Carrot Cake Mini-Muffins


Mini-muffin with Chevre and Apple

Mini-muffin tins have been calling my name for several months. There’s this black bean brownie recipe, you see, and those brownies just taste better when they are made in the mini-muffin tins. I’ll speculate the greater surface area helps hold them together and create greater rise (like a souffle pan?). Anyway, I finally bought the tins last week but, alas, I did not buy the ingredients for the brownies. Tonight I couldn’t resist trying testing the new pans out.

The original recipe is from Gluten-Free Baking with The Culinary Institute of America, but I tweaked it. My results are probably a little less fluffy, but you’ll see it’s now half whole grain (for the 6 tablespoons of flour…). I also substituted ground almonds and flaxseeds for another portion of flour/starch, used coconut oil instead of butter, traded buttermilk for plain milk, and added a smidge of ground ginger. I can honestly claim it’s now my recipe, since I changed half the ingredients! They are higher in fiber, protein, and good fats while being lower in carbohydrates. The small mini-muffin size also makes them not bad in terms of sugar (as long as you only eat one). If you eat more than a couple, the sugar will start to be significant. Good luck!

Carrot Cake Mini-Muffins

Makes approximately 4 dozen

3 c grated carrot (12 oz or about 4 medium carrots)
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
3 T sweet rice flour
3 T brown rice flour
3 T ground almonds
1 T ground flaxseed
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground ginger
3 T sugar
1/3 c brown sugar (if you want to use raw sugar, add a smidge of molasses)
5 eggs, separated
1/4 t vanilla extract
1/4 c buttermilk
1/4 c chopped walnuts
1/4 c raisins

Toss the carrots with 1/4 c sugar and allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes in a colander or strainer. Press to remove excess moisture immediately before using.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom of non-stick tins (but not the sides), or apply a little oil to the bottom of muffin papers.

In a small bowl, mix together the flours, ground almonds, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. In a large bowl, mix the coconut oil with the brown sugar, 3 T sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla. Stir half the milk into the coconut oil mixture; add half the flour; stir in half the milk; and add the rest of the flour. Mix until just incorporated. Add the carrots, raisins, and walnuts and stir until barely blended.

Whip the egg whites in a large bowl until they form soft peaks*. This takes a while with a whisk, a few minutes with a stand mixer and somewhere in between with a hand mixer. Take 1/4 of the egg white and gently stir into the coconut oil blend. Very gently, fold in the remaining egg whites. Spoon into muffin tins. Full about 3/4 of the way full. Bake mini-muffins for 15 minutes and full size muffins for 20 minutes.

The original recipe calls for frosting, but I honestly find them to be so sweet that any frosting would be overkill. The chevre was quite nice though.

*Soft peaks are when you pull the beater or whisk out of the bowl and they form a little mountain, but the tip falls over. Stiff peaks are when the mountain tip stays upright. Oh, and don’t forget to turn off the mixer before testing for peaks.

Linked to: Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays

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