Carrot Cake Muffins With Buttercream Frosting (Vegan, No Refined Sugar)

These carrot cake muffins with buttercream frosting are wonderfully sweet with a hint of cinnamon, and best of all vegan so totally dairy-free! Naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Perfectly fluffy texture with all the flavors of carrot cake, but in a convenient grab-and-go size! Great for breakfast, snack time, or any grab-and-go meal.

If you like this muffin recipe, you’ve got to try my Orange & Cardamom Sweet Rolls and my Easy Vegan Banana Bread Recipe. Soooooo good.

vegan carrot cake muffins with sugar free vegan buttercream frosting on a cooling rack with a carrot and orange and white dish towel below

Carrot cake is my husband’s favorite cake so perfecting it has been a goal of mine. I mean what’s not to love about carrot cake. It’s basically of party in every slice. Like come on, cinnamon, pecans, raisins, and a creamy frosting? YES please! I also love that this recipe is dairy-free, but you can easily use eggs instead of the flax eggs and still enjoy this recipe is that’s your thing. (I’ll be updating this post to add the link to the carrot cake recipe also for ease of reference.) I also highly recommend Mary Berry’s reduced sugar carrot cake recipe. Bake-off fan over here so I love that this Mary Berry recipe is free of refined-sugars. Team natural sugar in the house 🙂

vegan carrot cake muffins with sugar free vegan buttercream frosting on a cooling rack with a carrot and orange and white dish towel below

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN CARROT CAKE MUFFINS?

Here’s your grocery list for this carrot cake muffins recipe:

For The Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tbsp melted vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 flax egg (1 TBSP flaxmeal + 3 TBSP hot water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For The Dry Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I use pink Himalayan salt)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Mix-ins (optional): Pecans, raisins, toasted coconut flakes

For How To Make Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins, the full instructions are provided below in the recipe card so keep scrolling! If you like this, subscribe to get recipes faster and also check out these other Vegan Recipes & Vegetarian Recipes.

vegan carrot cake muffins with sugar free vegan buttercream frosting on a cooling rack with a carrot and orange and white dish towel below

Disclaimer & Disclosure: There may be affiliate links in this post. Nothing here should be taken as medical advice. Please consult with a certified dietician or nutritionist about nutritional needs specific to you.

How To Make Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins With Sugar-free “Buttercream” Frosting Perfect Every Time

Before we get to the recipe, here are some helpful tips to make sure your carrot cake muffins come out great the first time.

carrot cake muffins cooling on rack plus a close up of one in hand

Why Are My Carrot Cake Muffins So Dense?

The use of a natural sugar, here, the maple syrup gives a rich flavor but also a higher moisture content. The moisture content has a lot to do with the density of these muffins. There are less bubbles which means less lift for the same amount of batter as other muffins.

Should I Grease My Muffin Tin or Use liners?

I prefer using cupcake liner for several reasons. Not only do they help with cleanup, they are very cute and very easy to find in grocery stores. I also think liners make it easier to lift out after baking. A nice way to personalize a batch of homemade yummies too. If you don’t have any liners, greasing the muffin tin works perfectly fine.

How Long Do I Bake Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins

For this recipe, I bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes because these muffins are pretty dense. Less time in the oven will cause them to not set properly.

adding shredded carrot added after dry and wet ingredients for vegan carrot cake muffins incorporated

How To Shred Carrots For Cake or Muffin Batter?

So my secret hack for shredding carrots for cake or muffins is I tend to make carrot juice in my juicer and use the pulp for cakes, muffins, or cupcakes. Such a great no waste tip!

When shredding otherwise, I use a standard box grater. The ones with 4 sides, and use the side with the smallest wholes. Really easy to use and works great.

vegan carrot cake muffins with sugar free vegan buttercream frosting on a cooling rack with a carrot and orange and white dish towel below

Is Carrot Cake Healthier Than Regular Cake?

This one is down to the vegan sugar-free buttercream frosting. It has added benefits such as real vegetables and whole wheat flour. Anything can be made healthier if we put our minds to it.

vegan sugar free buttercream

How To Make Vegan Buttercream Frosting?

Extremely easily is how. Add ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. If using a whisk instead of a hand held mixer, you’ll usually get to the right consistency in about 7 minutes. Full Details In Recipe Card!

vegan carrot cake muffins with sugar free vegan buttercream frosting on a cooling rack with a carrot and orange and white dish towel below

Carrot Cake Muffins with Sugar-Free Buttercream Frosting (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Refined Sgar Free)

These carrot cake muffins with buttercream frosting are wonderfully sweet with a hint of cinnamon, and best of all vegan so totally dairy-free! Naturally sweetened with maple syrup. Perfectly fluffy texture with all the flavors of carrot cake, but in a convenient grab-and-go size! Great for breakfast, snack time, or any grab-and-go meal.
19g Net Carbs, 2 g Fat, 2 g Protein per serving
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine vegan food, vegetarian
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 118 kcal

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • box grater
  • 12-cup muffin tin

Ingredients
  

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbsp melted vegan butter
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 flax egg 1 tbsp flax meal plus 3 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

  • cup whole wheat flour (use gluten free if desired)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt of choice I use fine pink Himalayan
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Mix-Ins

  • 1 cup shredded carrots or carrot pulp
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts optional
  • ¼ cup raisins or golden raisins optional

Vegan Sugar-Free Buttercream, Frosting

  • ¼ cup non-dairy coconut milk
  • 1½-2 cups Swerve confectionary sugar alternative
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Add all wet ingredients to mixing bowl and whisk to incorporate
  • Add add dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to incorporate
  • Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients slowly and fully incorporate
  • Fold in shredded carrots and other desired mix-ins
  • Grease muffin tin and line with cupcake liners
  • Using a tablespoon scoop one scoop into each cupcake portion
  • Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour.

Vegan Sugar-Free Buttercream Frosting

  • Add all ingredients into mixing bowl and whisk to desired consistency, usually around 7 minutes. If using a hand held mixer this will take much less time.
  • After muffins have completely cooled, apply frosting to each muffin. Allow frosted muffins to set in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Keyword vegan breakfast, vegan buttercream frosting, vegan carrot cake muffins, vegan carrot cake recipe, vegetarian food recipe

GOT QUESTIONS? I’m happy to help. Leave a comment and add some stars to let me know if you enjoyed this recipe. Let me know how you re-created it too. Also, please share it on social media. Tag #thenaturalfoodie. Thanks! -Salei

Salei, The Natural Foodie
Salei, The Natural Foodie

Hey foodies! I’m Salei. I am a mom, partner of a law firm, and the cook in my home. Enjoy my tasty, low sugar, low carb, and high-protein recipes, easy recipes, as well as healthier Caribbean recipes and other international recipes. Learn more about me at my FAQ page.

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