Gluten Free Apple & Carrot Mini Muffins

Gluten Free Mini Apple and Carrot Muffins

Today was errand day.  On the way home from work, I dreamed of taking a nap.  I’ve caught the ubiquitous “Welcome Back to School” sinus infection.  Thinking clearly is not my strong suit.  This statement is more true than false, especially between about 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM.  I don’t know why.  My gray matter just seems to shut down on me and I make decisions on limited information.

My example?  Grocery shopping.

I didn’t do too badly.  I got everything on the list.  (Okay… and one chocolate bonbon for the ride home….)  However, my fruit selecting skills were apparently on the fritz.  I wanted to pick up some crispy, sweet fall apples.  After all, I live in apple land.  It should not have been that hard.

Uh huh.  Sure.  I still managed to come home with 6 beautiful Jonagold apples that are NOT crispy in the least.  While they held up to the texture, smell, no worm-holes tests, apparently I didn’t test them well enough.  I snuggled under a blanket while the jambalaya for dinner was simmering away on the stove to enjoy an apple.  And in one bite, I knew.  I’d blown it.  The texture was not nice.  No crispy crunch met my lips at all.  Oh, so disheartening!

I brought my apple up to the kitchen and chopped it up, sprinkled it with lemon juice and put it in the fridge.  It was going to have to wait until after jambalaya.  (Which, by the way, was a killer recipe given to me by a student’s mom.  I think I’m in love…. OH MAN it was GOOD!)

After chowing down and packing up leftovers for lunches, I set to work on my not-so-crunchy apple.  It wasn’t super sweet either.  And while I love a great apple muffin (sweet ones that taste like apple fritters), I really wasn’t in the mood for something that sweet.

I ran across this recipe from Whole Foods for their Whole Wheat Flour Carrot Apple Muffins.  And that sounded like a great combination:  carrots and apples.  And… hmm… what about some ginger?  Yeah!  That’s it!  I’m making muffins!

These are tasty treats.  Their nutritional value isn’t bad either.  These come in with less fat and less calories that the Whole Foods muffins too!  I had to vary my recipe from theirs substantially because (1) the whole wheat flour, (2) I just didn’t want to use milk or applesauce and (3) I really wanted to add some candied ginger.  Oh yum.  I’m glad I did too.

These muffins are tasty and moist.  Since I made mini muffins and regular muffins, I have to say this:  I think I prefer the mini muffins.  Two bites and breakfast is done.  Perfect for the non-breakfast eaters in the world (like me).

Here’s the nutritional data for TWO mini muffins as made with my recipe below:  72 calories, 2g of fat (1g saturated fat, 0 trans fats), 10g Total Carbohydrates, 2g Dietary Fibers, 6g sugar, and 3g protein.  Not too bad, huh?  (Thanks for catching my incorrect listing, Ginny! I’ve fixed it now.)  🙂

Here’s the recipe.  I hope you get a chance to try it.

Gluten Free Apple & Carrot Mini-muffins
Makes 36 mini muffins (1.5 – 2 Tablespoons of batter per muffin)

2/3 c. sorghum flour
1/3 c. tapioca starch flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 ounces baby carrots (about 2/3 cup, loosely packed)
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped into pieces
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 Tablespoons butter, melted (or olive oil)
2 ounces candied ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, finely chop the candied ginger into small pieces.  Continue to process until the ginger begins to ball up into a small ball of sticky ginger.  Scrap into a mixing bowl.
  3. Now place the baby carrots into the food processor.  Process until fine pieces.  Add the apple slices with the lemon juice and process to combine well.  (In total, this will be one cup of apple and carrot mush.)  Scrap this into the mixing bowl with the ginger.
  4. Mix together the apple/carrot and ginger.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, 4 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla, and  2 eggs.  Mix until even again.
  6. Sift together sorghum, tapioca, ground flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and xanthan gum.
  7. Dump dry ingredients in to wet and mix together on low until combined.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat together for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Line/prepare muffin tins.  If using mini-muffin tins, fill each with 1 1/2 tablespoons (or so) of the batter.  If using large muffin cups, fill 2/3 of the way with batter.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  A toothpick inserted in to the center will come out clean when the muffins are done.
  9. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container on the counter top.  (These muffins may freeze nicely as well.)

