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Pumpkin Carrot Cupcakes

Pumpkin Carrot Cupcakes

Gluten Free Pumpkin Carrot Cupcake MuffinsOh my. Oh Fall. You temptress. I love your clothes. I love your pumpkin goodies. I want to climb up your apple trees. Dress up my house. A bale of hay! It’s harvest time. In the ‘burbs. Best I can do is bake.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Carrot Cupcake MuffinsBatter up.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Carrot Cupcake MuffinsFor all you do. This one’s for you.

And if you squint, it’s, like, totally healthy. 2 cups shredded carrots? Healthy. 7 1/2 ounces pure pumpkin puree? Major health craze. And I didn’t make these with extra-virgin coconut oil, but I could have. Hypothetical health. I’ll take it. It’s even more than I bargained for.

My general rule? Salads should be healthy. Main dishes must help my kids grow up big & strong. Eggs for breakfast, even though my little one complains every single day of her life? You betcha. Fruit every day. Brown rice. Whole grain pasta. Veggies every night — even though I detect my oldest plots my “accidental” death? Sorry, Charlie. Not gonna budge.

You get 3 squares around here. Few exceptions. Food should be enjoyed. Celebrated! Loved, even, when possible. It should unite us. Inspire. Good eating habits will be formed! Even if it kills me. I’m fighting the good fight! Everything begins and ends with food. School performance. Mood. Health. Manners. Discipline. Energy. Everything. You’re hungry for a meal? We sit to eat. Together, whenever possible. Not willing to sit? You must not be very hungry. Better luck next mealtime. I’m still bigger than you! I’m not afraid. And I’m not following you around the house with food, begging you to eat. You must have me confused with someone else. No well child in a house with food with starve.

Best case, they grow up loving it. Worst? They don’t bore their eventual therapists to death. No regrets here.

But a cupcake? Come on. Accidental health is as good as it gets. They’re not a crutch. They’re not a multivitamin. They’re sweets. Glorious indulgences.

The sweet side of life. The smell. The pumpkin puree. Smoooooth. The brown sugar. Deep. What the heck are those shredded carrots doing in there? Some texture. Some noise. Raise the roof for shredded carrots! Chewy raisins – not too many now. Throw in a few white chocolate chips. In my mouth! Layers of flavor.

Did I mention it’s Fall? Let the baking … begin.

Pumpkin Carrot Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 14
Gluten-free pumpkin carrot cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter) + 1 extra teaspoon
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (about 4 or 5 carrots peeled and shredded)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 7 1/2 ounces pure packed pumpkin (one-half a 15 ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raisins (can substitute another small dried fruit, like chopped prunes, or flaked or shredded coconut)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (can substitute semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with unsalted butter and set it aside. You will have enough extra for 2 more muffins. I’m sorry. It’s annoying. But then again, not terribly.
  2. In a large bowl, place 1 1/2 cups flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and whisk to combine well (making sure you get out all the lumps in the brown sugar). Add the unsalted butter and the vegetable oil, and mix to combine well. The batter will be pretty dry still. Add the carrots, and stir to combine. Add the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla, and mix to combine well. The mixture should be thick and moist.
  3. In a separate small bowl, toss the raisins and white chocolate chips together with the remaining 1 teaspoon flour to coat the raisins and chips in flour. Dump the raisins and chips into the large bowl of batter, and stir to combine until the raisins and chips are evenly distributed throughout.
  4. Divide most of the batter evenly between the 12 greased muffin cups, and smooth the tops with wet fingers. Bake the remaining batter in either another muffin tin, or a two single stand-alone muffin cups (if you have ’em). You really don’t want to try to stuff the remaining batter into the 12 standard cups. You’ll have some exploding cupcake tops on your hands. And in your oven.
  5. Place the muffin tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a middle muffin comes out clean. Rotate once during baking. Allow to cool about 10 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Serve at room temperature.


Comments are closed.

