Gluten Free - Dairy Free Optional - Refined Sugar Free
A fresh, warm muffin is pretty much one of the best ways that I can think of to start the day. Even better if it’s chilly outside and you break open a steamy warm muffin and add a touch of butter to the ordeal (if you consume dairy). I’m drooling just thinking about this. These muffins are extra special to me because they have a solid spice game, which is pretty much one of the most grounding flavor profiles for my palate.
There are a couple of ways that you can enjoy these spiced baked goods. You can opt to have them as a muffin and simply top them with apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon. This simple route gives them a nice rustic look and keeps the taste profile focused simply on the spices. Another route would be to add a simple crumble topping. This takes 2 minutes extra and it says just that. I love you so much that I took the time to add a nice crunchy crumble top to this muffin. The last, and my personal favorite option, is to make these into cupcakes by adding cream cheese frosting. It looks divine and adds a cooling creaminess that helps balance out the spice factor of the muffin. So if dairy is okay for you form time to time, this is the way to go once the muffins have cooled.
A few tips on dairy. I go through phases where I have absolutely no dairy in my life to times when I consume it on occasion from quality sources. I’ve never been a huge cream cheese fan, but in this case, I devour it. I purchase organic cream cheese that comes from grass-fed cows. This ensures that I’m not consuming dairy that contains added growth hormones or antibiotics with added inflammatory compounds. Better yet, try to find dairy from pasture-raised cows because this means that they are raised out in fields where they can consume grass and be in open air and sunshine. Who knew that so much thought went into a cupcake?
I encourage you to follow the directions in this recipe to ensure that you don’t miss out on infusing the coconut oil or grass-fed butter with spices. This takes the recipe up a notch rather than just tossing the spices in with the dry ingredients. It’s worth the extra step, so give it a whirl and let me know what you think!
Spiced Carrot Apple Mufcakes
Prep: 10 minutes, Bake time: ~30 minutes, Total time: 45 minutes
Makes: 12 muffins/cupcakes
5 Tbsp. grass-fed butter or coconut oil
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
¾ tsp. cardamom
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 cups fine almond flour
½ cup chickpea flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup finely grated carrot (~1 large carrot)
½ cup grated apple
Optional: apple slices & cinnamon for simple topping
Preheat oven to 350°F
In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter/oil and stir in maple syrup. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, and nutmeg until combined. Allow spice mixture to sit and infuse, while completing the next steps.
In a large bowl, sift the almond flour, chickpea flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Stir.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy. Add the mashed banana, carrots, and apple. Stir to combine.
Add the banana mixture to the dry flour mixture and mix to combine. Fold in the butter/oil mixture until dough is well incorporated.
Pour into parchment baking cups in a muffin tin until ¾ full. If using, top with thin apple slices and a dash of cinnamon (or homemade granola!).
Bake the muffins for 25 - 30 minutes until bouncy and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a muffin rack for 5 minutes, remove from muffin tin, and set muffins on the cooling rack until you’re ready to dig in. If making these into cupcakes, omit the apple slices and cool completely before spreading with cream cheese frosting.
Storage: Keep leftover muffins/cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 -4 days. For future treats, pre-pack muffins in a sealed container in the freezer and remove 1 hour before enjoying.
Prep: If making, cream cheese frosting can be made a day in advance.
Topping Options: apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon, crumble topping, or cream cheese frosting.
½ cup almond flour
2 Tbsp. grass-fed butter or coconut oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix/crumble together with a fork or pastry knife then sprinkle on top of muffins before baking.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. organic cream cheese
2 Tbsp. raw honey
¼ of a lime, juice only
Blend cream cheese with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add 2 Tbs. of honey (or maple syrup) and juice from ¼ of a lime. Blend until well incorporated and creamy. Taste and adjust, if needed. Spread onto cooled muffins and call ‘em cupcakes!
Dairy Free Frosting: I’m still working on this. You can swap Kitehill Cream Cheese for cream cheese; however, I find that the flavoring doesn’t meld as well with these cupcakes.
Let us know what you choose in the comments below.