Happy Muffin-making!


  1. These look great ! I usually have an apple or two left over one week after I bought them fresh – this will be a great way to use them up.
    Can you think of any substitutions for the flax seed meal? I can I simply skip it? Thanks.

    Hi Magda –

    The flax seed meal is a bit of a binder as well as added fiber. You may need to add a bit more flour if you skip it. You could substitute ground hemp seeds, maybe a couple tablespoons of quinoa flakes or oats, or even ground pumpkin seeds.

    Please let me know how the substitutions work for you.


  2. Oooh – another great idea for quick breakfasts. How do you calculate the nutrition information of your recipes? Or, was that on the whole foods recipe? It would be nice to be able to compute that for some of my recipes.

    Hi Lauren!
    I use Nutrion Data online. You can enter in the gluten free ingredients (use the packages to get the info) and then enter your recipe. It’s a snap once you enter the basics. You can go to: to set up a free account.

    And the nutritional data I posted? That is for my recipe, not the Whole Foods one. I’ll have to clarify that. 🙂


  3. these look so moist and delicious! i love the addition of ginger… i just posted carrot muffins on my blog recently and have had fun playing around with the recipe. i hadn’t thought of the addition of apple! have you tried any other fruit? thanks for the great recipe…

    Oh yum – carrot muffins! I’ll have to go check out your recipe too! Sadly, once school starts, my blog reading time is practically cut to nil. =(

    I’ve not tried other fruit – I was just trying to figure out what to do with my not-so-tasty apples. I thought about throwing in a banana in lieu of one egg, but didn’t want to overly fruit up the muffin. LOL


  4. Hi Kate:

    I just wanted to let you know that there is a little thank you surprise awaiting you at my blog today.

  5. Hi Kate, how are you?
    I love muffin, carot and apple. 😀

  6. IT is indeed apple season isn’t it!! These look so tasty! What a great combination of veggies and fruit!! They really look delicious!!

  7. Unless there is an ingredient missing (which I doubt because these taste delicious) I think there is an error in the amount of protein stated. Perhaps 2 large muffins have 5 g of protein, but certainly not 2 mini-muffins???

    Oh! Good catch, Ginny! I did indeed copy the wrong info in. I’ve corrected it now.
    Thanks for pointing this out!

  8. I made regular size muffins and put cream cheese frosting on them. Just cream cheese and sugar. They became like a whole grain cupcake! mmmmm! these are awesome!

  9. I made these this morning and had a question and some comments. First, there are 4 tbsp of melted butter in the ingredients list that don’t appear in the instructions. I added the olive oil instead (I’m dairy free too) in with the wet ingredients.

    Speaking of olive oil – I would recommend using earth balance or canola oil instead of the butter, not olive oil. I could easily taste the olive oil in the final muffin and it was a little too strong a taste for an apple/carrot muffin. I also subbed out the eggs for whipped tofu (can’t really eat too many eggs either). Other than taking longer to bake, I think the substitution worked well.

    The muffins were good overall, thanks for the recipe! I had two for breakfast, froze four and left 6 on the counter for breakfasts this week!

    Oops! Thanks for catching my omission! The butter was added with the wet ingredients – I’ll go back and fix that!

    I’m glad the substitutions worked well.

    Hmm.. I wonder what rice bran oil would have done for these muffins instead of olive oil?? Have you tried that in recipes like this before?

    Thanks again, Jason!

  10. I’ve never tried Rice Bran Oil (to be honest, didn’t even know it existed before today!) I have baked with both Earth Balance and Canola Oil and both turn out quite well. Neither really has much of a flavor on their own so you can’t taste them in the final product.

  11. Rice Oil works great for baking and it has health benefits to boot! I like the neutral flavor.

  12. I’ve been gluten free for just over 6 months now, and have tried several muffin recipes. These were by far the best. I took them to a potluck (I always bring something I can eat) but didn’t say anything about them being gluten free. Folks raved about them and took seconds. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I didn’t have any candied ginger, but I made them anyways. They’re delish without, but I can imagine the extra bite the ginger would add. Next time, I will probably throw in some walnuts to add some extra protein and crunch. Thanks for another great recipe!


  1. […] it’s been a long week. i made these for eli’s lunch after he’d been sick. i was thinking it would be easy on his stomach […]

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