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Whole-Wheat Spiced Carrot Muffins

Whole-Wheat Spiced Carrot Muffins 18.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Jan 27, 2017

Incredibly healthful, these muffins are made with 100 percent whole-wheat flour and no extra fat, and are gently sweetened with maple syrup or honey. Great served with apple butter, they're also wonderful with a schmear of cream cheese or room-temperature butter.

Try using the batter to make pancakes for a fun breakfast (cooking them with a bit of coconut oil — delicious). The muffins can be made savory by substituting curry powder for the spices and cutting the maple syrup/honey in half, for serving with a steaming bowl of soup.

The optional “mix-ins” can be whatever you want them to be, from figurative soup to literal nuts, and can take the muffins in all sorts of directions. Also know that the carrots could be swapped for shredded beets, parsnips or even grated butternut squash or zucchini.

Make Ahead: The muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Warm in a 300-degree oven, or split and toast, before serving.

18 - 20 muffins

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 18-20 muffins

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (may substitute 1 cup whole milk plus 1/2 cup plain yogurt, or 1 1/3 cups whole milk plus 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or vegetable oil or melted butter)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 or 4 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup mix-ins, such as chopped pecans or walnuts, and/or dried fruit such as raisins or chopped dried apricots (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.

Whisk together the whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a mixing bowl.

Combine the eggs, buttermilk, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract in another large bowl and whisk them together. Use a flexible spatula to stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture and then gently fold in the grated carrots. If you’re adding any mix-ins, fold them in now.

Divide the batter among the lined muffin cups. (The batter will fill the cups.)

Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the muffins are dark brown, firm to the touch and incredibly fragrant, and until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Julia Turshen.

Tested by Anne DiGiulio.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per muffin (based on 20, using low-fat buttermilk and maple syrup): 90

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 1g 2%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 20mg 7%

Sodium: 140mg 6%

Total Carbohydrates: 17g 6%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 8g

Protein: 3g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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