Carrot Apple Pecan Muffins

Jump to Recipe

This is a story about a mother-in-law wanting to make her son-in-law’s favorite dessert…so her daughter purchased all of the ingredients…and the dessert never was made. So this daughter had 40oz of shredded carrots in her fridge that she had to do something with. Thus the Carrot Apple Pecan Muffins were born.

My husband, Matthew, is a HUGE lover of carrot cake. And while I don’t mind the flavors, I just cannot get past the whole vegetable in a dessert thing. That thought process is tucked away in my brain, filed right next to knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but having the wisdom to know it does not belong in a fruit salad.

That being said, I still had (I’m not even joking) 40oz of shredded carrots I needed to get rid of, preferably not into the trash. Knowing Matthew loves carrot cake, I decided to meld it with a super yummy breakfast food…the muffin. After all, muffins are just cupcakes you can eat first thing in the morning…right?!

Carrot Apple Pecan Muffin

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Breakfast
Servings 1 dozen
Calories 238 kcal


  • muffin tin
  • muffin paper cups


  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups apples peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tsp maple extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans chopped
  • 1 cup Turbinado sugar, or raw sugar


  • In a mixer bowl, add in the sugar and butter and whip until the color turns almost white and the consistency is fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and 1 tsp of maple extract. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix together to combine. Then add in the carrots and apples and mix again to combine. Adding in the carrots and apples and allowing them to become coated in the dry ingredients before being added to the wet ingredients will allow the carrots and apples to stay suspended throughout the muffin instead of sinking to the bottom.
  • Begin adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Alternate between adding some of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and then adding some buttermilk to the wet mixture. Repeat this until all of the buttermilk and dry ingredients are evenly incorporated. Lastly, add in a 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans.
  • In a muffin tin that has been lined with muffin papers and then greased, pour the mixture into each muffin hole filling 2/3 of the way up. No more than that because the combination of the baking soda and the buttermilk will create a chemical reaction and cause these muffins to grow exponentially and the end result will be super fluffy muffins.
  • Once filled, bake at 350°F. Below are the tiems depending on the size of the muffins you are baking.
    -Small muffins: bake for a total of 10 minutes
    -Regular sized muffins: bake for a total of 15 minutes
    -Large muffins (this is my favorite size): bake for 20-25 minutes
  • While the muffins bake, create the sugary crumble for the topping. Add in the Turbinado sugar, the rest of the maple extract, and the rest of the pecans. Stir to combine. Halfway through the baking time for whatever size muffins you chose to bake, sprinkle the crumble topping over each muffin and finish baking. Don't add the topping before you were to bake, the sugar will melt into the wet, doughy mixture. You have to wait until the tops being to solidify.
  • When the baking time is up, poke with a toothpick and if it comes out clean then they are done. If it doesn't then bake in 1-minute increments until the centers are done. Since every oven is different and every altitude can cause variation in baking time, this will allow for the perfect muffin if you utilize the 1-minute increment baking method. Once you know how long it will take your oven to bake the muffins, you can omit the 1-minute increment method.


Serving: 1muffinCalories: 238kcalCarbohydrates: 36.1gProtein: 3.6gFat: 9.8gSaturated Fat: 3.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.8gMonounsaturated Fat: 4.3gCholesterol: 26.3mgSodium: 177.1mgPotassium: 74.9mgFiber: 3.3gSugar: 22g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

When you coat a heavy ingredient such as a fruit, nut, or candy chip in the dry ingredients first it will give the heavy ingredient the ability to stay suspended throughout the baked good instead of sinking to the bottom.

Do you have a favorite dessert you’d like to see made into a yummy breakfast food? Message me if you do. Hope y’all are having an amazing week.


  • Nana

    Hi. I’m still on my learning curve using on-line recipes. Thanks for including the cooking time for the small, regular, and large muffins. When your recipe is for 1 dozen – is that for regular size? And then we can figure out the number of small and large? I really am thankful for your Nutrician Guide at the end. However, the serving size is for 1 muffin. It doesn’t say what size, small, regular, or large. I have to count my sodium very carefully so I don’t like to assume it’s for regular.

    Susan, I don’t consider you thrown under the bus. Katie Marie could have used up the carrots by making the cake herself or a carrot raisin salad. At 1.5 cup of carrots for this recipe she must have made a lot of muffins! Before I retired, I loved reading recipes. I would buy all of the unusual ingredients I didn’t have for something that sounded really good and never get aroundtuit. Time would go by, I’d find the stash I had bought either forgetting what they were for or not finding the correct recipe that used the stuff. I’m hoping now I have retired, I will have the time to actually execute these new recipes that sound so wonderful.

    Is there a conversion from using maple extract to using real maple syrup? My brother boiled down his first maple syrup ever and gave me some of the very dark variety. I know it’s best used for baking but how much is the question. Thanks

    • admin

      The recipe is 1 dozen for the large muffins. When I’ve made the same recipe for regular sized muffins it typically makes 18 muffins, and small muffins is around 2 dozen. So the nutrition would be significantly less per muffin if you make smaller sizes. Also, great question for the real maple syrup, in this recipe, the swap for the extract to real maple syrup would be the same. It won’t change the consistency of the batter. Let me know how this recipe turns out with your brother’s maple syrup. I am SUPER interested to know how you like it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.