Carrot cake carrot muffins

Our oven seems to be working fine again, which is great. Except for my motivation to get grill savvy and confidence. However, our camera (the newer, good one) needs new rechargable batteries (seems there’s something of an oxymoron there), and so in the interim that elapses prior to my going to the store and getting new batteries already, and whilst I buoy myself up in the unassisted grilling quest, I’m also going to focus on quicker posts that shouldn’t suffer from lack of photos. Not that my photos have ever been a surefire draw for anything, but still.

In fact, the oven working, and the grill being ever so slightly less alluring today worked out quite well, because I wanted to bake muffins for some girlfriends who were getting together, and I was set on them being carrot muffins. Then, while I was baking, it occurred to me not for the first time that I haven’t listed my favorite healthy carrot cake recipe on this blog, and I need to. Need to probably sounds extreme…but certainly not as extreme as the irrational fear that otherwise a flood or fire will destroy my little binder with the recipe written in it, and simultaneously Cooking Light will shut down its site, and all its recipes with it, forever, and so I won’t even be able to locate the original, almost exact recipe my favorite recipe is based on? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Back to my favorite carrot cake, in any case. One thing I love about it is that it’s made from such wholesome ingredients, and can afford to include such a modest amount of sugar, you could almost bake it as a muffin and have it for breakfast. Which, incidentally, is essentially what I did when baking for my girlfriends. There are a few differences here and there. The frosting, or absence of, for one thing. Also, the cake version has a richer texture from an extra egg and a little more oil. Sometimes I throw some crushed pineapple in, too, and walnuts.

Of course, I didn’t bake the cake, just the muffins. And so, I can’t take a picture of the cake version for you, not even with our less qualified camera, not today. Although, like I said our oven now seems to be working, and this carrot cake is really good. Therefore it only makes sense to bake that cake.

 

                                                                                                 (Happy Birthday, Jim!)

Healthy carrot muffins

  • 1 3/4 whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (or similar mix according to preferences of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 cup milk (I used nonfat)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrot
  • 3/4 cup raisins (I used a mix of regular and golden)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients through sugar (or, if using honey, through baking soda).
  3. Make a well in the center of dry mixture, and add in applesauce, egg, oil, and milk (and honey, if using). Gently combine these with a whisk, then stir into dry ingredients to form a batter. Fold in carrots and raisins.
  4. Pour into prepared muffin tin, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake 20-25  minutes.

Healthy carrot cake (adapted  from Cooking Light’s Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting)

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white)
  • 1/4 cup whole oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs (or 1 egg, 1 egg white)1 1/2 cups finely grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrot
For frosting:
  • 1/3 cup neufchatel cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through baking soda) in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until well blended. Place flour mixture in a large bowl.
  2. Combine or honey, oil, applesauce, yogurt, and eggs; stir with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Stir in grated carrot and raisins.
  3. Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  4. To prepare frosting, combine cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating at low speed until smooth. Spread over cake. Cover and chill.

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