Stuffed Frosted Carrot Cake Muffins

Even as a kid, I adored carrot cake and would often choose it over any other kind. I remember finding a recipe for it in my mother's Cuisinart cookbook made with both carrots and pineapple and a luscious cream cheese icing and baking it a million times. Of course, that cake was full of white sugar and flour and goodness knows what else. You won't find that here! Even though there is no sugar, oil, butter or refined flour to be found, however, the taste is just as scrumptious as I remember: sweet, spicy, moist, and drenched in cream cheese icing...as well as some of that delectable icing stuffed into the center of each muffin (or healthy cupcake?). My kids are raving about these, and I am happy to let them indulge. These muffins are not only sugar- and refined-flour free, but also vegan (unless you prefer to use dairy options), and high in fibre and protein. My little bottomless pits can only eat 2 at a time because they are extremely rich and satisfying, and that makes me happy because it means a batch will last more than 48 hours, which doesn't often happen in this house. It means I get at least a day off of baking before I have to restock!

Ingredients

For:  18-20 Muffins
  • Muffins
  • 1 lb Carrots Peeled and grated
  • 2 Cups Fresh or frozen (and thawed) Pineapple chunks Pureed
  • 2 Flax eggs (2 tbls ground flax + 6 tbls hot water)
  • 1/2 Cup Baking stevia (that measures equivalent to sugar) (or use xylitol, erythritol, or coconut sugar)
  • 1 Cup Non-dairy milk (plain or vanilla, unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice (stir into the cup of milk)
  • 2 Scoops Stevia-sweetened vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Cups Whole spelt flour (or oat flour for gluten-free)
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • 2 tbsp Konjac powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 tsp each, ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/2 Cup Vegan cream cheese (or regular, if you eat dairy)
  • 2 Scoops Stevia-sweetened vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 Cup Milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 1 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 Cup Powdered erythritol (or powdered stevia, to taste)

Instructions

    Muffins
    1. Whisk together wet ingredients, from carrots to vanilla extract, in a large bowl. Mix dry ingredients together in another bowl and then add to wet. Stir until combined. Spoon batter into the bottom of greased muffin tin, filling no more than 1/4 of each tin. Place dollop of frosting in the centre of each one, and then top with more batter, filling muffin cups to the top. Bake at 350F for 22-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Tops will sink as they cool. Frost tops with the rest of the icing. Keep refrigerated up to 5 days or freeze.
    Cream Cheese Frosting
    1. Whisk together frosting ingredients in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Adjust consistency, as needed with extra milk to thin out, or more erythritol to thicken up. It should be fairly thick so middle layer doesn't ooze out while baking. You can thin out remaining frosting for muffin tops, if desired.