Loaded up with grated carrot, diced apple and ground flax – these Carrot & Apple Flaxseed muffins deliver on fiber, protein and flavor! They’re easy to make without any special equipment required. Simply mix, bake and enjoy! | Gluten Free + Nut Free + Dairy Free
These flaxseed muffins are based off a very similar, but still quite different recipe I originally shared a few years back – Carrot Apple Muffins with Flaxseed.
My original plan was to replace that one with this flaxseed muffin recipe but I decided against it after realising too many people enjoyed the original. Those muffins are also refined sugar-free and lighter on the oil so it still very much has its place!
Why You’ll Love these Flaxseed Muffins
- Sweetened with brown sugar which is both more affordable and accessible
- They’ve been tested with olive oil, coconut oil and vegetable oil
- Simply spiced with touch of cinnamon
- Soft and tender (more so than the original recipe!)
- Easily mixed together by hand
These muffins are simple, straight forward and easy to make with wholesome ingredients. Before you begin I’ll just run through a few key ingredients and what they do for this recipe.
- Ground Flaxseed
- Flaxseeds are slightly nutty and mild in flavor. Added to baked goods they create a whole-grain like texture.
- They are loaded with nutrients and health benefits (like fiber, protein and iron) making them a great addition to smoothies, oatmeals and baked goods if you’re looking to sneak in a little extra goodness.
- Whole flaxseeds can be difficult to digest which is why this particular recipe calls for them to be milled or ground. Ground flaxseed will also make for a more tender muffin due to its softer texture.
- If you can’t find ground flaxseed in store you can grind your own at home with a coffee grinder (easy) or a mortar and pestle (not as easy, but still effective).
- Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
- Carrot & Apple
- Definitely grate the carrot.
- You can either grate or chop the apple. I decided to chop my apple just because I find it easier. Just make sure you dice it up into small pieces.
- Feel free to leave the peel on – it shouldn’t be noticeable after baking.
- Brown Sugar
- This was one of the main changes from the original recipe. Instead of maple syrup or honey, these flaxseed muffins contain brown sugar. It’s cheaper and easy to find.
- I used light brown sugar to make my muffins but you can also use dark brown sugar for richer, sweeter muffins.
- Coconut sugar also works for a refined sugar free option.
- Baking Powder + Baking Soda
- Gluten free baked goods need a little extra help when it comes to rising in the oven which is why you need both here.
- Feel free to use whatever baking oil you’d like. I tested these a few different ways including: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and even melted butter. Avocado oil will also work.
- Butter will work but I found the muffins to a bit more cake like and not quite as moist. Since flax seed absorbs moisture easily I recommend oil over butter for best results.
- As of now, I don’t have an egg free substitute for these muffins (yet!). While flax eggs are my usual go-to egg replacer in muffins, I don’t recommend them here. Too much flax will make an overly chewy and potentially dry muffin.
Altogether these muffins are a total no-brainer! For the prep all you need is a couple of mixing bowls, a whisk and a box grater to grate the carrots.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients (minus the brown sugar).
- Use a large bowl here as you will mix everything together in this bowl later.
- In another mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (plus brown sugar) in two stages:
- First mix the eggs, vanilla extract, oil and sugar until well combined.
- Then add the grated carrot and apple.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix into a thick batter.
- Spoon the muffin batter in a 12 cup muffin tin greased or prepared with paper liners.
- Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake until the tops are golden brown and cooked through.
- Gently press into the top of a muffin – if it springs back up they’re done.
- Cool muffins and enjoy!
- Let the muffins cool in the muffin pan about 5-10 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. If you leave them too long in the pan the bottoms might get a bit soggy.
These flax muffins keep well about a week. I recommend you keep them at room temperature or in the fridge. Store in an airtight contain to seal in the freshness and that’s it!
Freeze for Later
These muffins are freezer-friendly!
After baking, allow them to cool completely then wrap individually in freezer-safe bags.
When you’re ready to enjoy, reheat for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave for a quick thaw or leave them in the fridge overnight.
Ways to Spruce Up these Muffins
These muffins are simple and delicious – full stop. That being said, I’m all for playing around with the recipe by adding or substituting here and there to create something more special to you.
Here are a few ideas in case you need a little inspiration:
- Add up to 1/2 cup of dried fruit or chopped nuts: raisins, walnuts, shredded coconut.
- Use almond extract instead of (or in addition to) vanilla extract. I’m always amazed at how much almond extract can completely transform a recipe.
- Grate in a bit of orange zest for a gentle citrus punch.
- Add more spices like ginger, nutmeg or clove. Pre mixed spices are also a great idea if you don’t want to figure out individual amounts.
And that’s it!
Soft, lightly sweetened muffins made with fairly simple ingredients without too much effort.
Who wants one?!
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar (150 g)
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil (120ml)
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrot (165 g)
- 1 medium apple, cored and finely diced (no need to peel)
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour blend (210 g)
- 1/3 cup ground/milled flaxseed (40 g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Grease or lined a 12 cup muffin pan and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla, sugar and oil until combined. Stir in the carrot and apple.
- In another mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and pinch of salt. Whisk until evenly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until a thick, sticky batter. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
- Place in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for 25-27 minutes until the muffins are done - golden browned on top and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow muffins to cool 5-10 minutes before eating. Let them cool completely on a cooling rack before storing for later in an airtight container.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge up to a week.
- Freeze: Cool the muffins completely then wrap up individually in freezer-safe bags. Freeze up to six months. Thaw a few hours in the fridge or warm up in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds.
- Additions: Feel free to add up to 1/2 cup chopped nuts or dried fruit. Mix into the batter just before baking.
- Flax seed Notes: Make sure to use ground or milled flaxseed and whole flaxseed. Both brown and golden flaxseed will work.
- For sweeter muffins you can use dark brown sugar.
Serving Size:1 muffin Calories: 219Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 227mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
more muffin recipe to check out
If you like these muffins you might also be interested in some of the following: