Moist Vegan Carrot Muffins

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 45 votes

Moist vegan carrot muffins with domed tops are easy to make, coming together in about 30 minutes. These flavourful breakfast treats are all about the carrot and spices, so they’re totally nut-free. Shredded carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg, buttery coconut oil, orange zest, and vanilla shine in every bite of these wholesome, not-too-sweet muffins.

An up close, slight 3/4 angle shot shows vegan carrot muffins in a linen-lined bowl. The muffins are golden brown with flecks of carrot, and have nicely domed tops.
An up close, overhead shot of a split vegan carrot muffin with a swoop of vegan butter on one side.
An overhead shot of ingredients used in a muffin recipe.

To me, these easy vegan carrot muffins are perfect. Moist and fluffy carrot muffins have always been one of my favourite breakfast treats, and these deliver with the flavour of warm spices, vanilla, uplifting orange zest, and just the right amount of sweetness. Cut one in half, swoop a bit of vegan butter on each side, and serve it with a hot coffee? Sounds pretty ideal to me.

And they’re all about the carrots! No raisins, nuts, or coconut here. To shred carrots for muffins, I recommend using the fine side of a box grater. The coarse side also works if you don’t mind more obvious carrot bits in your muffin. If you’re in a time crunch, you can also shred carrots in a food processor fitted with the grater attachment.

All of the recipes here and in my cookbook are vegan, so obviously these are egg-free carrot muffins. My core vegan muffin batter consists of: white whole wheat flour, ground flax, non-dairy milk, light brown sugar, applesauce, refined coconut oil (not coconut-y tasting), apple cider vinegar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. It’s a super reliable combination and it’s my little secret to getting moist muffins every time. Once I stir in the flavour accents and add-ins (obviously carrots in this case), I bake the muffins at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.

More Vegan Breakfast Muffins:

I hope that you give these treats a try soon! I love how puffed up and domed the tops get. Even though these are filled with carrots and other wholesome ingredients, they still have a spring-y and fluffy quality that is quite satisfying. In terms of everyday treats that are more on the wholesome end, I really do think these are the best vegan carrot muffins.

An overhead shot shows baked muffins in a muffin tin in direct sunlight.
A slight 3/4 angle shot shows vegan carrot muffins in a linen-lined bowl. The muffins are golden brown with flecks of carrot, and have nicely domed tops.
An overhead shot shows vegan carrot muffins in a linen-lined bowl. The muffins are golden brown with flecks of carrot, and have nicely domed tops. A split muffin is on a plate to the side where half of it is swopped with some vegan butter. There is also a cup of tea nearby.

Moist Vegan Carrot Muffins

These moist vegan carrot muffins with domed  tops are easy to make, coming together in about 30 minutes. These flavourful breakfast treats are all about the carrot and spices, so they’re totally nut-free. Shredded carrots, cinnamon, nutmeg, buttery coconut oil, orange zest, and vanilla shine in every bite of these wholesome, not-too-sweet muffins.
5 from 45 votes
A slight 3/4 angle shot shows vegan carrot muffins in a linen-lined bowl. The muffins are golden brown with flecks of carrot, and have nicely domed tops.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings 9

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup non-dairy milk
  • ¾ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, not packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons neutral-flavoured oil, such as refined coconut or sunflower (coconut oil should be melted before measuring)
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups shredded carrot, not packed (2-3 medium carrots)

