Vegan Carrot Spice Muffins for Grandpa

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 11, 2011


To say that I had baking indecision yesterday would be an understatement! Whenever I am time-crunched and baking for someone special, my mind just draws a blank and nothing seems right.

I looked over my recipes page for a quick + easy recipe that was calling my name…

Snickerdoodles? Too Christmas-y.

Pumpkin Gingerbread with Buttercream? Too much time.

No Bake Date Squares? Too hippy. (joking…well kinda, LOL)

Chilled Double Chocolate Torte? Too rich for afternoon.

Pumpkin Pie Brownie Cupcakes? Too Thanksgiving-y.

Too indecisive.

So I let Eric choose!

He has this uncanny ability to simplify things that I like to complicate. Eric thought about it for a mere millisecond and then said quite definitively, ‘Carrot Muffins.’

That wasn’t a question.


My eyes lit up like a Christmas tree.

…and then I remembered how much I hate grating carrots. Whenever I grate carrots I always seem to nearly grate my finger off. It’s a dangerous tool!

Somehow, I sweet talked Eric into grating the carrots for me and I kept all my fingers intact. It was a win-win situation.



Vegan Carrot Spice Muffins

Adapted from FFVK.

Yield: 12 muffins


  • 1 & 3/4 cup whole-grain Kamut flour (or white whole wheat flour)*see note
  • 1/4 cup natural sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda *see note
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


Wet + Mix-ins:

  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (oil replacer)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (the cream on top from a full fat can) OR yogurt * see note below
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp water
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups grated carrots (about 3 small-medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup raisins, soaked in water and drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped & toasted walnuts



1. Toast the walnuts (optional) on a baking sheet for about 8 minutes at 300F. Remove and set aside. Preheat oven to 400F and line a muffin tin with liners.

2. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (maple syrup, applesauce, coconut milk, water, vanilla). Add the wet to the dry and mix until just incorporated. Batter will be THICK!

3. Fold in the carrots, raisins, and walnuts. Scoop batter into the muffin liners, filling batter to the top. Bake for about 18 minutes at 400F until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Notes: 1) I love Kamut flour because it is a whole grain, but it bakes up light just like all-purpose flour. It also has a mild taste. The original recipe used white whole wheat flour. 2) Next time I would reduce the baking soda to 3/4 tsp as I could detect the baking soda taste every so slightly. 3) The original recipe used soy yogurt. I used coconut milk (the cream from the top of can, not the watery liquid) and it worked well, resulting in a very moist muffin. However, the batter was VERY thick when mixing!


As I mentioned above, the original recipe by Susan called for Soy Yogurt, but since I don’t buy soy yogurt often, I thought that the cream from the top of a coconut milk can would work. It resulted in a super moist muffin and I was really happy with the outcome. I do think the cream made the batter extra thick though, which is why I had to add 3 tbsp more water. You can use yogurt if you wish…whatever floats your boat!


The muffins are quite easy to make- especially if you can find someone to grate for you! ;)


After about 18 minutes in the oven, they were perfect!


Modifications I made to the original recipe are as follows:

1) I used stone-ground Kamut flour. I love Kamut flour because it bakes up just like all-purpose…light and fluffy! It is not as dense as spelt flour, but is still high in protein.

2) I used maple syrup instead of agave nectar and I added 2 tbsp more maple syrup because it is not as sweet as agave.

3) I used coconut cream as a sub for soy yogurt. It resulted in a very flavourful and moist muffin!

4) My batter was very thick as a result of the cream, so I added 3 tbsp more water.

5) I added 1/3 cup chopped and toasted walnuts for a great crunch and healthy fats.

6) I used 1/2 cup soaked raisins. I soaked them in a bowl of water for about 15 minutes, drained, and then added them in. This results in plump raisins!

Despite all these changes, they turned out FANTASTIC!!


Everyone enjoyed them as a light afternoon snack. Eric and I loved them so much, I made another batch last night for the work week.

This morning, I enjoyed a bowl of Carrot Cake vegan Overnight Oats. I have tried making carrot cake VOO before and I wasn’t impressed with the taste, but I finally got this bowl right!



Carrot Cake Vegan Overnight Oats


  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 small carrot, finely grated (yield: about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 Carrot Spice Muffin, crumbled over top
  • Sweetened & shredded coconut, sprinkled over top



1. Before bed, in a small bowl, whisk together the oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, milk, and maple syrup. Place in fridge overnight.

2. In the AM: Crumble 1/2 a muffin on top and sprinkle with coconut. Add more milk as desired and serve cold.





Thanks for your kind words about my Grandpa yesterday. For those of you who missed it, my Grandpa was diagnosed with Leukemia at the end of 2010. He has been undergoing chemo treatments to help fight the cancer and send it into remission. As you can imagine, he has good days and tough days, but he is a fighter. The doctor is hopeful that he will be in remission by the end of the year if things go well.