  • December 13, 2011 at 10:20 PM

    […] Gluten-free Pumpkin Carrot Cupcakes — Gluten-Free on a Shoestring You get 3 squares around here. Few exceptions. Food should be enjoyed. Celebrated! Loved, even, when possible. It should unite us. […]

  • Danielle
    October 13, 2011 at 7:02 PM


    • Nicole
      October 14, 2011 at 7:40 AM

      Proper, Danielle. Proper. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Karen Langley
    October 7, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Hey Nicole

    Just made these and they are yummy! They are now my husband’s favorite muffins – and “the second best thing he’s ever tasted.” High compliments.
    The cool thing is that after posting a photo on facebook all my non GF friends want the recipe. The cool thing is I’ll have to say to them “just don’t know if it will convert properly with regular flour!” :)


    • Nicole
      October 7, 2011 at 3:06 PM

      Hi, Karen,
      I’m dying to know what the first best thing he ever tasted is! It must be fabulous. :)
      It’s great that you can turn the tables on all of your non-GF friends! You don’t have to tell your friends, but it should convert perfectly to a conventional recipe without any substitutions (except, of course, to omit the xanthan gum). Nearly everything other than bread recipes should convert easily. But it can be our secret. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Darlene N Joe Tako on Facebook
    September 29, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    I’m still thinking about these and drooling. Soon… soon.

  • Pam Gordon on Facebook
    September 27, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    just an FYI…i made mini ones & brought them in so the people at work could taste. everyone was impressed & said they didn’t miss the gluten! One of our vendors even asked me to bake him a pumpkin carrot cake! :) Thank you Nicole! <3

  • Pamela G
    September 26, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Scott had just one word…… “Awesome!”

    • Nicole
      September 26, 2011 at 1:13 PM

      Hi, Pamela,
      That Scott is one smart man. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • PegLeg
    September 26, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    I made these over the weekend and they were soooo good! We ate a total of 3 and then I froze the rest. That’ll keep me from gobbling them down right away. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • Nicole
      September 26, 2011 at 10:16 AM

      Hi, Peggy,
      So glad you enjoyed them! Freezing them wouldn’t really stop me. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Tammie
    September 25, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Thanks for the terrific recipe! I replaced the carrot with zucchini, since we have a surplus of it from our garden, and it turned out really well. Also, to solve the extra batter dilemma, I place it in two greased ramekins and baked them along side the muffins. Later that evening, I whipped up a quick cream cheese frosting and placed a little bit on each ramekin – voila! A nice little surprise for my husband and I after dinner!

    • Nicole
      September 25, 2011 at 11:52 PM

      Hi, Tammie,
      Ooooh interesting! Pumpkin zucchini muffins… You must have really squeezed the water out of that zucchini! I know what it’s like to have to use up garden zucchini. It’s so prolific. It can be really overwhelming. At least I find it overwhelming. Well done! Love the frosting surprise for you and your husband. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Amanda Hockham via Facebook
    September 24, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    Right?! But if I was…I’d be as delicious as the Pumpkin Carrot Muffins :-)

  • September 24, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Glad you weren’t in the oven, Amanda. That was a close call. ;)

  • Amanda Hockham via Facebook
    September 24, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Just came out of the oven (them, not me) and YUM!!!!

    They taste like, um, pumpkin carrot cupcakes :-D

    They are flavourful, moist AND delicious.

  • September 22, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Jackie, you need xanthan gum unless your mix already contains it, like Better Batter does. I can’t vouch for Namaste blend. There is very little butter, it’s mostly for flavor. You can just use more oil if you like.

  • Kadren
    September 22, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    Oh I think these must be on my agenda today. My kids will LOVE me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do have to mix up a fresh batch of all purpose flour so that’s going to slow me down a touch… Did I mention that I always keep pumpkin in my house? Yup, it’s a staple. :) Pumpkin bread, cake, muffins, bars… even pie occasionally. In a few weeks, I will be heading up 2 days of pie making. Dutch apple and pumpkin, all homemade. Last year we made over 230 pies in one day for our preschool fundraiser. Fun times! :) I might have to make these for our potluck…

    • Nicole
      September 22, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      Hi, Kadren,
      230 pies in one day? As usual, you put me to shame. I have never even made that many pies in a year, much less in a day. In a decade perhaps! I love pumpkin pie from fresh baking pumpkins. Canned pumpkin is great for bars and cakes. For pies, you need the real deal. You’re amazing!
      xoxo Nicole

    • Kadren
      September 22, 2011 at 10:16 PM

      Naw, I was just in charge. There were 6-8 other people there to help. :) And for this, we use canned pumpkin, but we make all crust and everything from scratch. I use my Great Aunt’s apple pie recipe that I tweaked a bit and my mom’s pumpkin recipe. This is our third year making pies and we more than doubled our orders the second year from the first so I set aside 2 days this year in case we end up having to fill a 500 pie order. It would mean some great, much needed money for the preschool! :) And hey, you come up with all these delightful, life saving recipes for all of us, so I’d say you are the best. :)

    • Nicole
      September 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      Oh, Kadren, 8 people making hundreds of pies is still the stuff of legends. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Peggy
    September 21, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    I should have read the recipe before I went to the store…saw the title with pumpkin so picked up a can of pumpkin but don’t have the carrots…oh well, another trip to the store…still looking for the almond paste so double the reason to make another trip into 90+ degree temps in northern CA. We do love that you love us!!!

