Gluten-free Carrot & Pecan Muffins

Airy muffins, flavoured with grated carrot, spices, pecans and coconut. This Dairy-free, Gluten-free and Paleo recipe is made with cashew butter and honey.

Gluten-free Carrot & Pecan Muffins

In a previous post, I gave a basic muffin recipe, which turns out beautifully light muffins by using cashew nut butter as a flour substitute. I mentioned that the recipe can be adapted to make either sweet or savoury muffins. So, having already adapted the recipe to make some chocolate muffins, I decided to try some vegetable-based muffins, namely butternut squash, and these carrot ones.

The pecans and dessicated coconut in the recipe do give a slightly sweet note to these muffins, but on the whole they remain pretty savoury. If you would prefer to take them down the sweet route, simply add more honey to balance the earthy taste of the carrot, or some raisins.

cooking time
Gluten-free Carrot & Pecan Muffins


  • 1 cup (170g) cashew butter
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 80g carrot, peeled and grated
  • 25g pecans, ground or chopped finely


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F.
  2. Put the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk with an electric whisk for 1-2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, measure the wet ingredients (egg yolks, cashew butter, water, lemon juice, honey and vanilla extract) and mix until blended using an electric whisk.
  4. Add the dry ingredients (baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and desiccated coconut) to the wet ingredients, and mix until blended using an electric whisk.
  5. Lighten the mixture by stirring in one-third of the whisked egg whites. Tip in the rest of the egg whites and gently fold in using a spatula: cut down the centre with the side edge of the spatula; scrape across the bottom of the bowl and up the side, scooping up the mixture as you go so that it is turned over and under; rotate the bowl 90° and repeat until fully blended. Be careful not to overwork the mixture and knock out the air, but make sure the bitter egg white is fully blended. Tip in the grated carrot and pecans, and stir into the mixture using a wooden spoon.
  6. Pour the batter into silicon muffin moulds, nearly to the top of each mould, and bake for 20-25 minutes (until the top is browned and springy to touch). Do not open the oven door before 20 minutes, as this will stop the muffins from rising properly.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 minutes, before popping out of the moulds and onto a wire cooling rack.

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2 thoughts on “Gluten-free Carrot & Pecan Muffins”

    • Egg whites are used in cooking for their aerating and binding properties. They are comprised of 90% water and 10% protein. When whisked, the protein molecules trap air, which causes the volume to increase by up to eight times. This transforms the egg whites from a slimy, transparent gel to a light, white foam. When heated, the protein molecules bond together to create a strong matrix. The function of the egg whites in this recipe is to create a light and fluffy crumb, and stop the muffins from falling apart and crumbling. (The egg yolks add fat, for a richer mouthfeel and flavour.)

      Flaxseed ‘eggs’ (i.e. 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, and left to thicken for 10 minutes) will reproduce the binding properties of eggs, but they won’t reproduce the leavening properties. This means that a vegan version will be denser. So I would try increasing the amount of baking soda to 1 teaspoon, to try to get more air into the mixture.

      If you give this a go, let me know how you get on 🙂

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