Winter mornings are always a good time to whip up a batch of muffins for breakfast. This isn’t to say that other mornings aren’t good times to bake muffins – because they are – but there is something about warming your kitchen up with the smell of baked goods and coffee that is incredibly satisfying when it is cold outside. These Carrot Coconut Oatmeal Muffins are just the kind of comfort food to get your morning started off right. They’re loaded with spices and delicious ingredients, making them both hearty and relatively healthy. Kick start that next cold morning with a batch yourself!
The muffins are inspired by carrot cake and include not only shredded carrots, but the spices that you will find in most carrot cake recipes. Coconut is an addition that I also include in carrot cakes from time to time. Those carrot cake spices work beautifully with coconut, while the coconut adds a soft sweetness and a bit of texture back to the cake. The coconut doesn’t make these particularly tropical, but it set it apart from other carrot muffins.
Oatmeal is in here to add some hearty texture to the muffins, giving them some extra fiber that will keep you full until lunch time. Surprisingly, the oatmeal doesn’t make the muffins dense, instead helping to open up the crumb a bit. I prefer to use quick cooking oats, which give the muffins a more uniform texture and tend to absorb less moisture from the muffins than whole rolled oats do. The recipe will still work with the regular rolled oats – although I would recommend that you make your own quick cooking oats if you don’t have them on hand – but the muffins will have a slighlty more “bran muffin”-like texture.
Serve these muffins slightly warm, with butter and jam or honey. They’ll keep for a day or two after baking, although they are at their very best the day that they are made. Feel free to mix up the mix-ins with other nuts or dried fruits for variety! Dried pineapple pieces make a nice option if you want to go a little more tropical, while dried cranberries are a nice change for the holiday season.
Carrot Coconut Oatmeal Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
3/4 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup coarsely chopped, toasted pecans
1/3 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, egg, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir oatmeal, carrot, coconut and buttermilk in to the sugar mixture. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients, mixing until the batter comes together and no streaks of flour remain. Stir in nuts and dried fruit until well distributed. Divide batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Turn muffins out to cool on a wire rack.