What is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? I’m not sure, but these delicious little carrot cake cupcakes (muffins?) are pretty exciting for a few reasons… Not only do they taste as good as any carrot cake I’ve ever had, they’re so much healthier than a typical carrot cake drenched with oils and processed sugars. Plus, they’re full of vitamins, fiber, and omega 3’s. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re actually moist and fluffy (always a challenge with eggless baking). Oh! And I created a totally bizarre and healthy cream-cheese-like icing from tofu that works perfectly with these cupcakes (more on that at the bottom).

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Makes 9 cupcakes (or a 8×8 cake)

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons flax seed
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ cups spelt or whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup Sucanat (unprocessed sugar)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350º F

Step One

Make the flax ‘eggs’. Did you know you can create an egg substitute by using 1 tablespoon ground flax seed with about 3 tablespoons warm water? This acts as an effective binding agent in baked goods. Just whip the flax and water with a fork and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until thick. For this cake, we need about 3 flax eggs, or 3 tablespoons flax and 1/2 cup water. Whip this together and set aside.

Step Two

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, Sucanat, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Gently mix the ingredients until well combined.

Sucanat is a type of sugar that is unrefined. The cane juice is simply heated and cooled to form dark brown crystals that retain their molasses and vitamin content. The flavor is stronger, but it is much more pure and whole than refined white or brown sugar. If you’re going to be baking with sugar, Sucanat is the ideal choice.

Step Three

In another bowl, pour in the flax ‘eggs’ and mix with the applesauce, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Then, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined but do not over mix.

Step Four

Transfer the batter to cupcake liners or a lightly-greased cake pan. Bake at 350º F for about 35 minutes until the tops turn golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove them.

Carrot Cake Cooling

Carrot Cake Cupcake Tofu Icing

Tofu Cream Cheese Icing

Right out of the pan, these make great carrot cake muffins. But a healthy tofu-based icing kicks these cupcakes to a whole other level, and it’s so easy to whip up in under 5 minutes. This icing recipe is light and mildly sweet as written, which is perfect for my tastes, but you could easily add more sweetener or oil for a richer icing.

Tofu Icing Ingredients:

  • 8 oz firm silken tofu
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Splash of soymilk as needed

Combine all ingredients into a blender with a few teaspoons of soy milk and blend until creamy. Give it a taste and adjust any ingredients to your liking. Allow to chill for at least 30-60 minutes before icing the cupcakes.

Carrot Cake Split