Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gluten-free Carrot Ginger Muffins with Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting

I had a great time with these lovely little muffins. Dolloped with a tangy cream
cheese frosting and they were instantly a delicious dessert!
And to think I was skittish about trying to bake gluten-free! Wasting resources isn't a thing one wants to do nowadays. Waste not, want not.  Everything I read said; "You'll get used to the taste," or "put your past baking expectations aside, this is different, and will taste different-but good!"  Etc.So I was afraid to try baking with the gf flour and end up having to throw all that away.
Well. I really didn't find it different.  Or that it tasted all that different from regular morning muffins. I've tasted regular flour bakery bran muffins that tasted drier :(
These had a great texture, moistness and taste. They are a little drier the next day, but still really good.

I've gone to the King Arthur Flour's website for past baking questions and tips, even though I don't use their pricey regular flour (sorry! lol), and have received great advice and tips. So I went to them when it came to a flour replacer to buy. In my local Meijer (large grocery store chain) I found King Arthur's Gluten-Free All-Purpose flour. Yes, it was pricey, but worth it for a treat or for a gift :)

You will also need Xanthan Gum. Usually you can find it in the spice isle along with other spice jars. It's a fine, white powdery substance that will help replace the gluten EFFECT in your batter. At least that's the conclusion I've come to in my research.  Meijer was apparently out, couldn't find it..boohoo, so I borrowed some.  My friend put it into a little baggie and I headed out the door. Then I stopped.  Considering I live in the city, perhaps I should put it into my purse before heading out. It'd really suck to get slammed to the ground and cuffed over Xanthan Gum. I ache enough as it is.  But could you imagine? LOL

Another thing. I usually don't care for any kind of nuts in my yummies, but I toasted the walnuts before I chopped them and it really made a difference. I urge you to try it if you don't care for walnuts in your baked yummies.  SO good!

When it comes to the carrots, walnuts, and golden raisins, this is not written in stone. I think this batter can handle more, or less, or different nuts and fruits. Just adjust your baking time accordingly.  I'm just typing out what I had on hand to use.

So preheat the oven to 325, stick some paper cupcake holders into two muffin pans and let's get on with the recipe!

Makes 20-24 muffins, depending on size. They don't rise much at all.
The wet ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup Canola oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
The dry ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cup All-purpose gluten-free flour, such as King Arthur brand
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
The fun add-ins:
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger (buy a fresh little knob of it and keep it in the freezer. Grate whenever you need it. No need to defrost first. Lasts forever. Or seems like it.)

In a large, glass bowl (plastics contain oils from other foods that have been in them, this will affect the baking), whisk your dry ingredients well and make a little well in the center.

In a smaller glass bowl, add the oil and sugars and beat well with a hand mixer for about 3 minutes. Until well combined. It won't "fluff" up like if you used butter, but I still give it a good beating to incorporate it all.
Add vanilla.
Add eggs one at a time, beating well between each egg to really get it mixed in well. About 2-3 minutes total time.

Add the wet mixture to the dry, and using a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, rotating the bowl as you fold and gently mix.
Using your hand mixer, mix on 2 or 3, about a medium speed for about 3 more minutes. Mixture will begin to thicken a lot.

Grate the ginger into the shredded carrots (freshly grated carrots are best, they're moist and not dehydrated like the pre-grated packages in the store. I really don't know if they'd work in this recipe.) and give a little mix to combine the ginger with the carrots.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, carefully fold in the carrots, walnuts and raisins until just combined.

Like I mentioned before, the batter doesn't rise much, so you can fill muffin papers almost full. The batter is pretty sticky and gummy, so I used a small ice cream scoop, and it worked well.

Bake one pan at a time, rotating it half way through cooking, for 12-16 minutes. Use your nose (the nose knows! haha) and when a toothpick stuck in the fattest one near the center comes out clean. Try not to overbake. They won't have that real golden 'done' look that regular flour muffins have.

Let cool just a moment or two, until you can handle them to take them out to cool and put the other batch into the oven.

Awesome breakfast muffins, or frost them with my Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting for a real treat!

Tangy Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz brick of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar, adjust to your tastes. I used close to one cup.
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Again, adjust to your tastes, but you don't want to actually TASTE lemon, just the nice tang of it.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • teeny tiny pinch of table salt (yeah, that's a pre-fessional cookery term right there! haha)
Beat in high with hand mixer until completely combined and fluffy and yummy! If it feels a little too thick for frosting, you can add a teeny tiny bit of milk to smooth it out.  But you shouldn't need that.

Spoon into a small storage baggy, snip off a small corner of the bag, and gently squeeze onto the muffins!

These freeze very well without the frosting too!


  1. I love that these muffins are gluten-free. I look forward to trying them. Carrot is one of my favorites!! :) Thanks for sharing this weekend!!!

  2. these look awesome! Found you from Fit and Fab Fridays!

  3. Thank you Amee and Angie!

    I loved how their texture and moistness turned out. They were still good the next day too. I ate them without frosting or butter! and I'm not one who bypasses those too often. hehe..