Treat yourself to a decadent dessert with a kick of vitamin A (thanks carrots)! This post will show you how to make my healthy carrot cake cupcake recipe. It uses applesauce and maple syrup…making them naturally sweetened and extra moist!
Carrot cake is something special. Just saying the word brings to mind a yummy, flavorful dessert that stands alone. After all, what other cake can tastefully hold over a cup of carrots? Very impressive!
I enjoy carrot cake so much that I knew I just had to make a healthier version of it. This way, I (and the fam) can enjoy it way more often.
With Greek yogurt frosting and healthy ingredients like spelt flour, walnuts, and ground ginger (it’s anti-inflammatory – did you know?), these tasty mini’s will quickly become your go-to healthy carrot cake recipe.
Ready to give it a whirl? Let’s make ’em!
Is Carrot Cake The Healthiest Cake?
Carrot cake can easily be made into a healthy version – and that makes it a better choice than the average cake. How do we do that? We use healthy flour instead of refined white flour, coconut oil as opposed to an unhealthy oil, and Greek yogurt as a protein-rich ingredient (instead of processed sugar icing).
So, I’d say it’s a pretty healthy cake. But chocolate zucchini bread is another irresistible option….
How To Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes Healthy
These carrot cake cupcakes are healthy because I’ve taken out not-so-good ingredients like refined sugar and flour. Then I replaced them with extra good-for-you stuff. Here’s how:
- Instead of butter and unhealthy oils, I made these cupcakes with coconut oil and unsweetened applesauce (be ready for moist and super-delicious cupcakes!).
- I replaced refined sugar and unhealthy sweeteners with maple syrup.
- Spelt flour is my choice over refined white flour.
- Full-fat Greek yogurt makes a yummy frosting that gives a little protein boost.
Everything You Need To Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These cupcakes are full of nutrition yet decadent enough to let you know you are treating yourself – as you should on a regular basis! What do you need to make these delicious mini cakes of goodness?
- Spelt flour: Rather than using processed white flour, use spelt flour as a healthier choice. Baking made with spelt flour is still light and the taste is compatible with fruits (like blueberries) and veggies (like carrots). You can substitute it 1:1 as well.
- Pure maple syrup: Maple syrup is a healthy sweetener. It also contains antioxidants and nutrients like manganese and calcium.
- Unsweetened applesauce: Want to add fiber, vitamins, and a natural sweetener to your healthy carrot cake cupcakes? Use unsweetened applesauce. The recipe calls for ¼ cup which makes for a moist cupcake.
- Shredded carrots: I like to add 1 ½ cups of washed, shredded carrots. Getting a little extra vitamin A (from beta carotene) in such a yummy way is awesome in my books!
- Milk: Use any type of milk that suits you. I recommend almond, cashew, soy, or any other plant-based milk, and dairy milk is fine also.
- Eggs: Another healthy ingredient in this recipe is eggs. Eggs provide protein and they help to bind the ingredients, too.
- Spices: Cinnamon and ginger, along with sea salt, are the perfect spice combo for healthy carrot cake cupcakes.
- Plain Greek yogurt: A super-delicious frosting can be easily whipped up using full-fat Greek yogurt.
Ingredient Substitutes For Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Applesauce: If you are out of applesauce, you can sub a ripe mashed banana instead.
- Milk: Those who cannot have lactose can choose plant-based milk. Almond or cashew work well.
- Greek yogurt: Like the milk, the yogurt can be switched for a plant-based version.
- Oil: I use coconut oil but you can use olive oil or sunflower oil instead.
- Flour: I prefer spelt flour for this recipe but suitable swaps are amaranth, barley, whole wheat, and rice flours.
Can I Make Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes Vegan?
It is possible to make carrot cake vegan, yes! You’ll just need to swap out the eggs for chia eggs. How to make a chia egg? It’s as simple as can be. Take 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and mix it with 2.5 tablespoons of water. Stir and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Now you’ve got your chia egg! Also, make sure you use vegan milk (like almond or coconut) for the milk portion of the recipe. As for the frosting, go with a plant-based yogurt.
How To Make Healthy Icing For Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Using full-fat plain Greek yogurt is key to healthy icing for carrot cake. No sugary crash here! The frosting on these tasty cupcakes is made with 3 simple ingredients; Greek yogurt, pure maple syrup, and vanilla extract. this triple threat makes a frosting that is light and sweet, but not overpowering.
How To Store And Freeze Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes
It’s best to store these delicious cupcakes in the fridge. Use an airtight container and keep them for up to 4 days. If you’d like to freeze them for another time, let them cool, place them in a reusable freezer bag, and freeze them for as long as 3 months.
Note: In this case, I add the frosting after – I don’t freeze them with the frosting on. I make it fresh when we eat them.
More Healthy Cupcakes and Muffins
So quick and easy to make and a delightful treat in a couple of bites—that’s the beauty of the cupcake. Try these other cupcake and muffin recipes if you agree!
- Sweet Zucchini Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
- 9 Ingredient Blender Chocolate Muffins
- Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- The Best Healthy Strawberry Muffins
- Healthy Carrot Cake Recipe
Looking for a can’t resist, delicious cupcake recipe? You’ve found it! This healthy carrot cake cupcake recipe contains applesauce and maple syrup, making them naturally sweetened and extra moist. You’re going to love them!
- 3/4 cup milk, like almond or soy
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, cooled
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups peeled, grated carrots (about 1/2 pound)
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 1/3 cup raw walnuts, chopped
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cup full-fat plain greek yogurt
- 4 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray non-stick 12 cupcake tin with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil, eggs, pure maple syrup, applesauce, milk, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Stir to combine.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts, cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt.
Add the dry Ingredients into the wet mixture, and stir until smooth. The batter will resemble a cake-like batter consistency.
Add the shredded carrots, and fold into the mixture.
Divide batter into prepared cupcake tin (I use an ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 minutes, or until tops spring back to the touch or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
While cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Stir together the Greek yogurt, pure maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
Once the cupcakes are cooled, spread the frosting over the top of the cupcakes.
To store, refrigerate in a glass airtight container for up to 4 days.
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