Applesauce Carrot Cake Muffins

A small batch recipe for moist applesauce carrot cake muffins. A healthy and flavorful breakfast or snack!

Moist applesauce carrot cake muffin recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Every so often when I’ve gone grocery shopping, I’ve wished I brought headphones so I could shop and listen to music. Sure, some stores play music, but it’s not always something I want to listen to…especially if it’s September or October and Christmas music is already playing. Maybe it’s silly to want to listen to my own music. Maybe it seems rude or like shutting out the world. But I think it would make shopping more enjoyable. It’s not like I have conversations with people when I’m out shopping anyway, unless my kids are with me… or the occasional greetings with familiar faces, but nothing drawn out. Have you ever done this? I feel like it needs to become a thing.

Also, I keep going through phases where I have a favorite song. Something new (to me) or random will come on one of my Pandora stations and then that’s all I want to listen to. Of course that means seeing if Amazon Prime or YouTube has it so I can get my fix. Yes, I realize I could switch music service apps, but I’m content with what I have for the most part. So anyway… my latest song obsession is “Stand by You” by Rachel Platten, who also sings “Fight Song.” Such a fun song and I just realized that the entire album is free to stream with Amazon Prime. Yay! Pretty sure this needs to be the music for my next grocery trip.

Moist applesauce carrot cake muffin recipe from @bakedbyrachel

I’ve been craving Spring food since the start of the year. I know it’s kind of crazy since I’m jumping straight over the rest of January, February and part of March to get to something we’d see closer to Easter, but I had a craving and couldn’t resist it any longer. Plus, since these are loaded with carrots, they’re basically good for you so they should be allowed all year long… especially when you’re trying to eat healthier… right? Right.

This small batch recipe for moist and flavorful applesauce carrot cake muffins is an absolute must make. They’re the perfect breakfast or mid-morning snack. And you’ll likely want to make a double batch since they’ll disappear so fast! They’re that good! My family gobbled these up and I’m sure yours will too!

Moist applesauce carrot cake muffins perfect for the entire family! Be sure to add these to your weekly baking plans!

Moist applesauce carrot cake muffin recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Applesauce Carrot Cake Muffins

A small batch recipe for moist applesauce carrot cake muffins. A healthy and flavorful breakfast or snack!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Muffin
Servings: 6 muffins


  • 1/4 C applesauce
  • 1/2 Tb vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C carrots finely shredded
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C all purpose flour


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with six paper liners. 
  • Finely shred carrots and chop well to eliminate any large pieces. 
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together applesauce, vegetable oil and sugars until fully combined. Mix in egg and vanilla, followed by carrots. Scrape the bowl as needed. Add remaining dry ingredients, mixing well until no streaks remain. 
  • Divide mixture evenly between prepared paper liners, adding 1 heaping large cookie scoop per liner. Liners should be nearly full. 
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. 
  • Cool in pan for several minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Store in an airtight container for up to several days. 


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

Moist applesauce carrot cake muffin recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Items used in this recipe:

This post contains affiliate links.

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50 Responses to “Applesauce Carrot Cake Muffins”

  1. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — January 18, 2016 at 7:15 am

    I LOVE rachel platten! i always forget about Amazon Prime streaming..I need to take advantage. I want a whole batch of these muffins! They seem so fluffy and moist and full of flavor!

    • #
      Rachel — January 19, 2016 at 7:21 am

      She’s so fun and yes, you need to remember to use it more!

  2. #
    Liz — January 18, 2016 at 7:31 am

    You’ve just combined two of my favorite baked good flavors—apple and carrot cake! And for breakfast. Hooray!

    • #
      Rachel — January 19, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Thanks Liz!

  3. #
    Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom — January 18, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Thanks for bringing a bit of spring my way–I love these flavors and am ready for warmer weather (already!)

    • #
      Rachel — January 19, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Me too, Kristen! I’m ready for Spring in a big way!

  4. #
    Marye — January 18, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Oh yum, these muffins sound wonderful! I would love one for breakfast!

    • #
      Rachel — January 19, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Thanks Marye!

