Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Carrot Cake Muffins

Gluten free carrot muffins
Lovely wheat-free carrot cake muffins - gluten-free

Wake up with a warm and lovely carrot muffin.

The snow has turned to rain this week and our Cape Cod winter rental (no cozy fireplace or wood stove) feels chilly and dampish. Which makes yours truly want to crank up the oven and bake. And with skies as gray and thick as old flannel- darling, it has to be muffins. Something bright and light and perfect with tea. Something fun to lo lift our cabin-feverish spirits. Something, perhaps, like these tender little bundles of gluten-free joy. So cute and sunny.

I love the carroty color. The subtly fragrant texture of coconut flour and quinoa flakes. A hint of cinnamon and ginger. A bite of raisin.

Seriously tea worthy.

And more fiber rich than say, a powdered donut. Or your average gluten-free bagel which is nothing but starch (not that I have anything against starch these days; I am rather embracing Doris of late). This a treat you can eat without a heavy helping of self-imposed guilt.

Truth is I don't count calories or worry about dieting.

At my age (or any age?) I think worrying can make you gain weight.

Focusing on all the food you can't have. Thinking about how many bites is too much. Cutting back so drastically on caloric intake or carbs or fat that your blood sugar plunges faster than a carnival ride. You don't want to be around me if I'm on a diet- or a low-carb regimen. I am one wildly cranky be-atch. I lose brain cells. I see flashing lights.

I tip over.

I claw through the refrigerator overwhelmed with the sensation of deprivation.

Until I find the long lost bag of gluten-free pretzels.

Then I'm done.

And done in.

So I don't bother with the details when I need to lose make friends with my yearly winter weight gain. And I may as well confess- ! I don't go sugar-free any more. I eat a brownie cupcake. There I said it.

Then I go for a walk (if it isn't zero degrees).

I try to keep moving. Because the reason I gain a pie roll this time of year has less to do with carbs and fat grams than you think. It's not the morning muffin that gives me my muffin top. It's the hibernation. The paucity of exercise. The bump on the log that I become once the sun sets- at 4:42 PM.

It's hard to burn calories watching reruns of Mad Men and new episodes of Downton Abbey.

Unless you're on a treadmill.

Which, like Betty Draper, or Countess Violet, I am most decidedly not.

Gluten-free carrot muffin with quinoa flakes and coconut flour.

Karina's Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe

Recipe posted January 2011 by Karina Allrich.

Coconut flour adds lovely texture, fiber, and moistness to this tender muffin. But if you cannot use coconut flour, try almond or hazelnut flour.


1 1/4 cups potato starch (not potato flour- too heavy)
1/2 cup organic coconut flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup organic light brown sugar
3 beaten organic free-range eggs (or Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs, mixed)
1/2 cup light olive oil, or your favorite organic healthy oil
1/3 cup plain non-dairy or plain dairy yogurt
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
1/2 to 3/4 cup light coconut milk/non-dairy milk/milk - as needed


1 cup finely grated organic carrots
1/2 rounded cup organic raisins or cranberries- if you prefer a touch of tart
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-muffin pan with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (starch, flours, quinoa flakes, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, spices, sugar).

Beat in the eggs, oil, yogurt and vanilla and see where you're at. The batter contains coconut flour and quinoa flakes, and both soak up liquid, so don't be surprised if the batter is quite stiff at first.

Add in the coconut milk, a quarter of a cup at a time, until the batter resembles a smooth, thick cake batter. Don't add so much liquid that the batter becomes thin or runny. Stop at half a cup coconut milk if you've achieved the right consistency. If it's still stiff (like mine was) add more liquid a tablespoon at a time to loosen it up a bit. It took a total 3/4 cup of coconut milk for me to achieve this- your mileage may vary.

When the batter is smooth and happy, stir in the carrots, raisins and walnuts.

Spoon the muffin batter into twelve lined muffin cups. You may have a tablespoon or two extra batter. I fill my muffin cups almost to the top. If you like slightly smaller muffins, this batter will make a baker's dozen. Smooth out the tops with wet fingers.

Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven for 22 minutes or so, until domed and golden and firm to a light touch.

Remove from the hot pan as quickly as possible to cool the muffins on a wire rack (keep those bottoms from getting soggy, Girls and Boys!).

Amazing warm from the oven. The best. Wrap and freeze for easy on-the-go breakfast treats. Warming them in a microwave makes them more flavorful and tender.

Makes 12-13 muffins.

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xox Karina


The Bendy Tree said...

These have now been added to my "To Bake This Week" list. My little ones are requesting Silvana Nardone's Italian flatbread and I am requesting these. Thank you for sharing and adding a little color to my day!

Kim said...

