These Quick and Easy Carrot Cake “Blender” Muffins are so hearty and so delicious that it’s almost a shame that I’m forced to list all of the things they aren’t (for SEO purposes) before I can tell you how amazing they actually are. They are vegan and whole-food plant-based, which means they don’t contain any dairy or egg, but they also happen to be gluten-free, refined sugar free, oil free, soy free, and they can be made nut free by simply not putting the nuts on top.
Now that I’ve gotten everything they are not out of the way, I can tell you that these are pretty much the easiest muffins you’ll ever make. Whole ingredients are put into a blender in two stages, before being combined, and then divided into 6 lined muffin cups. This recipe makes the perfect amount of muffins to make for an individual to eat throughout the work week, or for a family to enjoy on a weekend morning.
Did I mention that they taste like CARROT CAKE?
As the name implies, these oat muffins serve serious carrot cake vibes. They are just sweet enough to satisfy the craving for a sweet treat, but not cloyingly sweet that you can’t eat the whole thing. Oh, and they are only about 200 calories per muffin. Yup. And don’t be fooled by their sweetness. They are full of wholesome ingredients, and even though they make you feel like you’re eating a dessert, nutritionally speaking, they’re no different than eating a bowl of oatmeal.
Kid Tested and Mother Approved:
This recipe all started out with a picture text from my mom and a desire to try out my new Kitchenaid flour mill attachment.
My mom sent me a picture of a batch of vegan muffins she had made using some recipe she found online. They were an oat flour blueberry muffin with a streusel topping, and they looked just as delicious as they sounded. But because I am the person I am, and I don’t like to follow recipes (Because I would rather write my own?), I decided to try my hand at making my own oat muffins, using my Chocolate Pudding Oats recipe as inspiration.
I ground up some oat flour in my new flour mill, and then I looked at a few oat muffin recipes online to get some basic ratios. Instead of following any of them, I just started adding the ingredients from my Chocolate Pudding Oats like banana, cocoa powder, and coconut milk into a bowl along with the oat flour, and tasting as I went.
There are so many ways to replace eggs in a recipe, and the hardest part is choosing the best one for the recipe you’re making. In my experience, flax “eggs” usually leave a gummy texture, so I didn’t want to use those. On a whim, I decided to try and use chickpea flour and water as the egg replacer. If it can work in a omelet, it can work in a muffin, right?
Not to brag, but I nailed the recipe on the first try. Almost. The flavor was great, and the texture was incredible, and they were perfectly sweet. I was so excited that I wrote the recipe down, and shared it with my mom. Not thinking that she would actually make them anytime soon, I called her and told her about my creation.
As we talked, she started pulling out ingredients, and actually started making the muffins. Within 20 minutes, she had a batch of warm chocolate muffins ready to give me her feedback.
She loved the first bite, and sounded impressed by the flavor and texture, but what she didn’t love was a lingering chickpea flour aftertaste. I told her that I would experiment again one day with a smaller amount to see if I could eliminate that flavor.
Within two days my muffins were gone, and I couldn’t wait to make them again. This time, I reduced the chickpea flour, and I decided that if I was going to actually share this recipe, that I needed to eliminate the flour mill.
That second experiment, I tried using my NutriBullet instead, and I tried to figure out a way to just make the whole recipe using the blender.
The second batch was a success. I loved what the blender did to the “wet” portion of the ingredients, and the way that it allowed me to incorporate the banana and chickpea flour.
My partner, Ben, tasted a muffin from the second batch, and started to brainstorm other flavor combinations that I could make using the same recipe.
That’s when I experimented with this carrot cake version, and a coconut orange version.
Each time I made them, I cut a corner or found a way to streamline the process. I shared the muffins with more and more people, and the feedback was overall positive. The recipe was quick and easy. The muffins were delicious. And I kept wanting to make them more and more because I just loved having something slightly sweet to snack on when I got a craving.
Right now the carrot cake version is my favorite, so that’s what I’m sharing with you today. Stay tuned because I’m definitely going to continue to play with the basic recipe and see how far I can take these incredibly easy and delicious oat muffins.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- Banana – For best results, you really want to use a banana that is just about as brown as it can get without becoming liquid. But a banana with a few brown spots will work find, too. Frozen bananas will work as long as they were frozen without their peel, and then thawed in a dish that reserves any liquid that is released during the thawing process.
- Plant milk – Lately I’ve been buying unsweetened vanilla almond milk for my partner who prefers that flavor of milk for his cereal. That’s what I had, so that’s what I used. Truly any plant milk will work, even oat milk, which I think helps with the browning process when used in baked goods.
