Carrot Pistachio Muffins with Maple "Cream Cheese" Frosting (GF, DF, Paleo)

Prepare your taste buds for a total flavor explosion! Reminiscent of the best elements in a traditional carrot cake, these hearty muffins are the perfect blend of just enough sweet and slightly salty, and are topped with the perfect tangy "cream cheese" frosting that is sure to blow your mind! Even the "frosting" (that really is a loose word here--it's so nourishing!) is just a divine conglomeration of healthy ingredients, lightly sweetened with a little pure maple syrup. 

The idea for this muffin recipe and frosting randomly popped into my head one day, and any time I can take random head stuff and turn it into a successful reality is a good day! I was especially pleased that the frosting turned out with all the flavor and texture points one would expect from a good cream cheese frosting! 

Chock full of amazing ingredients, these delicious muffins would be perfect for Easter brunch, or just to have in your regular breakfast/snack rotation year round! 

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Carrot Pistachio Muffins with Maple "Cream Cheese" Frosting

(Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Paleo)

Makes approx. 12 muffins (varies depending on how heavy-handed you are with batter!)

 

Ingredients: 

*You could easily sub walnuts or pecans for the pistachios

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with unbleached paper liners or silicone baking cups
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together cassava, tapioca or arrowroot starch, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and sea salt. Add shredded carrots and toss to coat. 
  3. In a separate small bowl, add pistachios and raisins and just enough additional cassava or tapioca starch (less than 1 Tbs) and toss to coat. This helps keep them from sinking to the bottom of your muffins while baking. 
  4. In a small bowl or large glass measuring cup, whisk together coconut milk, lemon juice, vanilla, melted ghee or coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut or maple sugar, and eggs. 
  5. Make a well in your dry ingredients and gently stir in your wet mixture, stirring just to combine. Add in your coated pistachios and raisins and stir. Let batter sit for just a few minutes. 
  6. Using a 1/4 measuring cup or ice cream scoop (this makes it super easy!), scoop batter into baking cups. You could also make this into smaller muffins if desired. 
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Oven temps vary, so check these at the 15 minute mark and adjust time accordingly. You want the tops slightly brown and springing back at the touch. 
  8. Enjoy warm or let cool and top with the amazing frosting below! 

 

Maple "Cream Cheese" Frosting

Ingredients: 

  • 4 oz plain dairy-free cream cheese (I use this almond-based version. If you tolerate dairy you can also use a quality dairy-based cream cheese)
  • 1/2 cup plain coconut milk yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
  • 1 Tbs maple syrup
  • splash vanilla (less than 1/2 tsp)
  • pinch cinnamon (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment or handheld mixer, whisk together cream cheese and yogurt until well combined. Slowly drizzle in maple syrup and add splash of vanilla and pinch of cinnamon. Whisk until smooth and well incorporated. 
  2. Top your muffins with frosting, or eat straight with a spoon because it's just that good! Store in the refrigerator. 
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Recipe Notes: 

  • These muffins are best at room temperature. I recommend storing muffins in a sealed container and frosting just before enjoying, as the frosting must be kept refrigerated. 
  • Top frosted muffins with shredded carrot, chopped pistachios, shredded coconut, or a sprinkle of cinnamon for added pizzazz. 

 

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I hope you enjoy these luscious bites as much as I do! 

 

In loving health, 

 

Ashley 

 

 

 

 

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