Oh these sounds FABULOUS! I have a recipe for GF carrot muffins already, but it just uses my basic all-purpose mix! I'm excited to give these a shot!
I can't have coconut - I'm thinking almond milk will work for the liquid, but what would you suggest as a good sub for the flour? Perhaps rice or almond? Millett may have too much of a flavour for these muffins....

VivaciousVegan said...

I am new to the gluten free zone. I have been a long time nutrition vegan and just recently found out I may have a gluten intolerance. I am glad I found your blog, I am sure it will be very helpful to me! Thank you

Jackie said...

As always, just beautiful! I am intrigued by the combination of starches. I love working with coconut flour these days, but hadn't considered using it in combination with the quinoa flakes.

Speaking of which, out of curiosity, do you ever find the quinoa flakes to have a particularly bitter taste to them? I've found that at times, but perhaps it was simply due to not enough liquid in the recipe.

Anyway, thanks for sharing another delightful creation!

Klay said...

why does everything you make have to be f'ing awesome!?

Lauren Montanaro Norster said...

I love any baked good with carrots -- and these look perfect for breakfast or after the gym...Like Kim, I also am sadly a no-coconut gal -- what do you recommend instead?

Rachel @ Grateful Girl Goes Gluten Free said...

Your recipes make me miss having a kitchen so much. YUM

Amanda Stuckey said...

Yummy and beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Looks fabulous! Thanks!!

Captain Momma

Jamie said...

Mmm mmmm mmmmm, I'll be making these tomorrow!

Hannah said...

What is this "treadmill" you speak of? Is it edible? ;)

These look gorgeous, and perfect for my wheat-allergic family :)

sissyjane said...

Exactly! I tend to hibernate in the Winter, and have just come out of my cave the last two weeks. I'm huffing and puffing like mad... I tend to hyper-focus on food, if I tell myself I'm on a diet.

The InTolerant Chef said...

These sound so much nicer than a donut any day!

Katie said...

These look delicious, I love all the spices and the yoghurt. I could eat a couple right now. I agree that its all about balance, if you move around a bit then a daily sweet treat will not be a problem, especially one as wholesome as this.

Anonymous said...

What could I use in place of the soy yogurt? I can't eat any soy/dairy/eggs. Very grateful for finding this blog!!!

Karina Allrich said...

Thanks everyone for the muffin love! xox

Kim, Yes almond milk will work as a sub for the coconut milk, and almond meal will work as a sub for coconut flour.

As for the yogurt- coconut or rice yogurt will work. If you can't find any dairy-free yogurt you like, you could try using pumpkin puree, or apricot jam.

xox Karina

Angie Halten said...

I love the color and texture of these muffins. I'm interested in finding out what the combination of coconut flour and quinoa flakes tastes like. This one looks like a keeper for my recipe box. Thanks so much. Angie.

Ellen said...

This would've been perfect after my invigorating spin class this morning. I think I'll make them on Saturday morning so that I'll have a special treat after my spin class. I love your muffin recipes Karina. They're so flexible. Seems like you could use this as a template and just change up the milk and/or flours and even the add-ins, yes?

Tracey Mardon said...

You must be a mind reader! I bought some coconut flour at Planet organic today and was thinking I'd look for a recipe tonight. This looks great. Also the Lemon Yogurt cake continues to get raves. Thanks for the freezer tip.

Beaglebea said...

Love carrot cakes and anything carrot. Looks beautiful.

~*~Bella~*~ said...

Just Amazing!!!

Brooklyn Blade said...

My son and I made these this morning, and they are deeeeelicious. We used So Delicious vanilla coconut yogurt and omitted nuts. Still, they have a wonderful, slightly nutty flavor. Thank you!!! said...

Looks lovely, Karina! I'll have to get into the kitchen soon and bake these.

Speaking of baking, do you have any suggestions for repalcing the yeast in your bread recipes? I have a yeast sensitivity and need to keep it out of my diet. I was thinking of subbing baking powder to help things rise. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Does the temperature/time change if I bake this in bigger muffin tins (the larger ones)?

Thanks - looks great!

Anonymous said...

I've recently decided to delve in GF baking and was excited to find your blog (your quinoa beet orange salad was _amazing_!!). Thank you so much! Unfortunately I've discovered I have a bad reaction to the gums (xantham etc) so I would love to see more recipes without them, please! :)

The teenie foodie said...

These look just divine, that orange colour is perfect and I havnt had carrot cakes/muffins in ages so thanks for this! cant wait to try them, i need to find some coconut flour but when I do I'd love to give these a go. thanks for these, they will certainly brighten up my breakfast..

Teenie Foodie

Julie said...

