Makes 24 cupcakes/ muffins or a two-layer cake (9″ diameter)
We’re having a cool spell, and around here that means a good excuse to bake. It seems a lot of gluten free baking relies heavily on starches and gums to achieve the right consistency. So I’m really pleased that this gluten-free carrot muffin/cake recipe is both nutritious (whole grain, low in processed starches, gum-free) and virtually identical in taste and texture to the “real” thing (wheat flour version).
I’m still experimenting to see how much I can decrease the proportion of starch to flour without sacrificing texture. Eventually, I’d like to come up with a gluten-free blend that works for any quick bread, (and skip having to measure out several kinds of flours every time). But in the meantime, this recipe is too good to keep under wraps.
These gluten-free carrot muffins are remarkably cake-like in texture, with a very tender crumb. I suppose that makes it more cake than muffin, though I’m not sure the distinction matters. Either way, it’s delicious.
CARROT MUFFINS/CAKE INGREDIENTS
2 1/2 c gluten-free flour blend*
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t sea salt
1 t flax meal
2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves
1 t ginger
2 c coconut sugar
1 1/4 c coconut or light olive oil*
1 t vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
*GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR BLEND
1 c buckwheat flour + 1 1/4 c sorghum flour + 1/4 c potato starch
1 c buckwheat flour + 1 c sorghum flour + 1/4 c teff flour + 1/4 c potato starch
(made with 2 c carrots, 1 c zucchini, not squeezed or drained).
Note: Be sure to use potato starch, not potato flour.
HOW TO MAKE CARROT MUFFINS/CAKE
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare muffin tins or cake pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, flax, salt, and spices.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots and walnuts.
Fill muffin tins/cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 15 minutes for muffins, 40 minutes for layer cake).
Let cool before frosting. These freeze well (without the frosting).
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING SWEETENED WITH HONEY
Is there such a thing as a nutritious or “healthy” cream cheese frosting? I think not. Then again, is there such a thing as carrot cake without cream cheese frosting? (Here’s where the distinction between cake and muffin might be significant, as I have no problem eating my carrot muffins sans frosting). When we do make a cream cheese frosting, we use an approximation of this recipe:
HOW TO MAKE HONEY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 c honey (or to taste)
1-2 teaspoons almond milk, to desired consistency
lemon zest (optional)
Beat cream cheese, vanilla, and honey with a mixer until fluffy, adding milk a teaspoon at a time until it reaches spreadable consistency. Add lemon zest, if desired. Frost cake, and try not to lick the beaters.