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carrot & courgette breakfast muffins

Carrot and courgette breakfast muffins, flavoured with cinnamon spice and warm from the oven – a perfect start any morning of the week.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, setting us up for the day. Our carrot and courgette breakfast muffins are packed full of vegetables and flavoured with cinnamon for that added hint of spice.

These carrot and courgette breakfast muffins are a real breakfast treat, even more-so when served warm, straight from the oven.

Close up view of carrot & courgette muffins on a green linen.

However, made in advance they store for a few days, making them the ideal breakfast or snack on the go. That said, I would still far rather sit down and take my time to enjoy these muffins with a cup of tea!

Our healthy breakfast muffins are based on an American muffin style of muffin, not to be confused with an English muffin which is a different, a more bread like bake entirely.

What is an American Muffin?

An American muffin is a soft and springy sweet cake, made using the muffin method whereby dry ingredients and wet ingredients are placed into separate bowls before being mixed together and given a quick stir to combine.

Muffin batter does not contain much fat and the only fat in our recipe is a small amount of sunflower oil which keeps these cakes moist.

Looking at the top of a stack of carrot and courgette muffins.

What is the difference between and American Muffin and a Cupcake?

The mixing methods and the consistency of the cake batters differ between an American muffin and a cupcake. Also, muffins tend to be more dense in texture than cupcakes.

Cupcake batter is made by first creaming together butter and sugar before the flour and eggs are added. This results in a smooth, light and fluffy batter. Once baked a cupcake has a light texture.

An American muffin batter is made by first combining the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. The wet ingredients are then added to the dry and the mixture is stirred to combine, but will still remain quite lumpy in texture.

How to make Breakfast Muffins – recipe steps:

  • Look out all your ingredients and prepare the baking tray with paper muffin cases.
  • Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  • Place the eggs, sugar, oil and the zest and juice from the lemon and orange into a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine ensuring there are no patches of dry flour in the muffin batter.
  1. Grate the carrot and courgette and gently mix through the muffin batter – taking care not to over mix.
  • Once combined fill the 12 muffin cases to the top with the muffin mixture.
  • Sprinkle the sunflower and pumpkin seeds on top of the muffins (if using) and pop in the oven at 170CFan/190C for 25 minutes until baked.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning the muffins out of the tin and placing them on a wire cooling rack.

How to avoid dry and crumbly muffins?

The tricky to baking light and fluffy muffins is to ensure that you don’t over mix the batter. Also remove the muffins from the oven as soon as they are cooked through and don’t over bake them.

The sunflower oil used in the muffin batter will also add moisture into the muffins.

Breakfast muffins in a tray.

Recipe substitutions and variations:

  • Carrot and courgette are grated and added to these healthy breakfast muffins. You will not taste the vegetables in the muffins, but they do make really moist muffins. If you prefer to use only one vegetable, then double up on the other instead.
  • Lemon and orange zest and juice add a burst of citrus fresh flavour to these muffins. If you prefer to only use one citrus fruit, simply double up on the quantity of the other.
  • Ground cinnamon adds a warm spice to the muffins. You can substitute with other ground spices like ginger, nutmeg or a mixed spice.
  • Light brown sugar adds a depth of flavour to the muffins, however you can substitute with regular or golden caster sugar if you prefer. But just be aware that you will lose some of that molasses flavour.
  • Sunflower oil adds moisture to the muffins. If you don’t have sunflower oil, replace with another low flavoured oil like vegetable oil.
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are sprinkled over the top of the muffins before they are baked in the oven. This is entirely optional but they do add a lovely toasty crunch to the top of the muffin.
Breakfast muffins in a tray topped with seeds on a wooden board.

Can I made Breakfast Muffins ahead of time?

These carrot and courgette muffins are delicious served warm from the oven, but they also make a great prep ahead breakfast.

