Healthy Whole Wheat, Oat, and Flax Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze

It's unfortunate that you have to see this on here. If you're currently reading this feel free to hit the "back" button or completely x-out your browser altogether. It's about to get real up in here.

For the past two and a half years I've wanted to lose weight. After Ry-ster was born in December 2008 I was at the highest weight I've ever been at, and with the help of Weight Watchers (and my momma) I was able to lost over 40 pounds. Needless to say, I was very happy with that but I still wanted to lose more... Instead, life happened and I slowly let the weight creep back on.

It actually felt good to have a reason for being so heavy before, but now I have no excuses. Sure nursing school is hard, raising a child is difficult, being broke sucks, and baking for a food blog or being a fat kid at heart has its downfalls. But we all struggle with these very same things...and by very same things I mean stress, guilt, and fat-kid syndrome.

I've used this blog over the past year as a way to teach myself how to become a better baker and cook. I've brought fat-kid syndrome relief to the people around me on occasion, and I've learned that I love food even more than I imagined. If I can use this outlet to teach myself a new skill and make people happy, surely I can use it to discover how to lose weight.

I had reservations about making this blog into a weight loss avenue, even for a short time. "Skill" and "diet food" don't go hand in hand in my land (I'm a poet and I didn't even know it). I get slightly nauseated at the idea of posting muffins and chicken every week (in my head muffins and chicken are quintessential diet food). It's been done, will be done again, and will continue to bore thousands of people who go online looking to find something new and different. I don't want to be the muffin chicken person.

Then I realized that I was kind of copping out. I can create recipes and variations beyond what I see in a recipe, so I can definitely come up with cool dessert-y diet food. I can make muffins and chicken fun. Nobody wants to compromise on something they love doing, especially when it's just a hobby. But food is really more than a hobby for's what you put into your body day after day. It's what your cells and brain run off of 24/7. It should be healthy, at least most of the time. Like I said, I'm just a fat kid looking for an excuse to bake cake.

That said, I made healthy whole grain, oat, and flax carrot cake muffins to kick start this whole diet thing. I put a sweet cream cheese glaze on top to satisfy my inner fat kid...or outer, whatevs. I love love love them. P.S. I'm now posting nutritional information along with my recipes, mostly for my own self. These are pretty much breakfast with coffee, but they're super healthy and packed with grains, oats, flax, and carrots. I  feel good about these babies!

Whole Wheat, Oat, and Flax Carrot Cake Muffins

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 cup ground flax meal
2/3 cup dark brown sugar 
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tbl pure vanilla extract
4 medium carrots, grated (about 11/2 cups)
1 medium apple, peeled and grated (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Whisk the flours, oats, flax, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. In another medium bowl lightly whisk the eggs together. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla and whisk to combine.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture. Gently mix the two together until no visible streaks of flour remain (be careful not to over mix). Stir in the carrots and apple just until evenly moist; the batter will be very thick. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Turn muffins out of the tins and cool on a rack. Top with cream cheese glaze while still warm. 

Cream Cheese Glaze

4 ounces (half a loaf) cream cheese, at room temp
3 tbl powdered sugar
1-2 tbl milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add the milk and vanilla extract. Beat until completely combined. Spread over warm muffins. 

Source: Muffin recipe adapted from Food Network Kitchens. Glaze recipe Sarah Cupcake original.

Nutrition Facts - 12 Servings - Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 236  
Fat: 11.3 g 
Carbohydrate: 31.0 g 
    Dietary Fiber: 2.7 g 
    Sugars: 17.4 g
Protein: 4.5 g

10 Response to Healthy Whole Wheat, Oat, and Flax Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Glaze

March 1, 2012 at 9:28 AM

lots amount of carrots recipe at muffin and use whole wheat flour, top with cream cheese glaze sounds too delicious for diet snack! couldn't resist of it, and your dog is fabulous, too cute..!

March 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Wow, these look great, and I love how chock full of good stuff they are :) Plus your owl cup is adorable!

March 2, 2012 at 4:30 AM

Sarah, I so hear you about the blog and baking. I have gained 10lbs since starting my blog... not good. I try to eat a very balanced diet.... but I do bake for the blog (something I never really did before) and that's my downfall. I'm trying to do my baking recipes for when I can give the food away at parties etc... It's hard because once you start that sugar craving it's like a devil on your shoulder. I'm love that you made these muffins healthy! Healthy does not mean lacking in flavor!! They look amazing. I love your doggy and the mortar and pestle you have in the background of your pictures!! Take care and have a great weekend! ~ Ramona

March 2, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Oh yum, these look like the perfect breakfast or dessert. But still filled with lots of healthy things. I love the cream cheese glaze as well!

March 4, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Mmmm, I'm totally bookmarking these to make in the future.

March 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM

I need to make these! My little brother keeps asking me when I'm going to make carrot cake, this might be perfect! And I love that you made them healthy, they sound sooo good with that frosting!

November 7, 2012 at 8:52 AM

These look delicious! What kind of milk did you use?

November 7, 2012 at 9:07 AM

It was a long time ago now, but I think it was 2% milk. You could use any kind, really - even cream would work.

December 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I wanted to make some healthy muffins and only had carrots to I typed in search- ww, flax and carrots and BINGO! I found you! I just made them and they are amazing! Two things I did different was made them into mini muffins ( that way you can have one, then go back for another! The other thing is hubby loves nuts so I did add a few but other than that I followed it to the T.....I recently lost 35 lbs. and it only took me 3-4 months...I follow a program called . You log in the foods you eat and it tells you your exact calories, proteins, carbs, sodium, fats, etc....Its like a game to me to see how much food I can eat and still be under my caloric intake...I was NEVER hungry! I eat more than I ever did and like you said, you can eat alot of the same things, you just have to be creative and turn some ingredients around! Well, Thanks again...I'll definitely be back!

Maria G.
July 9, 2013 at 4:19 PM


I add raisins and shredded coconut when I make them... and I've also successfully used crushed pineapple in place of the apple.

Thanks for a GREAT recipe! :)

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