Recipe: Olive Oil Carrot Muffins

updated Jan 21, 2020
Olive Oil Carrot Muffins
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(Image credit: Izy Hossack)

We love a good muffin for its simplicity. In fact, a good muffin should deliver far more than the effort you put into it, and these oat- and raisin-studded carrot muffins can claim that fame. This batter has applesauce and grated carrots for moisture, spices for flavor, and raisins for pops of sweetness (although if you’re a raisin-hater, chopped dates are a delicious substitute).

These muffins are so fluffy and moist, you wouldn’t even guess that they’re made with whole-wheat flour and are completely vegan, too.

(Image credit: Izy Hossack)

Carrot Cake for Any Time of the Day

These muffins make carrot cake accessible for more than just dessert, which, as a carrot cake-lover, is music to my ears. They’re the perfect balance of sweet and cinnamony, requiring no cream cheese frosting to be enjoyable. I must admit, though, that they’re pretty stellar with a bit of cashew or coconut butter smeared on top. I’m also pretty sure that a little bit of salty cream cheese (or non-dairy cream cheese if you’re vegan) would match well too.

Baking with Light Olive Oil

I often bake with light olive oil because I always have it in my cupboard for cooking with, and the light (sometimes called refined) olive oil has quite a high smoke point, making it suitable for baking. In something like carrot cake, you won’t get a strong olive oil flavor coming through unless you use extra-virgin olive oil, as the spices mask the majority of the flavor of the light stuff. The light stuff does, however, make such a convenient baking ingredient and lends a subtle fruity aroma, which is delicious in these muffins.

(Image credit: Izy Hossack)

Olive Oil Carrot Muffins

Serves 12

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2 cup

    light olive oil

  • 1/2 cup


  • 1/2 cup

    raw cane sugar, such as turbinado

  • 2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 cups

    coarsely grated carrot

  • 1 cup


  • 2 cups

    whole-wheat pastry flour

  • 1/2 cup

    instant oats

  • 1/2 cup

    raisins or chopped, pitted dates

  • 2 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    fine salt


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with oil or line with paper muffin liners.

  2. Stir the olive oil, applesauce, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg together well in a large bowl. Add the carrot and water and stir to combine. Add the flour, oats, raisins or dates, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold these dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there are no more floury patches left.

  3. Divide the batter between the wells in the muffin tin. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the muffins cool in the tin for 15 minutes — they may sink a bit as they cool. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack and cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.