  5. #
    Ramona W — January 18, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    What a lovely muffin… I can almost see how tender the cake is from the photos! :)

    • #
      Rachel — January 19, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Thanks Ramona!

  6. #
    Cassie — January 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Hi Rachel! For the carrots, is it 3/4 c after shredded? If not, about how many carrots would be 3/4 cup? Thank you!

    • #
      Rachel — January 19, 2016 at 7:22 am

      3/4 finely shredded carrots. The number of carrots will vary depending on their size, so be sure to still measure, but it should be roughly 3 carrots.

  7. #
    Heather @ Boston Girl Bakes — January 19, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    You’re right! Headphones would be great– I do love grocery shopping but sometimes i wish I had the whole store to myself! These muffins look awesome and applesauce always makes me feel less guilty! :)

    • #
      Rachel — January 20, 2016 at 7:27 am

      Thanks so much Heather! And yes having the whole store to ourselves would be fantastic. So much quieter.

  8. #
    Alida // Alida's Kitchen — January 20, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    Carrot cake is my favorite…love this healthier version made into a breakfast treat!

    • #
      Rachel — January 21, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Alida!

  9. #
    Malinda @ Countryside Cravings — January 21, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I have been craving spring flavors too!! Lemon all the things! These muffins are so going to happen in my house, I know my kids (and I) will devour them!

    • #
      Rachel — January 22, 2016 at 7:14 am

      I hope everyone enjoys them! :)

  10. #
    Janet — January 22, 2016 at 9:47 am

    These look delicious! A couple of questions before I make these – is the applesauce unsweetened, and is the brown sugar packed or not? Thanks!

    • #
      Rachel — January 23, 2016 at 7:56 am

      Lightly packed brown sugar is fine. Feel free to use whatever applesauce you have on hand.

  11. #
    Kailey M — April 7, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Just whipped up a batch of these and they are scrumptious!! Amazing recipie! So moist and fluffy, reminiscent of the carrot muffins from my college caf – sans a million calories lol! Will definitely be making these on a regular basis :)
    Thanks for the great recipie Rachel!

    • #
      Rachel — April 8, 2016 at 7:07 am

      So glad you enjoyed them so much, Kailey! Thanks for sharing! :)

  12. #
    LU — April 10, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Rachel,

    Would it still work fine if I substituted 1/4 cup maple syrup for the granulated sugar, and dark brown sugar instead of light?

    • #
      Rachel — April 11, 2016 at 8:37 am

      If you’re familiar with those substitutions, then you could definitely give it a try. The only issue that you may run into is with the maple syrup, as it’s not a 1:1 substitution and there are already several liquid ingredients. I can’t say for sure that it will work well with this particular recipe.

  13. #
    Sandra — August 25, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Can these be made with whole wheat flour instead?

    • #
      Rachel — August 26, 2016 at 7:40 am

      If you’re comfortable with doing so, then I’d say it’s worth a try. If you’re not familiar with how to best substitute flours for each other then I’d recommend sticking with the recipe as written.

  14. #
    Jane — January 29, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    Do you recon that if I made these they’d freeze ok? I’d love to use them as a treat for my daughter’s first birthday party but will be very busy in the days leading up to the party!

    • #
      Rachel — January 30, 2017 at 7:28 am

      If you’re familiar with how to properly freeze baked goods, then it would be worth trying. I think they will be fine if wrapped properly. Good luck!

  15. #
    Katherine — May 11, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I just made these and they turned up lovely fluffy and moist. I would recommend adding a bit less sugar than the recipe calls for, since these were a bit too sweet for my taste (and i used homemade unsweetend apple sauce). Also add some nuts or raisins for additional nutrition and crunch. Definetely a winning recipe.
    Unfortunately mine stuck to the paper wrappers I baked them in… Does anyone know a way to avoid this? What causes it? Thank you.

    • #
      Rachel — May 12, 2017 at 6:59 am

      My best guess is it’s the specific liners you’re using. From personal experience, the liners often found in stores aren’t high quality and will cause issues, such as what you’ve experienced. If you’re unable to find liners that work for you, silicone cups would work instead. You could also spray the muffin tin and use as is, without liners.

