Carrot-Orange Muffins with Coconut

Excuse me while I roll my eyes soooo hard at raisin bran. And banana nut. And–though it pains me so–blueberry, too.

In the friendliest of manners, of course. It’s just that muffins, though pretty much always delicious, have been a little boring lately, and somebody has to tell them.

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Maybe they’ll get the hint if we start making more interesting ones. Ones that smell like a heavenly orange grove but carry some whole grain heft and vegetable righteousness (big ups to beta carotene) to get you through a frigid winter. Also, a golden, crunchy sprinkling of coconut on top, just because it’s not even close to anything cranberry/gingerbread/peppermint. You might be in the mood for something different. You might shelve these for after the New Year, in fact–and I totally understand. Go get your Christmas on… These will still be around.

This is based on Mark Bittman’s brown sugar, carrot, and almond bread. I had every intention of making a coconut-topped loaf, but I recently discovered that tinier/individual-sized/generally “cuter” food is about 659% more Pinterest-friendly. (This is so obvious–please don’t judge. I’m sure you have slow moments too.) Anyhow: The internet be weird.

Also, turning a quick bread into a muffin recipe cuts the baking time in half, so. There’s that.

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Also: Let’s do coconut oil instead of butter! Why? Because I had some around–as good a reason as any, I think. I also know that coconut oil is what people much smarter than I call a “healthy fat” and insist that it’s better for you. Vegetable oil would be a good option as well, though. Or–you know–butter, as originally intended.

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With the shredded coconut itself, you could also make a legitimate streusel topping here, but… Those extra few minutes are precious on a weekend morning, aren’t they? Make yourself an extra cup of coffee instead. Make it snow coconut. Call it good.

In case you’re keeping track, in this post we’ve reiterated that I’m: (1) too lazy to make streusel, (2) kinda slow, and (3) somehow incapable of googling “why is coconut oil healthy.”

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But you know what? None of that stopped me from making a batch of pretty killer muffins. Or photographing them outside, in single-digit temperatures. (I also snapped while I was out there and guess what? Almost a week later, those icicles are still there.)

See, you don’t even need to do silly things like that. Bake this weekend, and stay inside like a wise, civilized human, away from large ice shards that are just waiting to come down on your neck. It’s dicey out there! Let’s sit down and have ourselves a muffin.

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Carrot-Orange Muffins with Coconut
Yields 12
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Total Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 2 cups flour of your choice (I did a combination of 1 cup all-purpose, 1/2 cup whole wheat, and 1/2 cup course wheat bran)
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 cup grated carrots
  6. 1 cup brown sugar
  7. 3/4 cup almond milk
  8. 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  9. 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  10. 1 egg
  11. Butter, coconut oil, or cooking spray for the pans
  12. 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients (first four listed) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the batter ingredients (carrots, sugar, almond milk, oil, zest, and egg). Stir wet ingredients into the flour mixture until just incorporated--don't overmix.
  3. Grease muffin tins (12 cups) with butter, coconut oil, or cooking spray (or line with paper liners), then divide batter evenly among the 12 cups. Top each with shredded coconut, slightly pressing it into the batter.
  4. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack before removing.
Adapted from
Adapted from Mark Bittman
10th Kitchen

11 Responses to Carrot-Orange Muffins with Coconut

  1. These muffins look killer, I really like the flavor combo you went with! Much better than plain bran muffins indeed! And you’re right, everything looks much better in mini version ;–) Pinning! x

  2. Yeah, banana nut needs to hit the road! Also, since this has so much carrot (and thus, beta carotene), it’s kind of like a salad, right? Like, healthy, and, and appropriate to put on the side of a dinner plate? Eeeexcellent.

  3. Yes. The internet is weird. Pinterest makes me want to crawl under a rock. Still I pinned this because… well because. XOGREG

  4. Cold? What’s that?? It was 81 degrees outside at 9am this morning. Just give me 70, and i’d be happy as a clam! And these muffins? I love your anti-December flavor profile! A fresh breath of tropical carrot, mmm hmmm. ;)

  5. I´m with you, we need some interesting flavour combinations ;-) Lets get creative! These look delicious and I love the flavour combination you used :-) Your photos are lovely!! Xx

  6. Holy crap, thanks very much for posting this! It is going to help me when I get Coconut Oil at the store! So Astonishing!

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