After the successful batch of breakfast muffins I made a few days ago using a new twist to my basic banana muffin recipe, I thought about other possible flavors and substitutes. Carrot cake has always been a hit with my family in the Philippines. Along with chocolate and chiffon cakes, carrot cake has graced our table in numerous occasions through the years. Substituting finely grated carrots for the pureed bananas in this recipe gave it another dimension in flavor, texture and color. Although we all know that carrot cake and cream cheese frosting just go so well together, with or without the frosting, these carrot muffins were great for breakfast and snacks. Just like the banana breakfast muffins, this recipe used a combination of healthy whole grains.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour (I used old fashioned oats and the food processor to make it fine)
3/4 cup hazelnut flour or finely chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (depending on the flour ~ whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid)
1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon fiori di sicilia flavoring (optional)
1 1/2 -2 cups finely grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease and flour (or use non-stick baking spray) a 12-cup muffin pan. Combine the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. Whisk the melted butter, oil, eggs, flavorings and milk until well blended. Fold in the grated carrots. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix just until combined with a few streaks of unmixed flour left in the batter. I find it helpful to use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until done. Let cool and spread with cream cheese frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
1/2 box (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 stick butter, softened at room temperature
2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
Beat together butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add sifted powdered sugar a little at a time until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla. The amount of powdered sugar depends on the preferred consistency of the frosting.