Muffin Man

Jasper eating muffins

Back when Jasper’s diet consisted of about three foods  I was desperate to sneak in some vegetables.  My mom helped me scour the internet for a carrot zucchini muffin recipe that would fit the bill.  Still, there was no guarantee that mister pickypants would be convinced, so we were thrilled when Jasper gave him his stamp of approval know if Jasper likes them, they MUST be good!

Now they are the first thing he asks for in the morning so I carefully keep my eye on the muffin stash and make sure to make a new batch before the previous one disappears.  These are so good it’s hard to not eat them myself!

The recipe calls for 1 cup of all-purpose whole wheat flour and 3/4 cups of  all-purpose flour, so 1 and 3/4 cups of flour in total, but one night while I was distracted by the TV I forgot the second 3/4 cups and only used 1 cup and they came out even MORE moist and delicious, so I recommend doing the same.

One other tip: The recipe says to fill to the very top of the muffin cups but I do a little less for an ideal toddler size portion.. maybe 3/4 or so.


* 1/4 c. canola oil
* 1/2 c. brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 3/4 c. applesauce
* 1 c. grated carrots (approximately 2 medium size carrots)
* 1 c. grated zucchini (approximately 1 medium zucchini)
* 1 c. all-purpose whole wheat flour
* 3/4 c. all-purpose flour (optional – leave out for super moist muffins!)
* 2 t. baking powder
* 1 t. cinnamon
* 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
* 1/2 t. salt


1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. In a large bowl, whisk together oil and sugar.
3. Beat in egg, then applesauce.
4. Stir in carrots and zucchini.
5. In another large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
6. Fold dry ingredients into wet, until just mixed.
7. Spoon batter to the very top of sprayed, paper-lined muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in a muffin.

NUTRITION DATA: (per muffin)
Calories 162
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 5.3g
Saturated Fat 0.8g
Polyunsat. Fat 2.7g
Monounsat. Fat 1.4g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 17mg
Sodium 179mg
Potassium 153mg
Total Carbohydrate 27g
Dietary Fiber 2.1g
Sugars 9.5g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A 1585mcg
Vitamin B6 0.1mg
Vitamin B12 0.1mcg
Vitamin C 2mg
Vitamin E 1mcg
Calcium 78mg
Magnesium 22mg
Iron 1mg

Recipe adapted from:

Let me know how your little one likes them if you try the recipe!

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Suzanne says:

I made these yesterday and used a mini muffin tin…Worked wonderfully!!!! Perfect for my 15 month old.

ariana says:

Jen, so glad you all liked them! They are super easy.. thank god because otherwise I couldn’t deal. I’m not much of a cook/baker :)

Jen says:

I made these this weekend and Nolan LOVES them. (His Dad and I do as well!) I’ve already passed a couple to friends to have their kids try as well. Thanks for sharing… I never though of muffins, but they’re so easy and perfect.

ariana says:

Anh, I’m so glad – thanks for letting me know!!

Anh says:

I had hoped to get a picture of Oliver gobbling up one of these cupcakes but never seem to catch him at the right moment! Needless to say, he LOVES them.

ariana says:

Mia, yes, I did that one time… and since then I’ve just been too lazy and have done single batches ;) But yes, they freeze just fine.

Mia says:

This sounds awesome! My little guy is only 3 weeks old but I might try making these for myself. Just curious, have you ever tried making extra and then freezing them?

Aimee says:

Ariana –

Here is the link to my photography fan page on Facebook. I think you will have to copy and paste it in to the address bar.

The cake the is first picture posted on my page.

He just turned 3 and is obsessed with Lego’s. I saw a cake similar to this on google so we went for it.

ariana says:

Aimee, 7 hours? I must see a picture of this Lego cake..reminds me of the entire WEEK I spent stressing about Jasper’s monkey cake for his first birthday. Ah, memories..

Anh, so glad you liked them!! Excellent improvising with the bananas – I think we added some apple in a couple of times when we had those too. Seems like the recipe can stand up to a bit of tinkering which is always a good thing. Let me know how your son likes them :)

I will have to try this recipe!! Thanks for sharing!!

