Carrot and Peanut Muffins Recipe

Muffins Carotte Cacahuète

[Carrot and Peanut Muffins]

In the interminable list of blessings that come with having a food blog is this one: readers will come forward and share their favorite recipes with you.

I am always honored to receive these gifts and the stories that are delivered with them, and even though I seldom get around to making the dishes (my epitaph will read, “So Many Recipes, So Little Time”; I’ve left instructions), they do contribute to my inner culinary landscape. I file them away in my bulging stash, complete with donor information so I can give proper credit if and when I take the recipe for a ride.

Today’s muffins were born from such a contribution, a recipe sent to me recently by a San Francisco-based, Spanish reader named Alex, who has come up with the formula to reproduce a carrot and hazelnut cake he had tasted at a tea parlor in Barcelona.

I’ve adapted the recipe a bit (“She Could Not Leave A Recipe Alone,” my tombstone will read also, in smaller letters), baking it as muffins instead of a cake, substituting ground peanuts (bought from an Ivorian shop the other day) for the ground hazelnuts, decreasing the amount of baking powder, using Olivier Roellinger’s poudre équinoxiale spice mix in place of lemon zest, and just adding the whole eggs to the batter instead of incorporating the stiff-beaten egg whites separately.

The latter two changes were for convenience’s sake: I had no lemons and, because I was baking these as a short diversion from my work, little time. The batter was quick and easy to assemble — no mixer or elbow grease needed — and the resulting muffins just the sort of gratification I needed on an industrious Saturday afternoon: the size of a child’s fist, they were moist, lightly crusty, and full of warm flavors, which bloomed even further over the next few days, as the muffin tops softened.

It occurred to me that there were distinct similarities between these muffins and my flourless orange and ginger cake (the proportions are comparable, and the grated carrots and boiled oranges play a similar part in the texture), which makes me think that one could omit the flour from these muffins.

Muffins Carotte et Cacahuète

270 grams (3 cups, loosely packed) grated carrots, from about 3 medium carrots
4 eggs
160 grams (3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp) raw cane sugar (I used rapadura sugar)
160 grams (1 2/3 cup) ground peanuts, toasted in a dry skillet (substitute other ground nuts — hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios…)
60 grams (1/2 cup) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
A good pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon warm spice mix (such as poudre équinoxiale, or a French four-spice mix, or a pumpkin pie mix)

Yields about 24 mini-muffins.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease a tray of mini-muffin molds.

Put the carrots in a large mixing-bowl. Add the eggs and beat with a fork until fluffy. Add the sugar and mix until combined. Add the peanuts and mix again. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a bowl. Add to the batter and mix until just combined.

Pour the batter in a freezer bag, tie shut, snip a corner to create a 1-cm (1/3 inch) opening, and use as a piping bag to fill the prepared muffin molds. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the muffins are golden brown and a knife inserted in the center of one comes out clean.

Transfer to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Unmold and let cool completely.

Note: The original version, as sent by Alex, calls for ground hazelnuts instead of ground peanuts; it has you beat the egg whites until stiff and incorporate them into the batter at the end; it also calls for twice the amount of baking powder, the zest from one lemon instead of the spices, and no salt.

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  • est

    thanks Clotilde, I’ve been trying to come up with the ultime carrot cake recipe but it’s not as easy as it seems… I will try your muffins asap!

  • A nice and spicy recipe! Peanuts go wonderfully well with carrots…

  • I think I will make me a good ole American carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. So moist, so rich, so not good for the arteries, but a good memory.

  • It seems to be very delicious!

  • Luci

    :D long time reader first time commenter >_

  • Ooh, I love carrot muffins, but must regretfully say that I’ve never baked them myself! Now I’ll have no excuses, your’s looks divine! :)

    Don’t you just love it when readers share their favourite recipes? I once had a reader leave her family favourite recipe for a Malaysian diah I’ve been trying to get my hands on for ages! I just love how food can bring on so much passion.

    Just a few days to go before your book comes out, must be really exciting, eh? Can’t wait to have a peek at it. Have a great day Clotide! :)

  • I have been lurking as well and this is my first time posting.

    I just posted about your site the other day and added you to my blogroll. I am loving this site and looking forward to buying your cookbook.

  • Has anyone tried this without the flower. I think I will make these tonight and report back. Thanks!

  • Lady Kathryn

    Clothilde, you are a true inspiration. Thank you for sharing your passion with the world. :D

    Really, anything muffin-y or carrot cake-y is food for the soul. For my favorite carrot cake recipe please visit this page. It truly is “Must Bake Carrot Cake”! (And I’m sure it would make lovely muffins as well) I’m not so sure about the frosting; frosting is so easy to make – and such an important part of carrot cake – that if you are going to make it, you really should go all the way and make a real cream cheese frosting. Bon apetit!

  • Andrea-Michelle

    GreenChick: I’ve had good luck baking with the following wheat-flour replacement.

    Mix equal measures of almond meal & garbanzo bean flour. Then add one-quarter measure potato starch.

  • nicole

    Hello, i came across your blog/website through another food blog two days ago, and I’ve been addicted to it since. After reading abot three months worth of entries, I have to tell you: I love your stories leading up to your recipes or your reviews.. sometimes nostalgic, sometimes revolutionary..
    I look forward to more entries and looking into your old ones. =]

  • Sounds yummy!

  • OMG it seems to be delicious ! your pic’ is very beautiful ! thank you for your sharing ;-))

  • Gorgeous recipe. I adore carrot cakes, but after too many years of being forced to eat carrot muffins as a child (in a ploy to improve his eyesight), my husband just won’t touch them. He will, however, eat whipped carrots and carrots buried in a roasted root vegetable mix, so all is not lost. Maybe I’ll make your muffins, anyway. I’ll just have to eat them all myself. Life could be worse.


