluten-Free Flour Mix: learn how to make gluten-free flour mix. It can offer a similar texture to all-purpose flour, but the flavor can vary based on the blend's ingredients.
- Chia Egg: flax eggs work similarly to chia eggs as a binder. The texture of your muffins will remain largely the same, but they might have a slightly nuttier flavor. Also, you can use apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice to combine chia egg and vegan buttermilk.
- Coconut Oil:
- Canola Oil: Canola oil is a neutral oil, like coconut oil, and can be used without greatly affecting the flavor or texture of your muffins.
- Vegan Butter: Vegan butter can also be used as a substitute for coconut oil. It could make your muffins a bit richer and may slightly alter the flavor depending on the type of vegan butter used.
- Brown sugar: any other type of sugar, such as coconut sugar or granulated sugar, works.
- Muffin Tins
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Large Mixing Bowl
To make these carrot muffins, follow these simple steps.
First off, get your oven warming up to 400°F (200 ºC) - it's always best to start with a hot oven and use a measuring cup to get all the ingredients proportions right.
Step 1: Combine the chia seeds with soy milk and lemon juice and let curdle, creating a vegan buttermilk.
Step 2: Mash bananas and shred the carrots directly on the chia eggs and vegan buttermilk.
Step 3: Add the rest of the wet ingredients, shredded carrots, and brown sugar. Combine well.
Step 4: In the same large mixing bowl, sift in your dry ingredients, including flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and salt, and combine with the wet mixture.
Step 5: Sieving your dry ingredients ensures an even distribution of baking powder, soda, and salt throughout the mixture. This process effectively prevents any clumps from forming.
Step 6: Fold the dry and wet ingredients and add optional coarsely chopped pecan nuts or walnuts.
Step 7: Lightly oil the muffin tin with your fingers.
Step 8: If desired, use paper muffin cups to transport your muffins conveniently.
If you aim for portability with your cupcakes, use muffin liners instead of oiling the pan. Distribute the muffin batter evenly among the liners. This will allow you to place them directly into the muffin pan or bake them on an oven-proof wire rack, where they will cool and rest in layers.
Hint: if you use silicon muffin cups, you don't need to oil them.
Step 9: Pop your muffin tin or mini muffin cups onto the middle rack of your preheated oven. Reduce the heat to 350 ºF (175 ºC) and bake for 15 minutes.
Step 10: You're looking for a beautiful golden brown color and a clean toothpick after poking it in the middle. All in all, they'll need about 25-27 minutes in the oven.
Hint: Using a knife, gently ease the mini muffins out of the tin if you didn't use muffin liners, and transfer them to a cooling rack. Let them cool completely, at least 10 minutes before munching on them.
💡 Expert tips
Ripe Bananas: Use overly ripe bananas for the best natural sweetness and moisture. The darker and more spotted, the better!
Grate Carrots Finely: Finely grated carrots blend seamlessly into the batter, providing moisture without altering the texture.
Don’t Overmix: Mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can lead to dense muffins.
Oven Temperature: Start baking at a higher temperature (400°F) for the first 5 minutes, then reduce to 350°F. This initial high heat helps the muffins rise quickly, creating a lighter texture.
Check for Doneness: Insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin at around 22 minutes. They’re done when the toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
🥢 How to serve
Enjoying these vegan carrot muffins can go beyond just a simple grab-and-go breakfast or snack. Here are some creative serving options for you to try:
Wholesome Breakfast: Pair a muffin with a glass of your favorite non-dairy milk - oat or almond milk would work beautifully. Add some fresh fruits on the side to create a balanced, hearty breakfast.
Dessert Parfait: For a creative dessert, crumble a muffin into a glass and layer it with some vegan yogurt and mixed berries. Top with a sprinkle of granola for a bit of crunch - a unique twist on a traditional parfait!
Afternoon Tea Pairing: These muffins can also be served as a delightful accompaniment to your afternoon tea or coffee. A great pick-me-up for that mid-afternoon slump!
Lunchbox Addition: Pop a muffin into your (or your kid's) lunchbox along with a veggie wrap or salad. It adds a sweet treat to look forward to after lunch.
Fancy Dessert: Warm the muffin slightly, place it on a dessert plate, and drizzle it with some vegan dark chocolate sauce or vegan ice cream. Add a dollop of coconut whipped cream on the side for a fancy, restaurant-style dessert at home!
Remember, these are just ideas. Feel free to get creative and enjoy your muffins in whatever way suits your taste and lifestyle best!
- Seed and Nut Variation: Substitute the chocolate chips with pumpkin seeds, chopped nuts, chopped walnuts, or chopped pecans for a delightful crunch and added nutrition.
- Fruit Puree Variation: Add a touch of apple sauce or mashed banana to the batter. This not only brings additional sweetness but also enhances the moisture content of your muffins.
- Add frosting: instead of using the usual vegan cream cheese frosting, we like opting for a vegan white chocolate one, which is the same one we use for our carrot loaf cake.
🥡 How to store muffins?
Properly storing muffins can help retain their freshness and taste for longer. Here's how you do it and the answer to the common query, how long do muffins last?
- Room Temperature: After completely cooling them, store leftover muffins at room temperature for 2-3 days. Place them in an airtight container at room temperature or a ziplock bag. Try not to stack them, but if you need to, separate layers with parchment paper to prevent them from becoming soggy.
- Refrigerator: If you'd like to extend their freshness a bit longer, muffins can be refrigerated. Ensure they're fully cooled, then store them in an airtight container. They should last for up to a week in the refrigerator.
- Freezer: For longer storage, cooled muffins can be frozen for up to 3 months. After they've cooled completely, wrap each muffin in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. To enjoy, thaw at room temperature or warm in the oven or microwave.
Always remember, no matter how you store them, make sure your muffins are completely cooled before you pack them away. Storing warm muffins can lead to condensation, making them soggy.
📚 More healthy and sweet recipes
If you're in the mood to explore more delightful vegan treats after baking these muffins, why not try these amazing vegan red velvet cupcakes? They're just as scrumptious and sure to impress!
⭐ If you try these carrot muffins, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Banana Carrot Muffins
- 1 cup carrots finely shredded (1 large)
- ½ cup bananas mashed ~1 large
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose wheat flour (180 g) or gluten-free flour mix
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar 80 g
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 5 tablespoon soy milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup pecan nuts or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Make the chia eggs, placing the chia seeds, lemon juice, and soy milk in a cup; let it jellify.
- Grate the carrot using the fine grater and mash the banana.
- In a large bowl, combine coconut oil, and coconut palm sugar, add the chia mixture, and then sieve the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine all the ingredients thoroughly without overmixing.
- Oil a muffin tin with just a bit of coconut oil, and divide the mixture into the prepared muffin tins, filling ⅔ full.
- Bake on the middle rack for 5 minutes, reduce to 350 ºF (175ºC), and bake for the remaining 20-22 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.The total bake time should be around 25-27 minutes.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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