- Carrot – Because these muffins are carrot cake inspired, you’re going to need a carrot.
- Oats – Instead of making a recipe that calls for oat flour, which nobody has, I decided to develop this recipe using whole oats, which pretty much everyone has in some form or another. The quantity is different depending on which type of oats you’re using, so if you’ve got old fashioned, rolled oats, or quick cooking oats, you’ll need 1 ½ cups. If you’re using whole oat groats or steel cut oats, you’ll only need 1 cup. My preference? I actually like the texture that the muffins have when I use whole oat groats. But it’s not really worth going out and buying another form of oats if you’ve already got rolled oats on hand.
- Chickpea flour – My favorite ingredient to use in the kitchen, chickpea flour (or besan, or gram flour, or garbanzo bean flour…) can do so many things. In this recipe, it, combined with the plant milk, creates the perfect “egg” binder for these muffins. It helps keep them airy and light, and it helps to hold them together. There are other ways to substitute the “egg” in a vegan recipe, but chickpea flour is the best here. To be completely honest, I haven’t actually tested any other “eggs” in this recipe, so if you really don’t want to use chickpea flour, then half the milk amount, and add your favorite vegan egg replacer instead.
- Baking powder and baking soda – These are the leavening agents that give the muffins their lift. You can’t’ really skip or replace these
- Apple cider vinegar – Vinegar reacts with the baking soda to make the muffins a bit lighter and airier. If you don’t have ACV, you could use rice wine vinegar or even an equal amount of lemon juice.
- Cinnamon and ground ginger – Since we’re going for a carrot cake vibe, we need to spice these muffins up a bit. If you don’t have the individual spices on hand, you could definitely use an equal amount of pumpkin pie spice or warm, holiday spice blend.
- Maple syrup, agave, or coconut sugar – I’m advertising these muffins as being “refined sugar free”, but depending on how sweet your banana is, they’ll need to lift the sweetness up a bit. If you’re adamant about not adding any sweetener at all, then you can definitely leave it out altogether. A nice, ripe banana will do quite a bit of the work. If you prefer a more definitively sweet muffin, but not too sweet, then shoot for 3 tablespoons. You may need a bit more if it’s not sweet enough for your tastes, or you may find that 3 tablespoons is too sweet, and you may want to scale it back a bit for your next batch.
- Vanilla extract – What’s a sweet baked good without vanilla? Boring, that’s what. Use your favorite vanilla extract or powder, or experiment with other flavors and extracts.
- Raisins – Not only do raisins add a pop of sweetness, but they also add a bit of texture to the muffin. Leave them out if you’re not a fan, or add your favorite dried fruit in the same quantity.
- Toasted coconut flakes – I forgot to add these when filming the video, but every other batch I’ve made I’ve added a bit of toasted coconut flakes. They add a great flavor and texture to the muffins. I strongly recommend adding the, but they’re not imperative to the structural integrity of the muffins or anything….
- Walnuts – Adding walnuts to the top before baking is the best way to get a great toasted walnut taste in every bite. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, skip them, or replace them with your favorite roughly-chopped nut.
Quick and Easy Carrot Cake “Blender” Muffins
With the help of a blender, these simple and delicious muffins come together in no time.
- 1 ½ cups (175g) rolled oats or 1 cup whole oat groats or steel cut oats*
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch salt
- 1 large very ripe banana
- ½ cup plant milk of choice
- 3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup, agave, or coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons chickpea flour
- 1 teaspoon apples cider vinegar
- ¼ cup 1 small carrot finely grated carrot, squeezed dry.
- ¼ cup raisins (optional but highly recommended)
- 2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes (optional but highly recommended)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional but highly recommended)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F. (or 350 F. convection)
- Add the “dry” ingredients to a blender, and blend until the oats have turned into flour. Transfer the “dry” mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the “wet” ingredients to the same blender, and blend until creamy. Pour the “wet” into the bowl with the “dry”, and stir until combined. Mix in fillings of choice, except for the chopped walnuts.
- Divide batter into 6 lined muffin cups, filling each one to the top. Top with a few pieces of chopped walnuts before placing them in the oven and baking at 375 F. (or 350 F. convection) for 15 to 17 minutes. The muffins are done when you can touch the tops of the muffins and feel that they are cooked all the way through.
- Remove muffins from the oven. Eat as soon as they are cool enough to handle. Let muffins cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.
- Note: If using silicone baking liners, remove the muffins from the liners as soon as they are cool enough to handle to prevent the muffins from getting soggy.
*Make sure your oats are certified gluten-free to ensure that the muffins are gluten-free.