I remember my Mom trying to encourage me to eat carrot cake when I was little, and I absolutely REFUSED! The fact that people could actually eat a vegetable in a cake made me want to gag. That’s how anti-veggie I was for so long guys…it’s kind of hilarious now, especially since most carrot cakes are full of sugar and unhealthy oils. I really didn’t realize what a treat I was missing out on. The first time I finally tried some carrot cake (which wasn’t too long ago), I was in love.

I have been trying to find a healthier alternative for a while now. It’s been kind of tough because most “healthy alternatives” still used powdered sugar and cream cheese in their icings and I’m thinking UMMM this is still not healthy lol. Since I started working at Living Kitchen here in Charlotte, I have learned so much about how to use plant based ingredients to make incredible treats. Wanna know what the secret ingredient seems to be in most recipes? CASHEWS! Yepp, kinda crazy. I never realized that cashews could make such yummy things like a mock sour cream, cream cheese, or in this case, icing. It’s delicious and tastes just as good as the real thing. 

I found this yummy recipe on The Glowing Fridge and it was the only recipe I found that was dairy/gluten-free and looked like it would actually taste yummy. Why not take a chance right? So glad I did because I have literally ate these muffins for a week straight. They are THAT good. I took a few of the girls at work some and they couldn’t believe how yummy they were and how clean the ingredients are! It’s always fun to find a recipe like this that you just want to make over and over again. 

Something else that I like about this recipe is that you can really change up the flavors to make any type of muffin you want. The  cashew”cream cheese” frosting could also be used for so many other desserts/breakfast ideas by just changing up the flavors. I can’t waif for you to try out this recipe!

Carrot Cake Muffins with a Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting (Gluten/Dairy-Free)
 
You won't believe that these carrot cake muffins are dairy/gluten-free because they taste just as yummy as the original cakes that we love. Such a great breakfast or dessert treat packed with healthy ingredients and topped off with a sweet cashew-cream cheese frosting that is to die for!
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients:
Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting-
  • ¾ C. raw cashews + 2 C. boiling water
  • 3 T. organic maple syrup, to taste
  • 1 T. melted organic unrefined coconut oil
  • 3 tsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 2-4 T. or water, as needed
  • Stevia (to taste)
Muffins-
  • 1¾ C. gluten-free flour
  • ¼ C. organic coconut sugar
  • ¼ C. oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp.nutmeg
  • ½ C. raisins or cranberries
  • 1 C. unsweetened organic almond/coconut milk
  • 1 C. grated carrot
  • 2 T. organic maple syrup
  • 2 T. organic melted coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions:
  1. Frosting- Add cashews to a bowl, then pour 2 cups of boiling water over the cashews and let them soak for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse cashews, then transfer to blender/food processor, in addition to the other frosting ingredients.
  2. Blend until smooth, adding a little water at a time, only as needed.Taste the frosting to see if it needs a little more sweetness, and if so, add a dash of Steiva. Transfer frosting small bowl and set inside the fridge until ready to use.
  3. Muffins- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a muffin pan with some coconut oil (or non-stick) spray.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, including raisins/cranberries.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together all wet ingredients. Add wet mixture to the dryingredients using a spoon, and mix until just well combined. Scoop approximately 2 spoonfuls into each lined cup.
  6. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Once cooled, frost your muffins, top with some shredded carrots, and serve. Enjoy!

If you get a chance to try this yummy recipe, make sure to tag me on Instagram @adancersplate or #embraceyourplate so that I can see your yummy treats!