Gluten-Free Carrot Coconut Muffins

I did a little muffin experimentation after a super-sweet reader asked if this recipe could easily be tweaked and made gluten-free.  Well it can.  And I did.  And since I was already at it, I took out the butter, increased the carrots and healthified the crap out of it.

I also decided to deviate from the standard plain applesauce swap.  I found little jars of [natural] granny smith apple applesauce and had to have it.  As a result, I wound up with muffins that taste like the elicit lovechild of carrot cake and apple pie.  Um…. yeah I’m pretty freaking impressed too!
Since I was taste and quality testing, I went havesies with the recipe to make 6 muffins instead of the usual 12.  Though next time I’ll be making a larger batch since a certain neighbor of mine [Love you Kristi!] made off with half of them =)  Totally a good sign right?

Gluten-Free Carrot Coconut Muffins

[adapted from my Carrot-Cake-esque Carrot Coconut Muffins]
Gluten-Free Carrot Coconut Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6 muffins
  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp of gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • ¼-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • ¾ cup finely shredded/grated carrots
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2.5 Tbsp granny smith applesauce
  • 1.5 Tbsp oil [olive, grapeseed, coconut, etc...]
  • 1 large egg [or 1 flax egg]
  • ½ tsp lemon zest [optional, but yummy!]
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon plus a little extra if you're a cinnamon nut like I am
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and get to work!
  3. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients [flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, + sugar].
  4. Next, add your walnuts and coconut to the dry mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together applesauce, oil, eggs, yogurt and lemon zest.
  6. Add carrots to wet mixture.
  7. Combine both bowls [wet and dry] by folding the carrot mixture into the flour mixture until a batter is formed. Don't over-mix.
  8. Next pour your batter into the muffin liners and bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
  9. Do the tooth-pick test around 20-24 minutes to see if they cook a little quickly due to oven variations. Once the tooth pick comes out clean pull them from the oven, remove muffins from the tin and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
  10. Dig in!
Honey Walnut Cream Cheese Glaze
3 Tbsp cream cheese [or yogurt cream cheese]
1/2 tsp honey
1 Tbsp crushed walnuts
1/4 cup powdered sugar
a dash of cinnamon
a few drops of vanilla

whisk together and top with a sprinkle of crushed walnuts

Paired alongside the cinnamon, carrots and coconut it gives the muffins a hint of apple pie flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.

serving suggestion: drizzle with a little bit of honey walnut glaze and top with a sprinkle of shredded coconut and crushed walnuts.  peanut butter and honey makes an amazing topping too!  or simply enjoy them straight-up for breakfast the next morning — they taste even better the next day!

to store wrap each cooled muffin in saran wrap and pile them in an air-tight container.  dig in the following morning and do a little happy dance around your kitchen while you’re at it =)  thanks for that!

 What’s your all-time favorite muffin?


  1. says

    Oh goodness, I don’t know if I can choose my favorite kind of muffin!!  But I have made these pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips and cream cheese frosting before that were to DIE for.  Of course, they should probably be considered more of a cupcake than a muffin! 😉

  2. says

    Ahhh you are the best!!! These look amazing and I will be making them ASAP! I think these might just become my new favorite muffins :) That applesauce looks awesome too, I’m going to be on the lookout for it! Thank you!!!! 

  3. says

    My sister is always looking for gluten free recipes!  I can’t wait to see her the link for your muffins!  They sound awesome!!!!  I know she will love them!  I would love it if you come share them at my Tuesday link up:-)

  4. Liz @ Southern Charm says

    Looks so good!! But do you think it will taste just as good without the walnuts? I can’t have nuts :(

  5. RavieNomnoms says

    Yes please! They look so great! I don’t think I have ever had the combination of carrot and coconut before

  6. says

    They were actually fluffy! Cake-like yet still moist b/c of the applesauce. I can batch test it again to make sure…I was so impressed with them!!! The GF flour mixture was about $4-5 a box so it wasn’t super cheap but the consistency it gave the muffins was worth it!


  7. Sloane@LifeFoodandBeer says

    I love that apple sauce but can not find in where I currently live!! The muffins look great though. I love any muffin with nuts in it :) 

  8. Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner says

    These look DELICIOUS! My all-time favorite muffin is my Chocolate Coconut Date Muffins. <3

  9. Meghan says

    I’m new to your blog and you crack me up. Very funny, laugh out loud funny. Thanks for entertaining me. Also, your food looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to try some of your recipes and maybe even join in the WIAW fun. I’m very new to the blogging world (fresh meat, except I don’t eat any…meat that is), and I love your concept.

  10. says

    ahhh you think i’m funny?! THANK YOU!!!! I feel like an uber-nerd everytime I write something 😉 Welcome to the crazy world of blogging! Send me the link when you get a chance so I can stalk ya! haha


  11. says

    Wow! I was already convinced after hearing you rave about them the other day, but hello gorgeous! These look amazing!! I just checked out both recipes and they both look fab, but I can’t wait to try this after a trip to the store to get my hands on some of that applesauce…you know, thanks to you, my two item shopping list is getting pretty lengthy! Lol

    Favorite muffin: Anything with pumpkin! :)

  12. Tiina says

    I am way late to this party but I made these today. These are seriously good. I used unsweetened coconut and totally missed the “powdered” before the sugar so I used plain old simple sugar. No glaze but a happy drizzle of maple syrup – so good.

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