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

Gluten-Free Carrot Coconut Muffins

adapted from my Carrot-Cake-esque Carrot Coconut Muffins

Gluten-Free Carrot Coconut Muffins




Yield 6 muffins


  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp of gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup finely shredded/grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 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]
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest [optional, but yummy!]
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 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
  • 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?

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Kristen @ notsodomesticated

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! 😉

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Haha yeah if they’re chocolate chocolate chip — they’re dessert =) um and totally delicious!


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!!!! 

lindsay cotter

you had me gluten free… and then cream cheese glaze. wow!


You did healthify the crap out of this recipe! Sounds delightful! 

Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

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:-)

Meredith @ Dare You To

WOW haha you certainly did a job!  This one i’ll have to try


I am all up on these! 

Liz @ Southern Charm

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

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

These look SO good. I love anything with carrot and coconut!


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


I want some of these for breakfast!! Loving the maple walnut cream cheese!


i absolutely love coconut – these look delicious! pinned em!

Anna Wootton

You really have converted yourself into a fully fledged baker! I am IMPRESSED!

Fran @BCDC


Sabrina @ Work It Ms Jackson

I think I need to move and be your neighbor…seriously the food you make looks absolutely delicious!


Looks SO delicious. I love anything that has coconut in it.

claire @ live and love to eat

These sound so amazing!  I love your creative recipes and the healthy changes!


I’ve tried making GF muffins before and they turned out a bit heavy and dense.  How was the consistency of these?  Look yummy!


Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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!



Good to know.  I’ve tried that flour for biscuits but it was a no go.  I’ll try it again for muffins!


Yum, these look awesome! I tell myself that one day I will make muffins with yogurt in them!


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 🙂 


You never seize to amazing me with your kitchen skills. Very impressive my lady!

Per usual I have photo envy. <3

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

LMK how it goes! I’m going to re-make them this week for sure <3

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Publix doesn’t have it? Hmm… I think sells it!

Kristy Sayer

Yum! These look SO good.
I love carrot cake anything!

Emily @ Life on Food

I love healthy muffins because I always end up eating 3.  This recipe looks super delish!

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner

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

Natalie Wynn

I have yet to hear of granny smith apple sauce so I’m definitely going to be on the hunt for this! This muffins look delicious 🙂


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.

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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


Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

The house next door just got sold but the one across the street from my house is empty…. hint hint

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

ahhh thank you I’m trying realllllly hard to be good and measure! hehe


You are funny!! Very much so. I completely get your humor! My site is

Stalk away, I’m sure I could use the hits.


Yes, you’re very funny. I completely get your sense of humor. My site is Stalk away; I’m sure I could use the hits.

Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

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! 🙂

Sabrina @ Work It Ms Jackson

If only TJ were still in the Marine Corp, we’d already be in Havelock so it would be no big thing. lol


I just googled “gluten free carrot muffin” and this came up.. thanks so much, I will be making these tonight!!

Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

Yay!!! A few of my friends made them recently and loved them — I hope you adore the recipe! Let me know how they turn out!! =) xoxo


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.