Fully Loaded Carrot Muffins
This is the wholesome fruit- and veggie-packed carrot muffin you’ll be thankful to have around on busy mornings when you need breakfast to go. It’s inspired by the signature add-ins of a good morning glory muffin, such as nuts, raisins, lots of grated carrots, and warm spices like cinnamon and ginger. The whole wheat flour and unsweetened applesauce keep this carrot muffin recipe squarely in breakfast (and out of dessert) territory—sorry cream cheese frosting, you’re needed elsewhere. Be sure to use pure applesauce with no added sugar, otherwise the muffins will be too sweet. If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, by all means bust it out to make quick work of shredding the carrots. —Christina Chaey
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cup raw walnuts or pecans
cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
cup (70 g) whole wheat flour
tsp. baking powder
tsp. baking soda
tsp. ground cinnamon
tsp. ground ginger
tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
cup unsweetened applesauce
cup (packed; 133 g) light brown sugar
cup vegetable oil
tsp. finely grated orange zest
medium carrots (about 5 oz.), peeled, grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1½ cups)
cup golden raisins
Hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed, and/or sesame seeds (for topping; optional)
A 12-cup standard muffin pan and 12 muffin liners
Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°. Line cups of muffin pan. Toast 1 cup raw walnuts or pecans in a single layer on a small rimmed baking sheet until golden brown or slightly darkened in color and fragrant, 6–10 minutes (walnuts will take less time than pecans). Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop; set aside. Increase oven temperature to 400°.
Whisk 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour, ½ cup (70 g) whole wheat flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, ¼ tsp. baking soda, 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon, ¾ tsp. ground ginger, and 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a large bowl to combine.
Whisk 2 large eggs, 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, ⅔ cup (packed; 133 g) light brown sugar, ½ cup vegetable oil, and 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest in a medium bowl until well combined. Scrape into dry ingredients and fold in with a rubber spatula until almost combined and only a few streaks of flour remain. Add 2 medium carrots (about 5 oz.), grated on the large holes of a box grater (about 1½ cups), ½ cup golden raisins, and reserved nuts and gently fold into batter until just incorporated (be careful not to overmix).
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling almost to the brim. Top muffins with hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed, and/or sesame seeds if desired.
Bake muffins until tops are puffed and golden brown and a tester inserted into the centers comes out clean, 18–22 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let muffins cool 5 minutes in pan. Turn out muffins onto rack and let cool completely.
Do ahead: Muffins can be baked 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.