These are whole wheat.
Whhaaaa….?! I know. Whole wheat baked goods go against everything I stand for. If you’re gonna eat a bakery item, eat the real deal. Right?!
Except… These aren’t really cupcakes, they are muffins. And muffins are totally allowed — actually, muffins totally should be made in the healthiest way possible. A la the Bran Muffin, which is my fave muffin. Ugghhh, now I’m thinking about Carrot Bran Muffins — WHY didn’t I think of that when I was in the planning stages? Hmm… disappointed I missed that opportunity this go-round. These Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins will have to satisfy.
And sat.is.fy. they do.
Side note: Do they count as muffins if I spread icing over the top? Yes, because that’s not really icing, that’s glaze. And glaze is different in exactly one way: Instead of layering a whole inch of the sweet stuff on top, the muffin only gets a little dip. Or a big dip. I tried my very best to go for big dips on this one.
I have to warn you about one issue with the glaze though. As I was scraping the sides of the bowl with my rubber spatula, the spatula kept getting caught in my mouth. I mean, not like once or twice, but like, every time. And then I almost ran out of glaze before all the muffins received their finishing touches. So maybe double the glaze part of the recipe?
Let’s get back to my issues with whole wheat. It isn’t whole wheat in and of itself that I’m not a fan of — I <3 hearty whole wheat bread. My issue is with whole wheat trying to get into my sweet bakery items and making them taste healthy, which is not nearly as delicious as, say, a less-healthy all-purpose flour chocolate chip cookie. That being said, if I’m going to experiment with whole wheat baking in my kitchen, muffins seem like a very safe place to start. Muffins are supposed to be healthy, I think.
These whole wheat muffins were a good surprise! They are crumbly and airy, not at all heavy like I was afraid they would be. The whole wheat gives texture and density — not totally unlike a bran muffin after all! Thick slices of real carrots keep the muffins moist and chewy. Not to mention that they provide a totally authentic carrot flavor. The glaze is just slightly pineapple and cream-cheesy(!!), so who’s not gonna like that? (If you don’t like cream cheese, we can’t be blog friends anymore.)
Here you have it folks: My first whole wheat baked good. Healthy enough for a quick addition to breakfast, but glazed enough for an afternoon sweet treat!
Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins with Pineapple Cream Cheese Glaze
For the muffins:
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup skim milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
For the glaze:
- 2 ounces light cream cheese room temperature
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
For the muffins:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spices. In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients: oil, egg, milk, vanilla, and sour cream. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until evenly combined. Fold in shredded carrots.
Spoon the batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove muffins and place on wire racks to cool completely.
For the glaze:
Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, and pineapple juice until smooth. Once muffins have cooled, dip the muffin tops in the glaze, or spoon the glaze over the muffins.