These fabulous vegan carrot muffins, sweetened only with fruit and filled with lots of chewy, high energy seeds, are the ideal pick-me-up. They’re not particularly sweet, but great for breakfast or a snack – not dessert muffins.
Dates are used as the sweetener here and the fibre from the dates, seeds, carrots, and whole grain flour help to metabolize the date sugars more slowly. These are surprisingly soft and avoid any dryness thanks to the carrots and dates.
If you’re looking to avoid more processed sugars and like date-sweetened recipes, try these oatmeal breakfast cookies, a weekly staple for us, chocolate peanut butter cookies, or date granola. My vegan carrot bread is adapted from this recipe.
This recipe is loosely adapted from my chocolate beet muffins, but without the coconut sugar and cocoa.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Flour: the recipe calls for whole grain spelt flour, and you can sub light spelt, another ancient grain like einkorn or kamut, or use standard whole wheat flour. I have not tried making these gluten-free.
- Dates: soft dates, any type. If your dates are a bit dry, soak in very hot water for about half an hour before mixing.
- Seeds: use any mix of seeds you like (not extra chia, which absorbs too much liquid). Sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and so on.
- Non-dairy milk: I always use oat milk but any type is fine.
- Coconut: this can be left out altogether if you don’t like coconut. You can also add something like a handful of raisins as a substitute.
Step by Step
1. Mix dry ingredients: whisk together in a large mixing bowl.
2. Blend wet ingredients: use a standing or immersion blender to mix until smooth.
3. Combine: stir the date mixture into the dry ingredients, then fold the carrots in.
4. Divide: spoon the mixture into a lined muffin tin and bake.
If you can’t see the recipe video, please watch it here on YouTube instead.
How to Store
Storage: due to the high fruit and veg content, I recommend storing these in the refrigerator. Place cooled muffins in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
Freezing: freeze muffins in an airtight container for up to three months.
- Don’t under-bake: the baking time is slightly longer here than for some other muffin recipes, and it’s due to the higher moisture content. Trust.
- Mix just to combine: over-mixing will lead to tough muffins – stir until just combined, and some streaks of flour are fine. You still have to fold in the carrots.
- Check oven temperature: if your oven tends to run hot, make sure to reduce it slightly for this recipe, as the tops of the muffins are likely to burn if the oven is too hot. A little oven thermometer is perfect for this (I always double check the temp when testing recipes).
More Date-Sweetened Recipes
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Vegan Carrot Muffins
- 300 grams spelt flour
- 40 grams sunflower seeds
- 30 grams shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 400 ml non-dairy milk
- 120 grams soft dates packed*
- 60 grams coconut oil room temperature
- 130 grams carrots shredded
- Extra seeds for topping
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease or line a standard muffin tin.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sunflower seeds, coconut, chia, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.300 grams spelt flour, 40 grams sunflower seeds, 30 grams shredded unsweetened coconut, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Add the milk, dates, and coconut oil to a blender and mix on high until fully combined. Alternatively, use an immersion blender.400 ml non-dairy milk, 120 grams soft dates, 60 grams coconut oil
- Stir the shredded carrots into the date mixture, then add it to the flour mixture. Stir until just mixed and no streaks of flour remain.130 grams carrots
- Measure out equal amounts into each muffin tin, and top each with about a tablespoon of mixed sunflower, pumpkin, and chia seeds (or any seeds).Extra seeds
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of a muffin.
- Cool for a few minutes in the tin before removing and cooling fully on a wire rack.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This recipe was first published in February 2018. It has been updated with some minor improvements to the recipe as of January 2023.