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These vegan banana carrot muffins are tender, moist, sweet, lightly spiced, and super easy to make! Plus, they can be made refined sugar-free, sugar-free, wholewheat or spelt flour, gluten-free, and/or with all your favorite mix-ins!

close up of completed Carrot Cake Muffin with several in the background
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Moist Tender Vegan Carrot Muffins with Banana

It’s official, we’re in love with muffins! They’re like a little slice of on-the-go cake to enjoy for breakfast, a snack, a lunchbox treat, or dessert. Even better, these vegan carrot muffins combine two of our favorite treats: banana bread and carrot cake.

The results are moist, tender, fluffy, wholesome muffins featuring both a fruit and vegetable, yet sure to be a family favorite! Even better, they’re packed with texture, sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, and really easy to make with just one bowl (less cleanup!), 8 simple, low-budget, pantry-friendly ingredients, and just minutes of hands-on prep.

The most time-consuming part of the whole recipe is shredding the carrots, and even that can be cut to seconds with a food processor. Then, mix all the ingredients in a bowl, scoop the batter into the muffin tin, and bake into delicious banana carrot muffins.

This recipe is also super versatile. You can tweak the ingredients to your dietary needs, enjoy them with or without all your favorite mix-ins like walnuts, coconut, and pineapple, and bake them into mini, regular, or jumbo muffins or even in a loaf tin.

Best of all, with the combination of carrots, banana, and (optional) walnuts, these carrot cake muffins contain tons of fiber, antioxidants, potassium, vitamin K1, vitamin A, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Perfect for enjoying as a wholesome treat at home, while hiking, or on the move.

For more veggie-heavy bakes, you might enjoy our zucchini quick bread, sweet potato chocolate cake, or pumpkin brownies.  

The Ingredients

It’s super easy to make these vegan carrot cake muffins; you only need 9 simple and inexpensive pantry staples.

ingredients for Carrot Cake Muffins measured out against a white surface
  • Banana: Using overripe bananas with plenty of dark spots is important, as they’ll be the sweetest.  

If your bananas aren’t ripe enough, bake them (peel on) at 400F/205C until the peel blackens (about 5-10 minutes). Leave them to cool, scoop out the flesh, and mash.

  • Carrots: It’s best to use freshly shredded carrots (not pre-grated from the grocery store) for the best texture and flavor.
  • Sugar: We’ve previously used regular or brown sugar (which provides a caramel flavor and moisture) in these easy carrot cake muffins. However, you could use unrefined muscovado, coconut sugar, or date sugar.
  • Oil: Use any mild cooking oil, like vegetable oil or melted coconut oil, for tender, moist dairy-free carrot cake muffins. To reduce the oil, replace some with unsweetened apple sauce.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose, whole wheat, or spelt flour (or a 50/50 blend).
  • Leavening agents: Baking powder and baking soda provide lift and texture.
  • Salt: To enhance the various flavors in the muffins.
  • Cinnamon: While several spices typically go into carrot cake, this easy recipe for carrot cake muffins will taste delicious with cinnamon at its most basic.
  • Walnuts: (optional) Use raw or lightly toasted, unsalted, chopped walnuts. Pecans, pistachios, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds would also work.

What Could I Add To Vegan Carrot Muffins?

There are several ways to add extra flavor and texture to this carrot cake muffin recipe.

  • Vanilla extract: 1 tsp vanilla enhances the overall flavor of the carrot banana muffins.
  • Dried fruit: You could add several types of dried fruit to these carrot cake muffins. That includes regular or golden raisins, cranberries, or dried chopped apricot or dates.
  • Fruit: Add ¼-⅓ cup of pineapple pieces or chopped apple – pat dry first.
  • Ginger: For some warmth, add a generous pinch (increase to taste).
  • Nutmeg: Add ¼-½ tsp for extra warming depth.
  • Cardamom: Just a pinch for depth.
  • Coconut: ¼-⅓ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut will add texture.
  • Vegan chocolate chips: Add ¼-½ cup for any chocolate lovers. Use chips or chunks.
  • Orange zest: Add the zest of one orange (and save the juice for an optional glaze).

Toppings

  • Glaze: 1 tbsp orange juice (and optionally some zest) + powdered sugar.
  • Cinnamon sugar crust: Combine coarse brown sugar + cinnamon.
  • Vegan cream cheese frosting: Vegan cream cheese + vegan butter + powdered sugar.
  • Streusel topping: Like the one used for this Easy Pear Crisp.

How to Make Banana Carrot Muffins

  • 1) First, preheat the oven to 375F/190C and either grease or line a muffin tin with paper or silicone liners.
  • 2) Using a fork (or mini processor/blender), mash the bananas in a large bowl. Also, shred the carrots using the medium or fine setting on a box grater or save time using the shredding disk on a food processor.
process shot of mashing bananas with fork
  • 3) Add all the dry ingredients (flour, leavening agents, salt, sugar, and spices) and the oil, and gently mix until just combined.

