With the onset of autumn, it’s only fair that I make a comeback after over a month with an autumnal recipe. Now, I know that autumn isn’t really a thing in India, but that’s no reason for us to not indulge in the bounty of desserts and flavors associated with the season.
Apple pies and pumpkin pies are an autumn staple when it comes to desserts, and the dominating flavors in this season are things like cinnamon, nutmeg, and basically any food that reminds you of the shades of orange and brown. I took a different approach when I thought of which recipe should be my first autumn recipe on the blog this year, and I decided on carrot muffins. They’re like carrot cakes but smaller and just as delicious.
Before we move further, I’d like to apologize for my absence on the blog. If you follow me on my social media, you’d know that I began my temporary home business selling baked goods to my townsfolk at the beginning of September. It’s been an enormous hit, which was utterly unexpected. I’ve learned so many important life lessons these past few weeks, and weirdly my confidence and people skills have also been boosted. But, I also found myself drowning in work, whipping out coffee cakes and heaps of brownies like a factory assembly line. I was becoming a robot, and my creativity was starting to get stunted, and it reflected in my work. And I missed writing for the blog and trying out/making up new recipes, which is why I took a four-day break to work on this recipe for the blog and, you know, rest my body and brain.
Now, coming back to the carrot muffins. These are pretty straightforward muffins, they’re fluffy and moist, and they’ve got a crunchy exterior thanks to the cinnamon sugar that I top them with, they’re not overly sweet, and you also have the slight hit from the autumnal spices in the muffin. Overall it’s a perfect treat for these colder days.
Without further ado, let’s move onto what you’ll need to make these delectable carrot muffins and how you’ll have to make them!
What’s in these carrot muffins?
Before I explain further, I’d like to clarify that my recipe has been adapted from Yossy Arefi’s carrot loaf cake recipe that I found in the New York Times. It’s delicious, and you should definitely try it. I tried to put a spin on it, and hopefully, I’ve done justice to the original recipe.
The key ingredient for these muffins is undoubtedly carrots. I use medium-sized orange carrots. If you have red carrots, you can use them too.
The aforementioned autumnal spices in this carrot muffin batter are cinnamon and nutmeg. I absolutely adore the fragrance of cinnamon and the slight punchy aftertaste of nutmeg.
The other ingredients in the batter are pretty standard, and it’s also important to note that these muffins are eggless! I use all-purpose flour for the batter, but you can swap it for whole wheat flour. I use a 1:1 ratio of brown sugar and granulated white sugar. I also use a neutral oil like sunflower oil instead of butter or a more flavorful oil such as olive oil.
The muffin batter is pretty dense and thick, and it’s pretty easy to over mix the batter and end up with flat or sunken muffins, as I did during the test runs of this recipe. Over mixing can occur exclusively after you add the flour to the batter. I had concluded that I could’ve overmixed the batter when I was incorporating the carrots. In the second test run of the recipe, I mixed in the carrots with the dry ingredients that I later mixed into the wet ingredients. I ended up with beautiful, puffy, and domed muffins.
The last thing that goes into, or on top of, the muffins is cinnamon sugar. This step is entirely optional, but I recommend it. It adds an extra flavor and textural element to the muffin. Cinnamon sugar is super easy to make; all you need to do is add some cinnamon to some superfine sugar and mix it. I didn’t have superfine sugar, so I used granulated sugar and added that to a mixer grinder along with the cinnamon, and pulsed it a couple of times. It’s imperative that you pulse it and not grind it into a fine powder because the small granules give you the crunch.
What equipment is needed to make the carrot muffins?
The equipment is pretty simple; you’ll need a muffin tin, of course, some liners, two mixing bowls, a whisk, and a rubber spatula.
And, of course, an oven.
You’ll also need some additional spoons and a small bowl.
The Recipe for The Spongiest Carrot Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins
Time: 40 minutes
180 grams (¾ cup) neutral oil
100 grams (½ cup) brown sugar
125 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
85 grams (5 ½ tablespoons) yogurt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
225 grams (1 ¾ cup) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
165 grams (1 ½ packed cup) peeled and grated carrots
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
Add the baking soda to the yogurt and let it sit for a minute.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Add both sugars and oil to a large mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until the sugars are dissolved.
Add the yogurt and baking soda mixture to the sugar and oil concoction.
Continue whisking until the yogurt and oil have emulsified.
Whisk in the nutmeg and cinnamon.
In a separate mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix them. Add the grated carrots and incorporate them into the dry ingredients.
Gently fold in the dry ingredients plus carrots into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until combined. Do not over mix; stop once everything is combined.
Line a muffin tin with muffin liners and scoop in about 60 grams or four tablespoons of the muffin batter into each crevice. Fill upto ¾ of the muffin liner.
Top the muffins with cinnamon sugar; this step is optional but highly recommended.
Bake the muffins in the preheated oven at 200°C for 18-20 minutes.
Stick a toothpick in the muffins, and if it comes out clean, they are ready.