My Grandpa, Diane, and I yesterday:


My Grandpa is such an inspiration to me. He remains VERY positive, upbeat, active, and lively despite his illness. He is an active church member, always spending time with his family, and he continues to enjoy physical work at their cottage as the weather gets warmer.

They tapped a bunch of maple trees last weekend at their cottage and were boiling down some maple syrup when we arrived yesterday!!


I had no idea that the sap is CLEAR like water when it comes out of the maple tree. Only when boiled down does it turn into a beautiful dark amber colour.

IMG_0155 IMG_0165

Grandpa was talking about the past few months and he said a couple things that I will never forget.

‘When I was really sick with pneumonia at the beginning of January, everything blacked out for a while and I had this vivid dream. There were people walking down this road with candles in their hand, all going in the same direction. I heard a voice that said to me, “You can chose to die or you can chose to live…the choice is up to you.” and then I saw my Granddaughter and she said to me, “Papa, don’t go.” and I chose to live.’

Then he said with great pride, I’m still LIVING!’

Yes, he is. :)

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

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Moni'sMeals April 11, 2011 at 10:31 am

what a treat for your Grandpa. Plus how you made breakfast out of it too, YUM! Feels like a spring meal too.

How touching Angela…your Grandpa’s story, how could anyone forget that. What a hero he is. So pure and real.


Maria Schade April 13, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Made the muffins for my friends at work, they lurved them! (and these people are not healthy eaters for the most part, some are morbidly unhealthy so I’ve been trying to get them to eat better using your recipes…)

I used the 3/4 tsp of baking soda, worked great! I also used spelt flour instead of kamut, because you can’t get it on Guam easily and I didn’t have white whole wheat, just whole wheat…but they turned out delish!

I hope your Grandfather is doing even better today. My own was in surgery today. He was my whole world when I was a little girl.



Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg April 11, 2011 at 10:32 am

My husband LOVES carrot muffins. I must make these for him.

Your grandpa sounds like such a pillar of strength!!


Jackie April 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

Wow…I teared up. I lost my father going on 2 years ago, thank you for sharing that story. It gives me great affirmation that my Dad is somewhere beautiful.


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I’m sorry about your Father Jackie…Im glad you found comfort in the story. Im sure he is smiling down on you!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 11, 2011 at 10:34 am

Aww your grandpa is so cute! It sounds like he’s got a fantastic attitude and I’m sure he loved the muffins. I’m not surprised that Eric picked those ones – you mentioned before that he is a big carrot lover like me!!


Julie @ Shining From Within April 11, 2011 at 10:34 am

Sooo making these muffins today and that VOO tomorrow yuum. Perfect for Easter :) that’s so awesome that they have maple syrup like that!!! Im addicted to pure maple syrup ;) your grandpa is a fighter!


Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

mmm that muffin batter looks so thick, rich and delicious!

Yum! :)


Shanna, Like Banana April 11, 2011 at 10:36 am

Snickerdoodles = too Christmasy? Blasphemy! ;)


Lauren at Keep It Sweet April 11, 2011 at 10:38 am

Those muffins look terrific! I need to start experimenting with these different flours.


Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) April 11, 2011 at 10:38 am

i think you misspelt the title- it should said Vegan Carrot Spice Muffins for Carrie ;)


[email protected] April 11, 2011 at 10:41 am

Hope your grandpa continues to get better!


Krystina (Organically Me) April 11, 2011 at 10:42 am

Those bowls are SO adorable! Where are they from?!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Thanks! Crate and Barrel :) They are ice cream bowls ++ spoons :) I fell in love…


Erin April 11, 2011 at 10:42 am

Wow – your grandpa’s story gave me goosebumps! Sending healthy vibes his way :)


Caitlyn (The Spoonful of Life) April 11, 2011 at 10:43 am

Your grandpa is amazing. He has such a positive attitude! I’m sure you’re carrot muffins made him feel better!

I would have had someone grate carrots too! I cut myself just shaving my legs, so my luck with kitchen knives is even worse :-)


Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons April 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

Go Grandpa Go!!!!! My dad had lymphoma and when he went into remission it was such an awesome amazing thing! Good luck to your grandpa! I bet he can beat it!!!! <3

ps: you had me at carrot spice. omg yum!!!!!!!! one of my favorites!


Grace April 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

That is SO sweet you made these for your grandpa. That’s such a sweet story about your grandpa. I didn’t know sap was CLEAR! How cool :)


Justeen @ Blissful Baking April 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

The muffins look wonderful! What a nice treat for your awesome grandpa!