  16. #
    Pam — October 29, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    I doubled recipe and used whole wheat flour and used oil instead of applesauce because I didn’t have any. Cooked them 18 mins they came out nice and moist but I can’t smell or taste any of the spices and I even added a touch more of each. So next time I would double spices and see if that increased flavour. I know applesauce may have added some flavour but was also worried they would be too dry as I like a super moist muffin! My son just tried them and loves them and he’s who I made them for so all is good. For family I would still add more spice 😊Thanks for the recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — October 30, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      I’m glad you both enjoyed them, Pam! And yes, applesauce will definitely add more flavor to them. Feel free to increase spices to your liking! :)

  17. #
    Anna — April 24, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Yo…these are actually so good haha.
    I made one batch and now I’m going to make another !!!!!!

    • #
      Rachel — April 28, 2020 at 7:34 am

      So glad you enjoyed them, Anna!

  18. #
    Renee — May 11, 2020 at 12:49 am

    Img, I could eat these 5 days a week! I doubled the recipe and so happy I did because i ate 2 immediately after a cool down. I made some modifications due to item availability and used coconut oil, sugar in the raw, gluten free all purpose flour, threw in some coconut flakes and a couble tablespoons kernels and it turned out delicious.

    • #
      Rachel — May 11, 2020 at 1:26 pm

      So glad you enjoyed them, Renee!

  19. #
    Janie — June 24, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Exceptional muffins!!! These are so moist and tender! A new fav! I made them as written except for omitting nutmeg and cloves and walnuts…was baking them with small grandchildren and so keeping them a little plainer. For upcoming company I’ll be including everything. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

    • #
      Rachel — July 6, 2020 at 8:36 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed them!

  20. #
    Patricia — July 31, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Simply delish! I am working from home right now and a little under the weather, and today decided to take an actual vacation day. This gave me time to make your muffins and my oh my!

    I’ve tried so many different types of recipes while at home during this pandemic, and let me tell you I have had some duds. But your recipe for these muffins? Yes ma’am!

    • #
      Rachel — August 29, 2020 at 9:02 pm

      So glad you enjoyed them, Patricia! Thank you for sharing and stay well!

  21. #
    Sunshine baker — August 10, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    This only made 9 muffins, but they were very good. I used white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. I added raisins and walnuts. I didn’t use cloves as no one likes them at our house. They took around 17 min to bake.

    • #
      Rachel — August 29, 2020 at 8:57 pm

      So glad you enjoyed them!

  22. #
    Jessica — August 26, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    I just found the recipe today and made them, adding golden raisins and walnuts (and replacing the seasonings with Pumpkin Pie spice, because that’s all I had on hand) for a more carrot-cakey feel. “Amusingly,” though, my ADHD kicked in and I forgot to add the salt and seasonings! I had to yank the muffins out of the oven and stir the seasonings into each individual cup! Nevertheless, the muffins turned out delicious. Thanks for the wonderful recipe–I’ll definitely be making these again. :D

    • #
      Rachel — August 29, 2020 at 8:51 pm

      So glad you enjoyed them, Jessica! Thanks for sharing!

  23. #
    Cheryl — September 7, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    These muffins are awesome! I love that they use applesauce instead of a lot of oil or butter. They were a big hit in my house and I will make them over and over!

    • #
      Rachel — September 15, 2020 at 8:50 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed them, Cheryl!

  24. #
    imsen — February 2, 2022 at 8:26 am

    They were very good and I felt I was being so healthy!

    • #
      Rachel — February 7, 2022 at 5:57 am

      So glad you enjoyed them!

  25. #
    Betsey — February 21, 2022 at 12:05 pm

    I have a nephew who is allergic to eggs. Can I use more applesauce and omit the egg to make these? Or would I have to use an egg substitute?

    • #
      Rachel — February 24, 2022 at 12:54 pm

      You’ll have to play around with it and see if that works. Typically applesauce or oil can be substituted for eggs but not in every case. If you omit and substitute with one of those and it doesn’t work, there are definitely other options to try. Good luck!

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