When life (or your garden) gives you carrots, you have a couple of options. You could roast them or prepare them in some savory way, you could make carrot cake or you could make a batch of Carrot Muffins with Raisins. I enjoy carrot cake, but I was looking to do something a little different with the carrots in my kitchen this time around and decided to bake up a batch of muffins instead. Carrots are one vegetable that can be a great addition to baked goods. They’re easy to work with, have a slightly sweet flavor on their own, and add a nice pop of color.
The muffins are fluffy and slightly sweet, with a hint of butteriness from the buttermilk in the batter and a nice mixture of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to compliment the carrots. They’re not nearly as sweet or as heavy as a carrot cake can be, but they do deliver a similar flavor and fans of carrot cake will definitely like these. I added golden raisins for a little extra sweetness, and they work very well with the spices in the muffins. The muffins are best when they are freshly baked and can be served as-is, with nothing on them, though they are also good with a little bit of butter or cream cheese.
You can use all purpose flour or white whole wheat flour in these muffins and get great results. I find that regular whole wheat flour makes them a little too heavy feeling, and I like them as a lighter muffin. I topped them off with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar because I like have a little bit of sweetness on top of a muffin, but you can easily leave them plain or omit the cinnamon and stick with coarse sugar. For an extra crunch, you can stir in a half cup of chopped pecans, walnuts or another favorite nut, too.
Carrot Muffins with Raisins
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tbsp sugar + 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, for topping
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, spices and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk togther sugar, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla until well-combined. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in remaining flour mixture, along with the shredded carrot. Stir in raisins.
Stir together additional 1 1/2 tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon for topping.
Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups. Top with cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 12 muffins