Cait's Plate April 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

I REALLY wish we were next door neighbors so that I could just pop by each morning for a taste of all these delicious things you cook up :)

As always, those look amazing (and Grandpa is too adorable!)


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Me too! :)


Nikki T April 11, 2011 at 10:51 am

Your Grandpa sounds a lot like how my Grandpa used to be- a real fighter! He fought his cancer for 3 years after doctors told him he only had about 6 months left…
Good attitude and keeping active in life is the key!
I used to make him cornmeal muffins (he was celiac), but your muffins look yummy!!


Heather (heathers dish) April 11, 2011 at 10:52 am

I love that you baked in his honor…I do the same thing for my papa who passed his love of bakin on to me!


Carly April 11, 2011 at 10:52 am

Your Grandpa sounds like such a wonderful man!
I plan on making these muffins ASAP! Hopefully my man will be kind enough to grate my carrots.


Alaina April 11, 2011 at 10:54 am

That is wonderful about your grandpa’s attitude. I can see how much of an inspiration he is to you. :-)

And those carrot cake muffins look so good!!


Stace April 11, 2011 at 10:56 am

Beautiful post made me tear up at work.


Mama Pea April 11, 2011 at 10:56 am

Awww, way to make me cry on a Monday morning. I believe with all my heart that what you grandpa saw was heaven. And so are those muffins. I have a grater attachment for my Kitchenaid. Seriously, Ang…you NEEEEED it!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I have one but I can’t put the damn thing together…I convinced myself Im MISSING a part…hahaha!!!!!


kelli April 11, 2011 at 10:57 am

wow, beautiful story your grandpa shared. thanks for sharing it with us!


Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) April 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

“Somehow, I sweet talked Eric into grating the carrots for me and I kept all my fingers intact.” Love it! I always try to get Brian to do my grating… he’s so much faster ;)

“They tapped a bunch of maple trees last weekend at their cottage and were boiling down some maple syrup when we arrived yesterday!!” – That is SO COOL. Do you get to get your hands on any of that family made syrup ??


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

It wasnt ready yet! Boooo ;)


Mary (sisters running the kitchen) April 11, 2011 at 11:02 am

these sound so delicious!!!!! a healthy alternative to the regular muffin! yum!


Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 11, 2011 at 11:03 am

Not going to lie…there are tears…that may or may not have welled up in my eyes.



Holly @ The Runny Egg April 11, 2011 at 11:04 am

I totally teared up reading that quote from your Grandpa — what a special man!

I love the muffins Angela — and I also almost grate my finger off when I grate carrots! It is a dangerous job for sure.


Felicia (a taste of health with balance) April 11, 2011 at 11:04 am

your grandpa is amazing :) and i cant find kamut flour anywhere! ah!


Rachael @ Mrs-Adventure April 11, 2011 at 11:09 am

Not only do those muffins look amazing (I’ll be making some for sure) I love the reason you made them :+) Grandpas are the best.


Kristi @ KristiAteIt April 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

Those look like the perfect little treat. Your grandfather is a lucky guy :) with such an amazing attitude.


Ashley April 11, 2011 at 11:12 am

That is such a sweet story. I’m glad your grandpa is getting better!
Those muffins are pure genius!


Amy April 11, 2011 at 11:14 am

Holy smokes those muffins look amazing. I may have to revert to the FFV recipe because of what I have on hand, but I need to make them later!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

im sure it work work out many ways!


[email protected] April 11, 2011 at 11:25 am

I hate grating carrots too! Thats what husbands are for :)

Glad your day was great!!! Hope this one is too!!


jenny April 11, 2011 at 11:27 am

That quote from your grandpa made my eyes water. What an inspirational and strong man! He really proves we all have a choice in how we react to situations. Thank you so much for sharing!


LauraJayne April 11, 2011 at 11:33 am

One of my favorite desserts growing up was a lemon merique cake and I always used to zest the lemon so that my mother would make it! Sounds like y’all have a great partnership worked out!


[email protected] April 11, 2011 at 11:35 am

Your grandpa seems like an amazing strong person ! Those muffins look amazing im sure he loved them :)


sonia April 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

Great to know about ur grandpa. its really inspiring to live with positivity in crisis…Great muffins… !


Andrea B. @ Vegvacious April 11, 2011 at 11:52 am

The power of positivity is so inspiring when it comes from someone who is fighting a battle. Good luck to your grandpa—what a wonderful dream!

Today’s recipes look awesome ~ I wonder if I could get my hubby to do the carrot grating?!


Nicole @ Fresh & Fit April 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm

I’m glad your grandfather is so strong and has such a positive out look. He really is inspirational.
Having you baking him sweet treats surely helps!


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