Carl was gone for a week earlier this month, and one of my kids said to me, “This will be really hard for you, because now you’ll have to get up on time instead of always sleeping in.”
True, I don’t get up at 5:45 like my middle child, but I am definitely the first adult up in the house nine times out of ten. Apparently getting up first doesn’t count if it takes you longer to get dressed and find your glasses, so you aren’t actually the first one they see.
Well, with all that “sleeping in”, quick breakfasts are right up my alley. I also love muffins as after-school or evening snacks, so I keep an ongoing stash in the freezer. The right carrot muffin, however, has always eluded me. They are always too oily or too dry or too small or too…unlike healthy carrot cake. I don’t know how to describe exactly what I was looking for, except to tell you to make these muffins and find out.
Why this didn’t occur to me sooner is beyond me – this is just an adapted version of the Best Ever Zucchini Muffins I make on the regular! Of course I could substitute carrots for the zucchini! Combined with slightly altered spices and some brown sugar, these are everything I’ve been looking for. Your muffin cups are going to be FULL – we do want these to be good-sized muffins after all. Grab a couple carrots and see if these are the carrot muffins you’ve been waiting for too…and let me assure you, a dollop of cream cheese icing on top would not be frowned upon at all :)
- 3 cups all purpose flour (can use up to half whole wheat)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp cloves (optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup milk
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots (2 large carrots)
- Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with baking spray.
- In large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt.
- In separate large bowl, whisk eggs, oil, milk, lemon juice, vanilla and carrots.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry and stir just until completely combined (it's best to do this with a spoon by hand to avoid over-mixing and tough muffins).
- Fold in nuts if using.
- Divide batter over 12 muffin cups - they will be full! Bake for 23-26 minutes, until tops are golden and toothpick comes out clean from centres. Let sit in pan 3-5 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely.
- Best served fresh, or freeze extras, individually wrapped and then stored in an airtight container. Reheat as needed.