Be careful not to overwork the batter by being too vigorous or over-stirring. A few tiny lumps are fine. If it’s a little too thick, let the batter sit for a few minutes. The carrots will release liquid into the batter while it sits.

  • 4) Fold in the carrots and walnuts (if using), then divide the batter into the muffin tin, filling each to the top.
process shot post adding batter to muffin tin
  • 5) Transfer the tray to the center of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown, fluffy, and bounce back when lightly pressed. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  • 6) Finally, remove the banana carrot muffins from the oven and allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

FAQs

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes, you can use an all-purpose gluten-free blend like King Arthur’s or Bob’s Red Mill if needed. The muffins will probably be denser, though.

Can I make mini muffins, giant muffins, or a loaf cake?

This recipe will work with any of the above. However, you’ll need to adjust the baking time accordingly. I.e., test mini muffins first at around 12-15 minutes and larger ones at around 30 mins. Use a toothpick to check for doneness.

Can I reduce the amount of sugar?

Yes, you can increase or reduce the amount of sugar slightly to your preference. Alternatively, try a sugar alternative, like sugar-free brown sugar or erythritol. However, the latter may adjust the texture of the bake.

Can I substitute the banana?

You could use unsweetened applesauce or another puree like sweet potato or pumpkin.

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Use overripe bananas: For natural sweetness allows you to reduce the amount of added sugar in the recipe.
  • Don’t use too much flour: When using cup measurements, first fluff it up in the bag. Use a spoon to transfer it to the measuring cup, leveling it with the back of a knife.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter: This will overdevelop the gluten and can lead to dense, rubbery/gummy muffins.
completed muffins with a halved muffin in the center

Serving Recommendations

Enjoy one of these vegan carrot muffins on the move or at home (at room temperature or warmed in a microwave or toaster) with:

  • Vegan butter
  • Vegan cream cheese
  • Nut butter—like almond, pecan, or walnut butter
  • Vegan chocolate spread (vegan Nutella)
  • Apple butter
  • Coconut butter
  • A dollop of vegan yogurt
  • A scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream
  • Cup of tea or coffee

How to Make Ahead and Store?

You can store the prepared muffin batter (minus the baking powder and baking soda) covered in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking. Remove it from the fridge for 30 minutes, stir in the leavening agents, and bake.

Once baked, cover the banana carrot muffins loosely at room temperature for 2-3 days or store them in an airtight container lined with paper towel in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can You Freeze Carrot Cake Muffins?

These banana carrot muffins freeze well for between 2-3 months. First, spread them across a tray, with space in between, and freeze until solid (several hours). Then wrap them in plastic wrap/eco wrap and transfer them to a freezer bag.

Allow a muffin to thaw at room temperature, or use a toaster oven or microwave to thaw one quickly.

More Vegan Bakes

You might also enjoy these 35 must-try vegan cake recipes.

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Carrot Cake Muffins

5 from 85 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 muffins
These vegan banana carrot muffins are tender, moist, sweet, lightly spiced, and super easy to make! Plus, they can be made refined sugar-free, sugar-free, wholewheat or spelt flour, gluten-free, and/or with all your favorite mix-ins!

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • cup canola or vegetable oil plus more for greasing
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup crushed walnuts (optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and lightly grease a muffin tin.
  • Place the mashed bananas in a large bowl.
  • Add the sugar, oil, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour, cinnamon, and gently mix together until well combined.
  • Fold the carrots and walnuts (if using) into the batter.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup to the top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown.

Video

Notes

  • Use overripe bananas: For natural sweetness allows you to reduce the amount of added sugar in the recipe.
  • Don’t use too much flour: When using cup measurements, first fluff it up in the bag. Use a spoon to transfer it to the measuring cup, leveling it with the back of a knife.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter: This will overdevelop the gluten and can lead to dense, rubbery/gummy muffins.

Nutrition

Calories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 5gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 463mgPotassium: 326mgFiber: 3gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 3602IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 62mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Adorable mini carrot cakes! So delicious and even better with a some vegan cream cheese frosting 😀 Mmmm!

    1. These look amazing! Any way you could provide metric weights? We don’t have imperial measuring cups where I live and it’s much easier to know how much flour is too much when there’s a an exact weight 😉 Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I love these carrot cake muffins! I also love the size because it’s perfect when you’re on the go or if you just want something to eat. Yum!

  3. 5 stars
    Such a delicious and healthy carrot cake muffin. So nice we can spend more time eating these than cleaning up!

  4. I LOVE this recipe. I have made it every week since I discovered it,about 2 months ago I like in the UK and due to personal reasons I do not add that much oil. Just a few sprays. I add some random nuts and seeds as I like a bit of extra crunch as well. Keep well in a cake tin. So glad I found this recipe! Thank you for it x