One-Bowl Carrot Cake Muffins - Real Food Whole Life

One-Bowl Carrot Cake Muffins

March 8, 2016 (Updated on July 9, 2021)

Image of One-Bowl Carrot Cake Muffins

Wholesome, tender, and so delicious, One-Bowl Carrot Cake Muffins are naturally sweetened and full of all the good stuff. Grab a bowl and make these for a quick and satisfying breakfast, snack or side!

For years after we were first married, I used to bake the most ridiculously, over-the-top, crazy-decadent carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Let’s just say the cupcakes alone called for 2 cups of white sugar and over a cup of oil, and that’s not counting the pound of powdered sugar in the frosting.

Despite that fact that the cupcakes were gut-bombs, they were also really good, and Andrew in particular LOVED them.

But as the years have gone by I’ve stopped making them as frequently because, well, 2 cups + a pound of sugar just doesn’t seem right anymore.

Plus, Andrew has reluctantly admitted to a dairy intolerance, so the beloved cupcakes are pretty much off the table.

We still crave those carrot-cinnamon-walnut-raisin flavors, though, so I’ve been working on a real food alternative. These muffins fit the bill perfectly, and are tender and ever so slightly sweet, using only natural sweeteners.

They definitely don’t count as cupcakes, but they do hit all the same flavor notes, and are so wholesome they can be enjoyed just about anytime. Enjoy them for breakfast, or as a snack or side.

I plan on making a batch for Easter brunch, and then again for a baby shower this spring. They are lovely served with grass-fed or coconut butter and a generous drizzle of raw honey, too.

They may not be cupcakes, but these muffins are almost as good and can be enjoyed far more often.

They’re freezable, too, so whip up a double batch and keep extras on hand for a quick breakfast or afternoon treat. Now, let’s make some carrot cake muffins! 


1 | Skip the walnuts and/or raisins if you like. 

2 | Replace the almond flour with finely ground cornmeal and omit the walnuts for a nut-free version.


Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free

Image of One-Bowl Carrot Cake Muffins
5 from 1 vote

One-Bowl Carrot Cake Muffins

Yield 12 muffins

Wholesome, tender, and so delicious, One-Bowl Carrot Cake Muffins are naturally sweetened and full of all the good stuff. Grab a bowl and make these for a quick and satisfying breakfast, snack, or side!


  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¾ cup apple sauce
  • ½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups oat flour*
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup raisins


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine the melted coconut oil, applesauce, orange juice, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl, whisking to combine.
  • To the same bowl, add the oat flour, almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, stirring until well combined. Add the carrot, walnuts, and raisins, stirring again until well incorporated.
  • Grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan with silicone liners. Spoon 3-4 heaping tablespoons of batter into each cup.
  • Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve warm, or store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days. Alternatively, freeze the cooled muffins in a tightly sealed container for up to 1 month.


*Notes: Make your own oat flour for this recipe by placing 1½ cups whole oats in a blender and blending until a coarse flour forms. Alternatively, you can buy pre-made oat flour at well-stocked grocery stores and online (either regular or gluten-free). Be sure to buy gluten-free oats if you want to keep the recipe gluten-free.
Skip the walnuts and/or raisins if you like.
Replace the almond flour with finely ground cornmeal and omit the walnuts for a nut-free version.
Nutrition disclaimer
did you make this recipe?Mention @realfoodwholelife or tag #realfoodwholelife!


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17 comments to " One-Bowl Carrot Cake Muffins "

  • Melissa

    Do you think almond meal will work in place of the almond flour? I have some almond meal at home and was curious before I go buy almond flour. Thank you! Can’t wait to try these!

    • Robyn Downs

      Melissa, I do think almond meal will work. The muffins may be slightly denser, but should still turn out fine. Let us know if you try it!

      • Melissa

        I made them with almond meal, and they were amazing! My 3 and 4 year olds loved them too! I don’t have a comparison using almond flour, but they weren’t that dense… and tasted so good! Thank you for this recipe! Love one-bowl recipes!

        • Robyn Downs

          Melissa, thanks for the feedback. Great to know almond meal will work! Happy you enjoyed and your littles enjoyed the recipe! πŸ™‚

  • Vicky T

    I made these yesterday…the flavor is great! I might have needed to bake them longer, mine don’t look that color, they look more pale. Instead of almond meal I simply used whole wheat flour. Thanks for the recipe!!!

    (fyi: i have blended plenty oat flour for future recipe swaps, thanks!!!)

    • Robyn Downs

      So glad you enjoyed these, Vicky! I use eggs from my sister’s pastured chickens–they have the brightest yellow yolks–so that may explain the color difference. Great thinking on blending a big batch of oat flour. Will make the next batch that much simpler! πŸ™‚

  • Jamie Cailteux

    Any chance you think coconut flour would be an adequate substitute for almond flour? I could have sworn I had almond flour but I only have coconut and would love to avoid a trip to the store πŸ™‚

    • Robyn Downs

      Hi Jamie, unfortunately coconut flour is really its own thing and can’t be substituted. If you have finely ground cornmeal that will work in place of almond flour, or just use all oat flour, that should work out fine. Let us know how it goes! πŸ™‚

  • Shawna

    I just finished off the last of these. They were so good! My husband, who rarely eats any of my "healthy" baking, ate these two days as well. I went exactly by the recipe, but omitted the walnuts as I was feeding them to my almost one year old, but they were very satisfying and flavorful with the raisins and carrots. I’m already planning another batch today or tomorrow!

    • Robyn Downs

      Shawna, yay, so glad you and your family enjoyed this one! πŸ™‚

      • Jamie

        5 stars
        I have loved these as muffins in the past and looking for a GF cake option for a birthday. Do you think this recipe would work multiplied to make a 2 layer cake?

        • Robyn Downs

          Hi Jamie, I think so! I haven’t tested it, so I can’t give you an exact cook time, but I think the recipe should double well. If you try it let us know how it goes!

  • Katie

    These were delicious! I need to avoid almonds and eggs so I used corn meal and flax eggs and was worried they might not turn out but they turned out great! Thank you for the recipe! I will be trying the Apple Cornmeal Muffins next πŸ™‚

    • Robyn Downs


      I’m so glad you enjoyed these and that you made them your own! I hope you enjoy the Apple Cornmeal Muffins as well. πŸ™‚

  • Emma Davis

    Wow! Great recipe.
    Here is the best Carrot Cake Smoothie bowl recipe I’ve ever had Very easy to make.

  • Alex James

    These are so good! A perfect use for the ridiculous amount of CSA carrots I have to use up. I used corn meal in lieu of almond, because of an allergy. My husband and toddler love them. Thank you!

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If you love this recipe it would mean SO MUCH if you gave it a star rating and left a comment. Your feedback helps me create more recipes you'll love, and helps others find my recipes online. Thanks so much for your feedback! β€”Robyn

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