Spiced Carrot Oat Flour Muffin-Cake

Carrot cake is a universal comfort food. That beautiful, colorful cake! Those crunchy walnuts. Those sweet, succulent raisins. All the lovely warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. It is by far my favorite cake because the flavors and textures are so interesting.

And of course, it's perfect for spring!

But this isn't your average carrot cake. It's loaded with freshly grated carrot, made with oat flour, sweetened only with maple syrup, and contains a big protein punch thanks to nut butter. It's nutritious enough to serve as breakfast or as a snack on the go, but can also be dressed up to make for a decadent dessert. Carrot cake for breakfast?? Yes please!

Best of all, it's made in a blender. Just blast all the ingredients for a minute, pour the batter into a pan, and bake. It's the fastest possible route to carrot cake bliss. This is a recipe you can make again and again, both because of its wholesome ingredients and because of its ease.

I call this a "muffin-cake" because it's a cross between the two. The batter is more like a muffin, but I bake it in a pan so that it feels more like a cake. It is rich and moist, hearty and incredibly satisfying.

I prefer to leave off any frosting or topping so that this cake is more breakfast or lunch appropriate. We've been packing it to take to work, it makes for such a nice mid-day treat. But come dessert time, go crazy and dress it up! Your favorite cream cheese frosting would be divine. Or, here I've shown it with a nut butter cinnamon drizzle (recipe included below). Caramel sauce would be great too.

Regardless of if and how you dress it up, something about baking it in a pan and cutting it into squares makes it feel so much more like cake, even though it's really a (healthy) muffin in disguise. Bonus: no messing around with muffin tin liners.

I would be remiss to post this and not mention the special place that carrot cake has in our house. Dave and I had it on our wedding! We eloped, so it was just the two of us, eating a mini carrot cake on the beach. Ours was loaded with Hawaiian pineapple and decorated with local orchids though! We even had it for breakfast the next morning.

This muffin-cake would be a perfect addition to a spring brunch spread. Wouldn't it be lovely alongside an Upside Down Frittata with asparagus, this Grilled and Raw Spring Salad, and maybe even this Figgy Thyme Giz Fizz if you want to go all out? That seems like a pretty epic spring brunch line-up, especially if you're celebrating Easter.

Happy spring!

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Looking for another seemingly decadent yet wholesome muffin? I'm so in love with these Peanut Butter Stuffed Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
For the Cake
  • 1 large, very ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 0.5 c milk of choice. I like to bake with unsweetened soy milk because of its richness.
  • 4 tbsp nut butter. I love peanut butter and it's reasonably priced, so great for baking. Cashew butter will work if you're looking for a more mild flavor.
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2.25 c old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp ginger. Either ground/dried or fresh will work.
  • 0.5 tsp nutmeg
  • 0.25 tsp allspice
  • 0.25 tsp cardamon
  • 1.5 c shredded carrot (about two large carrots)
  • 0.25-0.5 c coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 0.25 c coarsely chopped raisins
  • 0.25 c shredded, unsweetened coconut
For the Drizzle
  • A few tbsp of cashew butter or almond butter. I like the taste of almond butter better, but the color of cashew butter, so do what works for you.
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and oil an 8x8 baking pan with your oil of choice; I use a bit of melted coconut oil.
  2. Measure the wet ingredients into a blender; putting the wet ingredients in first prevents the dry ingredients from clumping below the blades.
  3. Then, measure in the dry ingredients up through the spices (set the carrot, walnuts, raisins, and coconut aside- they'll go in later).
  4. Blend everything until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you have a high-power blender, this should only take a minute.
  5. Add the carrot, walnuts, raisins, and coconut to the batter. Pulse the blender just a couple times in order to bring everything together. Don't blend any more than that or all the tasty goodies will disappear into the batter!
  6. Pour the mixture into the oiled baking dish. Use a spatula to scrape it all out of the blender, and to spread it into an even layer.
  7. Bake 35-40 minutes until a cake tester just barely comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares.
  8. To make the drizzle shown in the photos above, melt the nut butter and coconut oil in a small pan over low heat. Add more coconut oil as necessary to create a consistency that will drizzle. Stir in the cinnamon and slather it all over your muffin-cake to take it from breakfast to dessert!


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