Anh says:

Ariana, these muffins turned out so wonderfully moist and delicious. It took all of my willpower not to wake my little one up for a taste test. I know he’s going to love them — a great alternative to his usual rotation. By the way, I ended up leaving out the 3/4 cup of flour like you suggested. And since I had a ripe banana sitting on my counter, I mashed it up and added it to the recipe while cutting out half of the applesauce. Yum yum. I’ll be grabbing a muffin on my commute to work tomorrow morning. What a treat!

Aimee says:

Soy and dairy free (eggs ok for her) Finally something I can make for my little girl to eat! I am so gonna try these after I get over the 7 hours it took to make my sons lego man birthday cake. :-)

Justina says:

Oh thank you thank you, Ariana! Finally a muffin recipe that doesn’t involve any butter or dairy, and includes veggies to boot! I’ve been itching to give the little boy baked goods but most of them have some sort of dairy (which Jude can’t take still) so your recipe just comes at the right time! Will try to make them this weekend, yay! :)

ariana says:

Kari, pumpkin muffins sound great! You should blog the recipe so I can try them :)

kari says:

i love me a good recipe!
…definitely making these this weekend.. we’ve been stuck on pumpkin muffins fo a while now.

ariana says:

@Angie – the fake floor is about as wide as the seamless itself, so about 53″ wide, maybe a little less (It’s probably 48″)

@Judy – I usually give him the muffin and he either eats 3/4 to the whole thing plus a piece of toast, often with creamcheese and smoked salmon of all things!! Otherwise sometimes I’ll give him some oatmeal or he likes to eat my cereal (trader joes ohs with trader joe’s rice milk.) So usually he eats the muffin PLUS something else. But that’s only since he became an excellent eater, which was about a month or so ago. Before that, he used to eat yogurt. He has since decided that he likes everything BUT yogurt. Who can understand the strange ways of Jasper ;)

Judy N says:

Mmm…sounds yummy. My crazy toddler who will eat anything, will NOT eat anything bread-y…how weird is that? No toast, no bread, no muffins, no CAKE even.

On a random note…do you give him one muffin as a full breakfast? I ask because I am always befuddled about the actual normal meal/snack sizes for a toddler….

Angie says:

Cute, but I have a question not relating to muffins. How wide is your fake floors and trim used for your photo shoot? I am thinking of building something like that, thats a super idea! Please let me know.

Amber says:

wow! they look and sound delish :) i can’t wait to make them for my nieces and nephews. thanks for the recipe (and the tip on leaving out the add’l flour, i lol at that haha, but will definitely follow your advice)!

ariana says:

LOL Fiona.. I don’t sleep much!

Honestly, as much as I love that Jasper loves his muffins, I do end up doing a bit of grumbling on “muffin making night” which I always put off until the night before we run out of muffins! Luckily, this recipe is really fast and easy – otherwise, trust me, I wouldn’t be able to keep up! Plus it makes like 12 or so at a time so it keeps us in muffins for over a week :) Oh- and that’s the reason I don’t eat any- I’d have to make them much sooner!

Fiona says:

Wow, Ariana….tell me, how do you get time to do everything? Let me see…you have Jasper to look after, you keep this blog going – not only your writings but your tutorials too which must take a lot of time , you take AMAZING photos, you work, you are developing your photography business,you crochet props…and I am sure you do a lot more than everything I have just mentioned….and now the amazing muffins! What’s your secret? Please tell….

Love Fiona ;)

Meagan says:

These sound great! My little guy isn’t too picky, but I’m always looking for something new that’s yummy and easy for him to eat. Thanks for posting!

ariana says:

Anh, let me know how it goes!

Sara, now you have to share your favorite standby :)

Thank you!!! Noah is a muffin-aholic and I am getting pretty tired of my old stand-by recipes. These are going in the rotation.

Anh says:

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting things to introduce to my little one’s diet. Don’t know why I haven’t tried a muffin recipe before. I’m trying these out tonight! Thanks!

ariana says:

Jb, let me know how they go over!

Chantal, I don’t think it matters at all what flour you use, I use unbleached pastry flour, which I think is sort of like whole wheat but you could definitely use regular or white pastry flour!

jbhat says:

Delish! Thanks for sharing, and lol about having to try to not eat them all yourself. That will be my problem too, I’m sure.


chantal says:

Thanks so much Ariana! I’ve been looking for a muffin mix or recipe that will work well for Ms. Pickypants over here – this is perfect! I’m allergic to whole wheat though, do you think it would be a big deal if I switched it to regular flour so I could eat some, too?