Yay for gluten-free carrot cake muffins! I call these healthy little treats muffins, but once frosted they sure seem like cupcakes to me. They are packed full of carrot-goodness, as well as being very moist and light, even without the eggs. What a perfect treat for Mother's day or a Springtime gathering!
I've frosted them here using a Honey-Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) but if you are dairy-free or vegan then use my Sweet Potato Buttercream Frosting recipe. Just be sure to use white-fleshed sweet potatoes (they have a light-tan skin), and stir in some finely grated orange zest at the end. This recipe is a perfect dairy-free, whole foods replacement for cream cheese frosting (and it looks like it too as long as you use the white sweet potatoes).
The trick to making these egg-free muffins light and fluffy is to add the carrots on top of the whisked dry ingredients, immediately then pour in the blended wet ingredients, and then mix them all together at once. If you stir in the carrots at the end, after your batter has been mixed up, then you will lose some of the trapped air that is formed from the reactions of the baking powder, baking soda, and acid ingredients (apple sauce and orange juice). Then you must bake them right away in your preheated oven. Starting the baking process immediately after mixing the batter together helps to trap air and create lift! Both of these steps will help give the muffins the rise and lightness you normally get with eggs.
If you want to add other ingredients such as chopped walnuts and raisins, go ahead. A half cup of each should work well. Also....did I mention that these muffins are Elimination Diet friendly for Phase 2 and beyond (without the cream cheese frosting and citrus of course)! Enjoy!
Carrot Cake Muffins (gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegan)
Serve these tender carrot cake muffins as cupcakes with the honey-cream cheese frosting below or as muffins without any frosting. If you are dairy-free or vegan, then you can use my Sweet Potato Buttercream Frosting recipe. If you don’t have orange juice, are sensitive to citrus, or on the Elimination Diet, then replace the ½ cup of orange juice with ½ cup of water and omit the orange zest. I’ve made them both ways and they are delicious!
1 ½ cups sorghum flour
½ cup arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 to 3 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 ½ cups packed grated carrots
½ cup packed pitted medjool dates (about 6 to 8)
½ cup boiling water
2 tablespoons ground golden flax seeds
1 tablespoon psyllium husks
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or water)
½ cup melted coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ to ½ cup coconut sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with unbleached paper liners or grease the sides with coconut oil.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients except the carrots. Then add the grated carrots, but don’t mix together until you add in the wet ingredients.
Place the dates into a small bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let rest for about 15 minutes. Then add to a blender (water and dates). Add the ground flax, psyllium husks, orange juice, oil, applesauce, and coconut sugar. Blend on high until super smooth and creamy. Pour wet mixture into dry and mix together.
Drop batter evenly into muffin cups. With wet hands, gently smooth the tops if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and let cool on a wire rack before frosting. The muffins will be quite fragile hot out of the oven but once cooled, are the perfect texture.
~Zest your orange using a Microplane grater before you juice it.
~Grind your flax seeds in a coffee grinder that is not being used for coffee, or use the Dry Container of your Vitamix. If you use the latter then you'll need to grind at least 1/2 cup at once in order for the seeds to break down into a fine meal.
~Be sure to use whole psyllium husks, not psyllium husk powder.
~Use anywhere from ¼ to ½ cup coconut sugar, depending on how sweet you would like them. I’ve made them both ways.
~If you are following our Elimination Diet then you can have some baked treats on a very limited basis. This recipe would be great if your elimination diet falls over a special occasion. Just be sure to omit the orange zest and replace the orange juice with water. And don't use the dairy-based cream cheese frosting recipe of course! Also...use my Corn-Free Baking Powder in this recipe while on the Elimination Diet. You can find my recipe for that at the end of the Breads and Muffins chapter in The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.
Honey-Cream Cheese Frosting
This frosting recipe makes enough to generously frost one dozen cupcakes/muffins, with a little extra leftover. For a delicious variation try omitting the orange zest and replace it with ½ to 1 teaspoon raw vanilla powder for a lovely vanilla cream cheese frosting!
2 packs organic cream cheese (8 ounces each)
6 to 8 tablespoons raw honey
2 to 3 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
3 to 4 tablespoons arrowroot powder
Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and beat together using an electric mixer.
Other Egg-Free, Gluten-Free Treats:
Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies
To view all of my gluten-free, egg-free baked goods, please click here. At the bottom of each page click "older posts" to get to the next page with more recipes tagged egg-free. :)
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