I was so excited to see this recipe! Carrots, ginger, quinoa, raisins .... just what I was hankering for. I made them right away. I upped the ginger to 1 teaspoon and will add even more next time (it's COLD here!). I used raw cow milk instead of the coconut. Our neighbors are organic dairy farmers and while dairy digestion has been troublesome in the past, raw milk is okay for the bellies in our family. I did need to add more than the 1/2 cup. As for moving ... my new love is skipping rope!

chefkatelyn said...

This reminds me of carrot cake!! Can't wait to try it, I am a carrot cake LOVA :)

Anonymous said...

These are perfectly wonderful!!! I made them Friday to see how they would turn out. I made a second batch Saturday, accidently subbed Br Rice Flour for the Sorghum (flours looked too much alike in my clear containers-not marked). Both batches were delectible!! I made them mini muffins, timing was about the same though; 19-20 minutes for 36 minis. Used a cream cheese drizzle for a special touch.
Thanks so much, Karina, for putting out consistently awesome recipes!
Many Blessings,

Annette said...

Thanks for all the delicious recipes!! Whenever I am making my weekly menus, I go to your blog first. I truly appreciate how reliable your recipes are and your easy-to- follow directions. These muffins were a definite hit with everyone in my family.

Do you have a classic dinner roll recipe? I have searched your site and cannot seem to find one. Since going GFCF last year, I have yet to find a really yummy, soft dinner roll. I thought that if anyone could make one, it would be you! :)

Karina Allrich said...

Yay. Thanks everyone for your fabulous feedback on this carrot muffin recipe. Glad you like them! xox

As for dinner rolls- I've been thinking about gluten-free dinner rolls lately. Coming soon! xox


Karina Allrich said...

Anon- For timing on jumbo muffins- follow the template for your other recipes (for baking time). I'm guessing around thirty minutes? What do you usually do?


stacy j said...

you are a goddess, i frickin love you! i love your little stories and most of all the recipes. i love to see the faces of friends when they take a bit of gluten free healthy awesome muffins. :) yum yum yum

Kristin said...

These were awesome. I made them vegan by using apple sauce in place of the yogurt and cut down the sugar to 1/2 cup. I also didn't have any quinoa flakes so I used buckwheat instead. I just kept adding

Jenna said...

These look delicious. My son wants to make them for snacks at kindergarten. I see it says you need 3 eggs or egg replaced for 2 eggs. Is this correct? Thanks for all the delicious recipes.

Karina Allrich said...

Jenna- Yes, if you use Ener-G Egg Replacer, a three egg portion would be way too much leavening. I have found that using a 2-egg portion mixed to 1/4 cup liquid works well in muffin recipes, and quick breads, too (unless the vegan recipe specifically calls for more).

boofsmom said...

We are just starting to go gluten free. Thank you bunches for your recipes. The worst part is that I have to order everything online - we live in TinyTown Kansas, or should I say Wheatville?

These look delicious - thanks so much again!

GFVeganEm said...

Perfect timing, as just this morning I decided on carrot muffins to bring to a play date later today. I've been GF for a year now so I can continue to nurse my gluten-intolerant toddler and I love your recipes. I made these vegan with flax eggs and unsweetened coconut milk (the drinking kind, not the canned). Awesome as always.

Alessandra Quattrocchi said...

Ok, these are wonderful. I'm munching on one and I had to make some adjustments because I don't take yogurt and I couldn't find quinoa flakes here in Italy!. Plus, the only shop that sells sorghum flour told me they can't be sure that it hasn't been CC. So - I used corn flakes, a mix of cake flour they make here in Rome plus the coconut flour, and I used de-lactosed milk instead of the yogurt and coconut milk. Karina's original ones are probably much better! But mine are pretty good too and a tribute to the fact that Karina's recipes are adaptable and work anyway!

Karmell said...

What can I use instead of potato starch? I think it upsets my tummy!

redbud said...

Oh my gosh this was good!!! This is the first time I'm making one of your recipes when the comments are still open. yay!!

I bought coconut flour and quinoa flakes a couple of months ago because a lot of your recipes have them in it, and then somehow I just made other recipes for a while. But the coconut flour has an amazing texture in the final product! I really think this is the best gf thing I've baked yet! I only had flavored yogurt around, so I used vegan sour cream instead, but other than that I followed your recipe religiously.

so, so good! I might just have to sneak another one as a mid-afternoon snack! I think this is my new favorite muffin! maybe even better than your fabulous strawberry muffins!

thanks so much! can't wait to try another new recipe next weekend!

redbud said...

Karmell, I used mostly potato starch but ran out and finished with tapioca starch and these were amazing. I bet it wouldn't make a huge difference if you used all tapioca starch in place of the potato starch.

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