Notes

  • I prefer these muffins with puffed up, domed tops. If this isn’t a deal breaker for you, you can stretch the batter out to 12 smaller muffins. I would check these smaller ones after 18 minutes of baking.
  • If you want to try making these gluten-free, I recommend turning to an all purpose gluten-free flour blend, such as King Arthur or Pamela’s. Please note that I haven’t tested this, so cannot guarantee results.
  • I love using white whole wheat flour here, but light spelt or all purpose flour will both work.
  • If you would like some whole grain goodness (but still a lighter texture) here, feel free to replace half of the flour with whole wheat or whole spelt flour. 
  • I’ve tried fine and coarse grated carrot with these muffins and both were great–finely grated is good if you need to hide the vegetable aspect ;)
  • Refined coconut oil is my preferred oil for vegan baking. Rich and buttery without a strong coconut flavour.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 9 cups of a standard muffin tin (or 12 cups for smaller muffins–see notes).
  • In a medium bowl, combine the non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, and ground flaxseed. Whisk to combine and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
  • In the medium bowl with the non-dairy milk mixture, add the oil, applesauce, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Give the mixture a whisk to combine. Add this wet mixture to the large bowl with the flour mixture. Stir with a spatula until just combined (this is a stiff batter). Add the shredded carrot and stir until just combined. Avoid over-mixing!
  • Portion the muffin batter out evenly amongst the 9 greased muffin cups in the tin. Slide the muffin tin into the oven and bake until the domes are puffed up, golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 23-25 minutes.
  • Let the muffins cool and enjoy! Cooled muffins will keep in a tin or sealed container for 4-5 days. You can also freeze these muffins in a zipper seal bag for up to 1 month.
A slight 3/4 angle shot shows vegan carrot muffins in a linen-lined bowl. The muffins are golden brown with flecks of carrot, and have nicely domed tops.
08/03/2023 (Last Updated 06/11/2023)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, carrots, dessert, snack, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter

36 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Julea

    5 stars
    Super moist and flavourful! I loved them. I’m cleaning out our fridge as we prepare for a family trip to Ontario, so my only edit to the recipe was to use up the last of an orange/carrot marmalade instead of the apple sauce. It obviously fit right in with all the other flavours. Delicious! Thank you, Laura :)

  • Cam

    5 stars
    I discovered this blog by chance through my Pinterest feed, made one recipe, and have become totally hooked since then. Everything I’ve tried has been delicious and surprisingly simple to whip together, and these muffins are no different. They’re sweet but wholesome, and the spices balance out the carroty flavor perfectly. And the texture if just right: substantial but not cakey. Thank you so much for these delicious treats!

  • Barbara Barker (London)

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and a joy to make! Not too sweet and great texture. Thank you!

  • Sara

    5 stars
    These muffins are great. I made both mini muffins (18 mins in the oven) and regular sized (closer to 26mins). It’s moist and flavorful and wouldn’t be able to tell the difference with non-vegan.

  • Dee

    5 stars
    Hi Laura if I want to make the gluten free too but flour combination do you suggest?
    Thank you

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Dee,
      I have not experimented with this myself, but I would go to a gluten-free all purpose-style mix of flours. I know that folks have had success with my muffin recipes using this homemade GF mix from Minimalist Baker: https://minimalistbaker.com/diy-gluten-free-flour-blend/
      -L

  • DOUG

    5 stars
    My first time making muffins and these turned out just (W)right – sorry, couldn’t resist. Thank you for a great experience and an enjoyable coffee break. I subbed the sugar with 1/4 cup maple syrup and they are plenty sweet and baked fine in 25 minutes.

  • DOUG

    5 stars
    My first time making muffins and these turned out just (W)right – sorry, couldn’t resist. Thank you for a great experience and an enjoyable coffee break.

  • Susanna

    5 stars
    These were perfect! I made a lot of substitutions and they turned out brilliantly. I used 1/2 cup each of almond flour, whole wheat spelt flour, brown rice flour, and oat flour to use up some odds and ends we had. I also added 1/2 cup of chopped nuts leftover from something else, the end of a bag of raisins (controversial), and a bit more carrot than the recipe called for. Anyway, all of this didn’t seem to overload the batter or render them under-cooked – however, I did fill all 12 rather than 9 muffin cups.

    • Laura Wright

      I love that you used raisins Susanna! Glad they worked with all your substitutions :)
      -L

  • Julia

    5 stars
    A-MA-ZING!! I brought these camping and got so many compliments. I myself could not stop eating them. My notes:
    – I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour and they turned out great
    – I only had a mini muffin tin, so I baked them for less time. Can’t recall how long, but could have left them in longer as I was looking forward to the crunchy top, but they were deliciously moist.
    – I did not have nutmeg, only cinnamon and they were still delicious.

    I plan on making them again and adding some vegan cream cheese frosting to turn them into cupcakes!

  • Ingrid

    5 stars
    I looooove this recipe.
    The directions are excellent – easy to make and the perfect puffy top (I made in a 12 pan) yum!
    Will make these again and again ~ thank you

  • alice

    5 stars
    Turned out GREAT! Excellent spiced flavor. I used canola oil and made 9 instead of 12. As promised, they puffed up nicely to create a beautiful dome. Will definitely make again.

