Healthy Carrot Muffin Balls

I love carrot cake. After being diagnosed with diabetes, it became a mission of mine to find a healthy recipe that also tastes great. This recipe uses whole wheat flour, applesauce to reduce oil, (reduced) honey instead of sugar, and sugar free white chocolate chips. It’s the perfect balance of fluffy muffin texture, fall spice, crunchy nuttiness, with the right amount of sweetness. And I found that cake pop sized balls of carrot cake are perfect to get maximum enjoyment without overindulging. Deniz and Kelin love the recipe and the muffin balls disappear quickly in our house. Despite the reduced sugar, we all find it perfect for dessert.

Ingredients:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  •  1 t baking soda
  •  1 t ground cinnamon
  •  1/4 t ground nutmeg
  •  1/4 t ground ginger
  •  1/2 t salt

Wet Ingredients:

  •  2 T butter, melted, or olive oil
  •  1/4 c honey
  •  1 egg, lightly beaten
  •  1 t pure vanilla extract
  •  1 c unsweetened applesauce

Add-ins:

  • 1 c shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots). You can also use shredded zucchini for a less sweet zucchini muffin alternative.
  • 1/4 c no-sugar white chocolate chips (we like Lily’s White Chocolate Style Baking Chips that are Stevia sweetened)
  • 3 T coconut flakes
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts, toasted

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Put the walnuts in a quart-sized ziplock bag and break into 1/5th sized chunks with a rolling pin. Place the crushed walnuts on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper. While the oven is preheating, toast the walnuts, approximately 5 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure the walnuts do not burn.
  • Spray cake pop tray cups with cooking spray and brush so that the entire indentation has oil.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the Dry Ingredients.
  • Beat the egg lightly in a small bowl.
  • Make a small well in the center of the Dry Ingredients and add the Wet Ingredients.
  • Stir ingredients together until just combined and there are still some spots of flour remaining.
  • Fold in the Add-Ins just until combined (don’t overmix or the balls will be dense).
  • Distribute the batter evenly among the cake pop tray. I use a melon baller to scoop even amounts of batter and to reduce mess. Bake for 17 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake pop comes out clean.
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. These cake pops can be frozen. They can also keep covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.
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