If you’re looking for a great carrot muffin recipe, this is the one! These Carrot Pineapple Muffins are easy, healthy wholegrain muffins that are perfect for breakfast or snacks. Made with spelt flour, oat bran, and crushed pineapple, these healthy carrot muffins are a freezer-friendly treat you’ll love to have on hand. Slap a little cream cheese frosting on them and you’ve got healthy carrot cake muffins your whole family will love!
Back in the early days of this food blog I felt like any recipe I shared had to be super low sugar, low fat, and packed with dietary fiber. The prevailing nutrition paradigm hadn’t yet shifted to people snacking on fat bombs and putting butter in their coffee and was definitely more in a replacing-butter-with-apple-sauce in your baking kind of a place.
I’ve always tended to walk a fairly moderate path when it comes to nutrition. Other than believing that everyone should be eating a butt-load of vegetables, I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition. I don’t think you should fear fat to the point that you replace it with apple sauce in your baking, and nor do I believe that enjoying sweet treats in moderation is a big deal.
What does that have to do with this carrot muffin recipe? Well, this is one of those before recipes that I’d stripped away as much fat and as much sugar that I possibly could, yielding a muffin with a texture that was, um, interesting. I’ve been on a bit of a tear with updating old recipes (can’t stop, won’t stop!) and I knew this one was going to take some work.
Happily, though, what we’ve got here today is a recipe for easy carrot muffins that taste great, are moist (I know, I know) without being gummy, and I daresay you could slap a little cream cheese frosting on the tops and call these healthy carrot cake muffins.
Friends, meet the new, improved Carrot Pineapple Muffins!
What goes into carrot pineapple muffins?
- Carrots! Wait, did you see that one coming?
- Pineapple –> We’re using a whole tin of crushed pineapple and *some* of the juices.
- Spelt flour –> A healthy wholegrain member of the wheat family.
- All purpose flour –> To balance things out.
- Oat bran –> Bumping up that fiber content without being obnoxious about it.
- Olive oil –> Here’s where your healthy fat’s at.
- Sugar –> Light brown muscovado sugar is happening today.
- Eggs –> Two big ones, please and thank you.
- Walnuts –> But you can leave them out if you don’t like nuts in your mouth…
- Cinnamon and ginger –> To spice up your life!
- Baking powder and baking soda –> Leaveners are in the hooooouse!
How do you make this carrot muffin recipe?
First things first: whenever you’re making ANY muffin recipe, start by turning on your oven (350°F / 180°C is your magic number today) and greasing your muffin tins (I have these). You don’t want to be scrambling to do those things once your muffin batter is already mixed. If you prefer to use muffin liners, I really love these parchment muffin liners.
Second things second, grate your carrots! I just use the coarse side of my box grater and it takes approx 30 seconds to get the job done.
Now I want you to crack your tin of crushed pineapple and drain an infuriatingly vague *some* of the liquid off of it. I measured the last couple of times I did this and it was approximately 1/4 cup, but perhaps a bit less. Some!
In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, eggs, crushed pineapple, and brown sugar.
In the same bowl (who wants to dirty up another bowl?!) add the spelt flour, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Lightly whisk the dry ingredients together to combine them, and then switch to a wooden spoon and stir them into the wet ingredients until just combined.
Add the shredded carrot and walnuts, and mix into the muffin batter. Now you can spoon the batter evenly into 12 muffin tins (or 9 if you prefer larger muffins).
Bake in your pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes. Note! These are very moist (I know I know) muffins (omg, even worse!) so when you test them by inserting a sharp knife into the middle, you may find that some of the batter still clings to the knife. A tiny bit is ok, but a lot is not and needs to be baked for longer.
Because of the high moisture content I recommend letting the muffins cool in the tins for a full 10 minutes before you twist them out to remove them – the carry-over cooking will help ensure they’re moist, not gooey.
Can I freeze these muffins?
I’d be mad if you didn’t! Once your Carrot Pineapple Muffins are completely cool, simply pop them into a freezer bag and toss into your freezer. They’ll be good for up to three months once frozen.
Can I use a different kind of flour?
I have only tested this recipe using either a combination of spelt and all purpose flour or a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour. You can certainly skip the whole grain flour and use 100% all purpose. I have not tested with gluten-free flours or any other alternatives, so can’t say for sure how they’d turn out.
If you try this carrot muffin recipe with another kind of flour, please let us know in the comments below!
What’s the deal with oat bran?
Super quick grain anatomy lesson: all whole grains have three parts, the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. If you took a whole grain and ground it up you’d have whole grain flour. If you stripped away the bran and the germ and ground up only the endosperm you’d have white flour.
Wheat bran or oat bran is simply the bran part of the grain. It’s the toughest part of the grain, the outer layer which protects the germ and the endosperm. It’s hella high in dietary fiber, which makes your colon a happy camper.
If you don’t have oat bran on hand you can substitute an equivalent amount of rolled oats.
Other healthy muffin recipes you might enjoy:
Carrot Pineapple Muffins
- 1/4 cup olive oil or a neutral flavoured oil
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 14 oz crushed pineapple slightly drained
- 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1/2 cup light brown muscovado sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 cups grated carrot about 2 medium carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Grease your muffin tins and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together crushed pineapple, eggs, olive oil, and brown sugar.
- Add the spelt flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger over the top.
- Lightly whisk the dry ingredients together, then switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and stir into the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Add grated carrot and walnuts, stirring to distribute evenly through the batter. Spoon into prepared muffin tins.
- Bake for 30 min, rotating the tins half way through. The muffins are done when a sharp knife inserted into the center has only a tiny bit of batter clinging to the sides.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tins, then gently release the muffins from the tins, and turn onto their sides in the tins to fully cool.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only
- Drain a scant 1/4 cup of liquid from the pineapple before mixing it in
This recipe was originally published February 17, 2011. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated April 17, 2019.
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