  • Laura

    5 stars
    These are super yummy! I subbed cardamom for the nutmeg and they came out a treat! Not too sweet, lightly spiced, super soft and pillowy :)

  • Olivia

    5 stars
    These came out exceptionally great!! I used golden sugar since I was out of light brown. Your recipes always come out amazing for me I’m so grateful!

  • Laura

    5 stars
    These are delicious. True to the name, they’re very moist and full of flavour. I added some shredded coconut but otherwise made the recipe as written. I was so pleased with the results and everyone I shared them with also loved them.

  • REBECCA

    5 stars
    Thank you! So yummy! I didn’t have nutmeg substituted allspice, didn’t have brown sugar so made it using organic sugar and molasses, substituted 1/3 cup white flour for whole wheat. Made 12 and glazed 6 with left over lemon glaze from lemon cookies the day before. These turned out so good! Thank you very much!

  • Ashley

    I’d love to make for my 8 month old but trying to avoid much added sugar. Thoughts on increasing apple sauce or adding banana and reducing brown sugar??

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Ashley,
      I haven’t tried this, but from my own experience tinkering around with muffin recipes, you can typically cut the sugar amount in half with no other changes to the recipe and still get a well-structured and good tasting result. You’re welcome to make up the deficit with applesauce, banana, or even yogurt if you like. Let me know how they work out if you try this!
      -L

  • LaBreah

    5 stars
    These muffins are so good! They’re an absolutely addicting snack and super easy to make. I added pecans for a little extra crunch , though they’re great without any additions!

  • Laurie

    5 stars
    Made these this morning and they are so good — full of carrot/orange flavor with just the perfect amount of sweetness. These will be great for breakfast or afternoon snack. I used 1/2 whole wheat & 1/2 all-purpose flour but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Laura, thank you for a great recipe! :-)

  • Hollie

    5 stars
    These are so simple, pretty nutritious & insanely good! They are perfect without any additions of nuts, raisins, etc. I made them with avocado oil instead of coconut and they turned out perfect.

  • Kathryn

    5 stars
    Excellent muffin recipe. Approved by all in our family of six!

  • Sandra

    5 stars
    Dear Laura, another yummy bake. The whole family loves your flavours. Thank you for sharing.

  • Laura

    5 stars
    Outstanding!!! Already planning on making these again. I added 1/2c shredded coconut as well.

  • Tania Klein

    5 stars
    These were so delicious! My 19 month old kept asking for more (even after quickly consuming almost two muffins). This is the most perfect muffin recipe!

  • Serra

    5 stars
    Loved these! I love carrot cake, so knew these would be right up my alley. My two kids liked them too! Either they didn’t notice the carrots or because they’re so small you can’t tell. The flavour is delicious and they’re so easy to make!

  • Rachel

    I don’t typically stock coconut oil. Any thoughts on baking with avocado oil or has anyone tried this recipe with another oil? These look delicious and pantry- friendly!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Rachel,
      Any neutral-tasting and fluid oil is great. Refined avocado should work fine, but sunflower and grapeseed will also work well.
      -L

  • Monica

    Fellow Ontarian here; where do you get your white whole wheat flour from? I have found it impossible to locate! Would whole wheat pastry flour be a suitable sub (are they actually the same thing?) Thank you!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Monica,
      I live close to a US border crossing, so have been able to grab King Arthur’s white whole wheat in US grocery stores. Whole wheat pastry flour is a bit more delicate than white whole wheat flour (milled from soft wheat rather than hard and is milled a bit finer), but will perform really well in this recipe!
      -L

  • Katie Jane Saunders

    I’m trying to reduce fat in my baking. Could I up the applesauce and reduce the oil? If so, what proportion would you suggest would give good results?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Katie,
      Typically in muffin recipes, if you’re trying to substitute applesauce for oil, you do it in a simple 1 for 1 swap. So you would use 8 tablespoons of applesauce total to eliminate oil. I haven’t tested this with higher amounts of applesauce, so can’t guarantee that the results will be similar to the original recipe. But on a functional basis, it should work!
      -L

  • Nina

    5 stars
    These look fab is there a metric conversion slider button on your web site? Thanks.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Nina,
      I do not have this feature on my site yet, but thank you for the suggestion!
      -L

  • Caitríona

    5 stars
    Thank you!