    • Nicole
      September 21, 2011 at 9:36 PM

      Hi, Peggy,
      Oh no! I hate that. I think they should put in an automatic revolving door at all my local markets. I frequent them all nearly every other day. It’s 90+ degrees by you, still? I hope that breaks very soon. For almond paste, Whole Foods will have it almost for sure if that’s available to you. I also find that most larger markets carry it.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Laurel Mascia
    September 21, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    My daughter and I made these this afternoon so we could surprise my son when he got off the bus. Everyone loved them!! Thank you!!

    • Nicole
      September 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM

      Hi, Laurel,
      You’re the second person who said she got busy and made these right away. How exciting! I can’t tell you how much fun it is for me to know that. It’s so … 21st Century connected! Love it. So glad you enjoyed. It’s undeniably my pleasure. Your son’s a lucky boy. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pam Gordon via Facebook
    September 21, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    you MUST be a mind reader…i have a can of pumpkin that was JUST looking at me longingly…now i know what to do with it! :)

  • Darlene N Joe Tako via Facebook
    September 21, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Oh.. and sometimes, when I’m feeling a little more love.. some cream cheese frosting. p:

  • Darlene N Joe Tako via Facebook
    September 21, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    I must say I never quite believed it. I thought you just said it out of habit or because it was cute. But now, after seeing this recipe .. I believe it. I’m convinced. You weren’t just being cute. You weren’t just saying it to get another fan. You weren’t lying… It’s true. You DO LOVE me! You really do love me!!

  • Joy
    September 21, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    I just made these. Saw your post, checked the pantry for ingredients, and made these. So. Dang. Good!

    • Nicole
      September 21, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      Hi, Joy,
      That’s awesome! Love a good pantry recipe. So glad you enjoyed. So glad you hopped right on ’em!
      xoxo Nicole

  • abby
    September 21, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    YUMMY!!!! I will for sure be making these soon. I make a carrot cake cupcake with organic baby food carrots that my kiddos call “cinnamon” cake and then devour. I don’t correct them as they eat up the lovely carrots. These will be my grown up version that I will eat up – probably for breakfast because they are so healthy :) (I also eat apple pie for breakfast too).

    • Nicole
      September 21, 2011 at 1:34 PM

      Hi, Abby,
      Apple pie for breakfast. A steaming hot cup of coffee, a slice of apple pie, and no children in the house sounds like a Calgon Moment to me. Take me away!
      xoxo Nicole

  • PegLeg
    September 21, 2011 at 11:22 AM

    Will the leftover half-can of pumpkin freeze well? Or should I just make two batches?!?!?

    • Nicole
      September 21, 2011 at 11:27 AM

      Hi, Peggy,
      It keeps well in the refrigerator for a while, and it will also freeze perfectly. You could double the recipe, but you could also make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Squares (pg. 194 of my cookbook), which calls for 1 cup of pumpkin (7.5 ounces will do just fine). I hope that helps!
      xoxo Nicole

  • September 21, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Oh.my.word. How incredible do these look? If I can dare say, these little beauties are screaming for cream cheese frosting. I must make these immediately, if not sooner.

    • Nicole
      September 21, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      Hi, Michelle,
      Thanks! When I make carrot cupcakes/muffins, I do indeed make a cream cheese/molasses glaze for them and it’s amazing. These, though. I had every intention of doing it. But I couldn’t pull the trigger. They are so deliciously sweet already. I was afraid. I chickened out. I was afraid to ruin them! Maybe you’re man enough? I’m not. :(
      xoxo Nicole

    • September 21, 2011 at 2:51 PM

      Oh I am sooo man enough. hee hee. Actually I think I may leave out the chocolate chips so I can totally justify the cream cheese frosting. That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it. ; )

    • Nicole
      September 21, 2011 at 3:05 PM

      So impressive, Michelle. I think if you leave out the chips, it’s a go. Otherwise, you might start growing hair on your chest, and nobody wants that. ;)
      Good plan. Well done.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Christine Corvino Perkins via Facebook
    September 21, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Off to buy pumpkin!

  • Dana Baker Coughlin via Facebook
    September 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    Yum and I have most of the ingredients!

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