  • Store: Bake the muffins and allow them to cool. Place them in an airtight container on the kitchen counter and they will remain fresh for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Alternatively, cool these healthy breakfast muffins, place them in an airtight container and pop them into the freezer. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. They defrost quickly making them the ideal breakfast or snack on the go.
A stack of carrot muffins.

Useful hints and tips:

  1. Fill the muffin cases to the top with batter this will result in good sized muffins.
  2. A really easy way to fill the muffin cases is to use an ice-cream scoop with a release. However, if you don’t have one a tablespoon will work just fine.
  3. Allergy advice: these muffins are nut free, soya free and dairy free. For comprehensive and detailed allergy advice click on this link to Allergy UK.

Pin the recipe:

Additional recipe suggestions:

If you like this recipe then try some of our other great bakes:

If you enjoy baking check out our Ultimate Guide to Baking with Kids which is full of recipe ideas, hints and tip to suit all level of the baker.

Looking at the top of a stack of carrot and courgette muffins.

Carrot & Courgette Breakfast Muffins

Carrot and courgette breakfast muffins, flavoured with cinnamon spice and warm from the oven – a perfect start any morning of the week.
5 from 7 votes
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 294kcal

Equipment

  • 12 hole deep muffin tray
  • 12 paper muffin cases

Ingredients

  • 350 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 150 g light brown sugar
  • 125 ml sunflower oil
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 orange (medium, zest and juice)
  • 1 courgette (grated – about 120g in weight)
  • 1 carrot (grated – about 120g in weight)
  • 25 g pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 25 g sunflower seeds (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 170°CFan/190°C. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper muffin cases.
  • In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix with a fork to incorporate and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl add the eggs, sugar, oil, zest and juices of the lemon and orange. Whisk together till fully incorporated and set aside.
  • Wash and grate the carrot and courgette, no need to peel either. Set aside.
  • Gradually fold the wet mixture into the flour mixture and add the grated vegetables. Gently stir until combined. You do not want to over mix, only until the mixture has come together.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin cases and fill to the top, this will give a good sized muffins.
  • Sprinkle pumpkin and sunflower seeds over the top of the muffins and pop the tray into the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the tray from oven and allow the muffins to sit in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • These muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Alternatively freeze the muffins in a airtight container after cooling, ideal for breakfast or a snack on the go.

Notes

The seeds on the top are optional, use any seeds or none at all. 
Nutrition Facts
Carrot & Courgette Breakfast Muffins
Amount Per Serving
Calories 294 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 165mg7%
Potassium 282mg8%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 950IU19%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 77mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •

Course : Baking, Breakfast
Cuisine : British
Keyword : muffin, vegetables
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Recipe Rating




Luci

Friday 3rd of November 2023

Hey and thanks for the nice recipe but the batter was really dry, so I added some plant milk. Was your also so dry?

Lesley

Friday 3rd of November 2023

No my batter was fine as the carrots and courgette add great moisture into the batter. However, you did the right thing and if your batter was dry adding a little milk is the thing to do.

Chloe

Sunday 15th of August 2021

Yes! Cakes for breakfast!!!

Lesley

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Indeed Chloe, breakfast cake - it doesn't get any better.

Rebecca - Glutarama

Friday 13th of August 2021

I am rubbish at getting myself to eat fruit and veggies, let alone the teens so this recipe is a great way to pack in some of those 5-a-day. Adding to my to-do-list now.

Lesley

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Thank you Rebecca, this is a great recipe to pack in veggies.

Kat (The Baking Explorer)

Thursday 12th of August 2021

They look yum, I love veg packed muffins for breakfast, such fab on the go snacks!

Lesley

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Thank you Kat, they make a great grab and go breakfast.

Cat

Thursday 12th of August 2021

These are such a delicious way to add extra nutrition to your breakfast, and who can resist a muffin?! I love using both carrots and courgettes in bakes so can't wait to try these.

Lesley

Thursday 12th of August 2021

Thank you Cat, I can't agree more, carrot and courgette both work a treat in baked goods. A perfect grab-and-go breakfast.