If you’re anything like me, you’re in the mood to bake lately. Carefully scooping dry ingredients into one bowl and measuring wet ingredients into another feels familiar; meditative. And then there’s the cozy scent wafting from the oven. The warm, satisfying end product. So rewarding!
With warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, these Carrot Oatmeal Muffins smell especially good as they’re baking. And they’re tasty too – tender yet hearty, with oats and carrots and deliciousness all tucked up in there.
I originally shared this recipe back in 2013, and it was really popular with readers for a couple of years. But for some reason, it slowly faded into the background, and you know what? These carrot muffins don’t deserve that! They’re one of my all-time favorite muffin recipes, and they deserve to be seen. And made. And devoured (sorry, muffins).
Back in 2003, I threw this recipe together on a whim. It became an instant favorite, and I’ve made these Spiced Carrot Oatmeal Muffins dozens of times since then. Maybe even hundreds.
(I also created a fully-loaded variation with coconut and pineapple – very carrot-cake-esque. What can I say? We’re huge carrot muffin fans around here!)
So what’ve we got? Well, flour, obviously. Oats. Baking powder and soda, salt, and some nice warm spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Then, two full cups of finely shredded carrots. Some milk (plant milk if you prefer), applesauce, oil, and an egg. These muffins really are super simple (yet therapeutic!) to whip up.
I like to sprinkle the tops with some rolled oats, then bake away.
I hope you find these muffins as satisfying to bake (and eat) as we do!
Spiced Carrot Oatmeal Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (can sub 1 cup for whole wheat flour or all for white whole wheat flour)
- 1 cup rolled oats + a couple extra tablespoons for topping
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup milk (can substitute unsweetened almond milk)
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce*
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 large egg
- 2-3 medium carrots (finely grated (about 2 cups))
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or place cupcake wrappers in a standard-size, 12-cup muffin pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce, brown sugar, canola oil, egg, and carrots.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk just until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Divide the mixture between the muffin cups. I like to use an ice cream scoop for this - so easy! Cups should be filled just about to the top.
- Bake until muffin tops spring back when poked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.
- Serve plain or with butter (or vegan butter) if desired.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 - 3 days or freeze.
Dairy-free option:Use unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened soy milk.
Recipe revision notes:I've updated this recipe from the original I posted in 2013. The changes are as follows: To simplify, I call for all-purpose flour instead of a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat (but included flour options). Removed the 2 teaspoons vanilla extract because I think the spices add enough flavor. Changed the oil from vegetable oil to canola oil because the latter is considered to contain healthier fats. Feel free to use vegetable oil if you prefer; coconut oil and olive oil are also nice options.
*Applesauce substitution:If you don't have applesauce, some readers have reported subbing mashed banana with success. I will often bake these muffins without the applesauce at all, increasing the oil to 2/3 cup.
First posted January 11, 2003. Updated March 21, 2020.