  • Could your blog be anymore divine? I have just found this darling little blog, and I can’t imagine how I lived without it!
    I’m just off to the kitchen now…
    Victoria x

  • Looks like these were an inspired adaptation. A large quantity of what I bake seems to morph into muffin form, so thanks for doing the hard work for me!

  • Those look beautiful and delicious. Bravo! Can’t wait to try them…

  • Maggie Davidson

    I would make them just so I could use my favorite French word: Cacahuete. When I was a culinary student in Paris and I first heard the chef use that word, I nearly fell out of my chair! I will try these at work tonight for thr pre-dessert!

  • Tibou

    Clotilde I love your blog!!

    Speaking of carrot cake I’ve got a recipe that’s simple and light (444 calories per serving/15g fat). Well it’s lighter than most! It was cut out of a woman’s magazine last year. It’s called:

    ‘Confetti Carrot Cake’ and it’s délicieux!!

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/8 tsp salt
    1/2 cup butter
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    4 egg whites
    1 cup buttermilk
    2 1/2 cups shredded sweet spring carrots (or any other are fine)
    1 recipe Thick and Lemony Icing
    1 cup chopped walnuts

    -Preheat oven to 350°F
    -Grease and flour two 8×1 1/2-inch or 9×1 1/2-inch round baking pans or a rectangular pan is fine.
    -In a bowl mix the flour, powder, soda and salt.
    -In a large mixing bowl beat butter 30 seconds then add sugar + vanilla. Beat until well-combined.
    -Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    -Add flour mixture + buttermilk alternately + beating on low speed after each addition.
    -Fold in carottes + chopped walnuts.
    -Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. (Do the toothpick test)
    -Let cool completely.

    Thick and Lemony Icing
    In a small bowl combine 3 cups sifted powdered sugar and enough lemon juice (about 3 tablespoons) to make a thick glaze. Makes about 1 cup.

    – Spoon about 2/3 cup on top of first layer and the rest on top layer. Can decorate with additional chopped walnuts.


  • I’m an avid fan of carrot cake and muffins and this looks great. I’m diabetic, though, and I think I could revamp this a bit to make a little more blood sugar friendly. Maybe if I cut back on sugar or mix sugar and another sweetener and perhaps use some soy and almond flours… yep, I think I can do it! Okay, that’s my upcoming project – to see if I can make this a littler friendlier for diabetics and to see how they look from the Cook’s Choice Bowl Maker. Thanks for such an awesome sounding recipe!

  • wow. I just remembered how I used to love carrots with peanut butter as a child. I have not thought of that in decades. Thanks so much for this.

    Can’t wait to see you in New York.

  • Whitney

    Hi Clotilde! It was great to see you at the Boston book signing! I told you I had tried these muffins the night before and brought them into work to share with co-workers. They loved them and I think you may have a few more readers after yesterday! Thank you for the freezing recommendation – I will try that next time and keep more at home for my husband and me!

    The book signing was fantastic and it was great to meet you – Félicitations et Bonne Chance with the rest of your book tour!


  • Hello there! I am a big fan of yours, just like so many of us…great blog and talented blogger :-)
    Now apart from delurking, I looked into this recipe and told myself I have fresh carrots in my fridge so…why not? And since I finally found muscovdo sugar here in Madrid I will use it for the recipe…guess it would do, right?
    good luck with yr tour!

  • chanie

    look great – will have to try them soon!
    one question – why pipe in the batter with a bag? i usually use a small scooper. is it just convenient?

  • Chanie – Yes, it is for convenience: when I use mini-muffin tins, I find that the faux piping-bag prevents spills and smudges. But you can just use whatever tool you prefer, of course.

  • chanie

    thanks! that’s what i figured, but just wanted to make sure i wasn’t missing something.
    will definitely make these, but am making your yogurt cake today for my sons birthday. we are constantly making it around here, so much so that some friends have recognized it at pot-lucks as “our cake”

  • honshuku

    I’ll try it ,sure some day.But is it reasonable to put paste of peanut instead of peanut itself?
    one day I have added a cooking banana in that sort of cake, it was soft.thank you to make me an effort to speak approximately THE language. Best wish for your cook.

  • KC

    Oh dear, I tightly packed those grated carrots, having never worked with them before. Now I’m wondering if I should now double, triple, or quadruple the rest of the ingredients…

  • KC

    Well, the muffins turned out decently, but I think I’ll avoid anything orange for now. I understand why you made these in mini portions–so much carrot could make you nauseous.

  • I usually do the chocolate cupcakes because my family like them. But I get tired of the same old, the same old. Now I have a new recipe, can’t wait to try it out. Thank you very much. Really enjoy your blog, your amazing pictures and recipes.

  • I’ve tried it with pine nuts and chia seeds. Just delicious!!! Really!!… Does anyone know where can I buy peanut? I’ve been searching on the internet but doesn’t find it.

    I hope you guys can help me with it =DDD

    Best Regards everybody!!!!!


  • Elli

    Hi Clotilde, this is another of your recipes which turned out perfect. But could not eat the muffins, as I did not like the peanut flavour! :-(
    Probably has something to do with the afct that I cannot stand peanut butter either, though I love peanuts and peanut sauces. So people who don’t like peanut butter should probably make it with some oter nuts.

    • Sorry you did not like those, Elli, but hope you found friends or family members who like the peanut flavor…

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