The brown butter, apple, and carrot muffins we couldn’t stop eating

Many of you have been inquiring about the apple and carrot muffins I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago.

Some of you curious and impatient. Perhaps you were imagining how your kitchen will smell while they are baking?

I don’t blame you. I know I am driven by smells.

It has been very busy around here lately. I cannot lie, at times I felt I couldn’t even breath. Between copyediting, the holidays, children home from school, and side projects I have had very little time to create new recipes. I tested and retested many recipes from the book to make sure they were perfect. In fact, there were evenings that we had nothing to eat but desserts.

A kitchen counter full of desserts.

But I am happy to say that I am finished revising the manuscript and now it is back in the hands of my publisher. Thrilled about what is ahead and seeing it all come together.

So allow me to rewind a bit to a few weeks ago when I made a vegetable bollito misto and these brown butter, apple, and carrot muffins.

The multicolored carrots that had Miren mesmerized. She ate them raw as she stacked the colorful slices on top of each other.

We saved some for muffins. A recipe that I baked not only once but three times because they were that good.

Brown butter, hazelnuts, grated apples and carrots folded into a batter spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cardamom.

Perfect in the morning with a cup of hot ginger and lemon tea.

Now I am excited to start cooking new recipes.

We will be strawberry picking this week and who knows what we will make with them. I know being out in the farm will ignite my curiosity and creativity.

Take a deep breath and be thankful for winter in Florida. Yes, I will.

Remember that registration for our September 2012 workshop in Dordogne, France will open next Thursday January 26th. Read more details in our save the date announcement.

Brown butter, apple, and carrot muffins

makes 12 muffins

10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter
1 cup (140 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (50 g) hazelnut flour
2 tablespoons tapioca starch
1 1 /2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grounc cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground caradamom
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup (70 g) light muscovado sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 small carrots, peeled and grated
1 medium Gala apple, peeled, cored, and grated

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

In a small saucepan, heat the butter over medium high heat until the solids start to turn brown and smells of roasted nuts. Set aside and cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the rest of dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown butter and remaining wet ingredients. Add the wet to the dry and whisk to combine. Fold in the grated carrot and apples.

Scoop the batter into baking cups and bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely.

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90 Responses to “The brown butter, apple, and carrot muffins we couldn’t stop eating”

  1. Doesn’t brown butter make everything taste so much better? I mean, I have no doubt that these muffins were tasty without it, but it probably made them exponentially more delicious.

  2. beautiful aran sounds delicious. love seeing miren!

  3. marla says:

    I love that readers were asking you how amazing these smell! Great muffin recipe, carrot is always a winner in baked goods over here too. Even better with brown butter. Congrats on turning in your manuscript! Can’t wait to see your beautiful book :)

  4. That muffins looks divine! I love anything and everything carrot — it gives a natural sweetness :)

  5. Maureen says:

    These look delicious! I’m going to make them for a gift first thing in the morning!

  6. Umearen argazkiak zoragarriak dira. Nondik atara dituzu, mahai gainetik?
    Jarraitu horrela

  7. These look positively divine, apple and carrot muffins would have had me at the start, but adding brown butter? Why, I’m running to my kitchen!

  8. These muffins looks amazing! Carrots in sweet treats are really special on tast and texture, simply I love it.
    And of course… pictures are beatiful and pink/white/and the green top of muffins combitanion are very nice

  9. MikeVFMK says:

    Love the ingredients in a muffin! Brown butter combined with anything adds so much depth and flavour. Congrats on the manuscript! We’re all as anxious as you are waiting for the book now!

  10. Clarisse says:

    On my to do list for this week end ! And your little girl is the cutest !

  11. Book marking this to make this weekend!Yum!

  12. Anna Bruun says:

    The pictures are just amazing! Must bake…
    Have a lovely monday!

  13. These sound amazing, I will definitely have to try this recipe. Your website is incredible. Beautiful pictures and great content!

  14. I think these will be my next project to bake. The combination of apple and the spices sounds too delicious to pass up. Can’t wait!

    Your photos are beautiful as always. I love how crisp, clean and effortless they always look.

  15. These brown butter, apple and carrot muffins sounds amazing and the photos are quite lovely. Thanks for this post.

  16. Katie says:

    Wow these sound and look fabulous!
    Added to my ‘must bake’ list

  17. Madalen- bai, ahulki baten ganean zutik ipini eta hortik atara dodaz :)

    I would love to hear back from those of you who do try these and see if you like them as much as we do. Please share :)

    Thank you!

  18. Barbara says:

    Aran these muffins sound absolutely my kind of muffin. I have never browned butter before adding to a batter before. Something I need to try.

    What fabric are the little knitted mats made from? It looks like some sort of cotton. I’m looking for easy projects to occupy myself with while I go thru more chemo. I’d enjoy knitting some of those little mats.

    I am enjoying watching the New Years Day concert over and over. I imagine your children enjoyed the balloon sequence?

  19. You had me at brown butter.

    The ingredients in this recipe sound delicious. I will def. have to try this.

    Me encantan

  21. Dena says:

    Beautiful post. I love the different textures and the colors, especially in the photos of the colorful carrots.

  22. Greta says:

    Your pictures are some the most beautiful I have come across in any food blog.
    They take my breath away and leave me with a feeling of pure peace at the same time.
    As if that was not enough, your recipes sound amazing.
    I can’t wait to try these muffins!
    Love from,

  23. Benthe says:

    I am so buying that book when it’s out. And I’m so making this recipe, YES.

  24. GG says:

    Great looking muffins. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen hazelnut flour so I’ll have to go searching for some. Lovely photos as always. GG

  25. Ailyn says:

    I love your photos and recipes…thank you for this amazing one!

  26. Shelby says:

    What a lovely post, refreshing and mouthwatering, as always! I look forward to trying out those muffins ;)

  27. I can keep looking at your photographs all day!! Carrot and apple..sounds perfect for this time of the year!!

  28. These look sublime. I love the combination of carrot and hazelnut.

  29. Hi there, Aran! You’re an amazing photographer and baker! Your kids are so lucky! I also like using (dark) muscovado sugar, I think it’s almost chocolatey. Can’t wait to try this exceptional recipe. Thanks!

  30. I love the nuttiness of brown butter but I would have never used it in a sweet application like a muffin. That is something I am going to have to try!

  31. so gorgeous and such perfectly pretty colours! I can’t wiat to try these, I might make them for our camping trip tomorrow.

    Looking forward to seeing your new recipes and I hope you enjoy a moments peace, maybe whilst picking strawberries…

  32. Liz says:

    These look fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  33. Sometimes I come to your blog just for a little breather; your images are so beautiful! If I subbed ww pastry flour for the other flours listed here, would it be a 1 to 1 substitute?

  34. BJ and Shalene- You could sub the superfine brown rice flour and tapioca starch for pastry flour, but I would keep the hazelnut flour in the recipe as it gives it so much texture and flavor. makes it moist too. You could grind your own hazelnuts or even use almond flour. Hope you give it a try!

    Thank you all!

  35. Maja says:

    Aran, these muffins are my absolutely favorit!

  36. I just had a baby and was in hsopital for a couple of days and when I got home, the first thing my 3 year old asked me was-‘Mummy, can we make carrot cupcakes?’ Then, I see this wonderful post. I will adapt my own recipe to include the hazelnut flour and apples!

  37. Perfect! I have almond flour on hand! Can’t wait to try them! Thank you!

  38. Maritxikis says:

    Aran, they are delicious. I made them last night and again this morning. That’s how fast they have been eaten! I didn’t have hazelnuts, but I grinded almonds and were superb! Eskerrik Asko desde Canada


  39. I would feel positively virtuous and possibly regain a spot in the Mother of the Year competition by baking these! Wouldn’t they be perfect in a lunch box! Also, can’t wait to buy your book!!

  40. mjauQi says:

    I have made muffins almoust from everything but not carrot yet, so must try this:)

  41. Sips and spoonfuls- congratulatios on the baby! Hope you are feeling well!

    Marina- so happy to hear that!

    Thank you all!

  42. PERNILLA says:

    beautiful pictures…:)

    Hugs from Gothenburg …..Pernillla

  43. sara says:

    A version based on what I had on hand it in the oven now! We’re trying to keep things a tad lighter around here, so I subbed half applesauce for some of the browned butter. Hoping for success. Thanks for the tasty recipe!

  44. Sara- oh nice… keep me posted on how you like it!

  45. Sini says:

    Made them yesterday evening and they turned out perfect! Moist and not too sweet. With a cup of cold milk a dream.

  46. Sini says:

    Oh and a question: did you really mean to mix the sugar already with the dry ingredients or to beat them with the butter, eggs, vanilla extract and suryp? Don’t know if it really makes a difference but wanted to ask you anyway. I did mix it with the wet ingredients and as I said mine turned out perfect.

  47. I’m craving for this muffin. I can’t wait to try it soon. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Excellent photography too!

  48. Anonymous says:

    These muffins look delicious, I would like to try them out but I’m not sure if it would be easy to find all the ingredients here in Spain, does plain rice flour work ? and tapioca starch where could I find that ? Could I replace it with something else?
    Thank you !

    / Jenny

    PS Love your blog !

  49. Sini- it should actually work the same both ways. So happy that you liked the recipe. It’s one of our favorites too and very simple to make.

    Thank you!

  50. Jenny- you should be able to find rice flour in spain and even tapioca starch. you can also use an all-purpose gluten free flour although they usually contain xanthan gum and make products a bit “gummier” than what I like. You can grind your own almonds for the almond flour and the rest use whatever you have available. It is very forgiving. And if you can eat gluten, you can use all purpose wheat flour in place of the brown rice and tapioca. Hope that helps!


  51. a. maren says:

    oo these look so soft and wonderful. lovely!

  52. Meatloaf says:

    That’s great muffin! I will try this soon.

  53. Meatloaf says:

    That’s great muffin! I will try this soon.

  54. sécia says:

    I can see why you couldn’t stop eating them!

    ♥ sécia

  55. Those carrots are so pretty! And the muffins look wonderful. Nutty brown butter, sweet carrots – I can almost taste them now!

  56. Jenna says:

    These are the best muffins I have ever eaten! The flavor is divine and the smell of them baking is unbelievable. They are fluffy and moist and everything I’d never expect from a gluten-free muffin. Thank you so very much for sharing the recipe!

  57. sandicue says:

    I know these must be to get these in my oven..

  58. Jenna- That makes me very happy. I have to say I agree with your comment :) these are also some of my favorites.

    Thanks all!

  59. such beautiful images. Love love love your work x

  60. hännah says:

    Wow, the idea of adding hazelnut flour just takes these over the top. I would love to give these a try in my kitchen soon!

  61. I made these this past weekend, and they were wonderful. A huge hit! I didn’t have hazelnut flour, but substituted an equal amount (in grams) of an all-purpose GF flour mix, and they still tasted great. Bet they would be even better with the hazelnut. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  62. Hi, your pictures are so beautiful! Thank you for sharing all of the wonderful recepies and inspiration with us. // Linnéa

  63. I tasted for first time the carrots cake one week ago, and since now I love this dessert!! this muffins seem better, I have to cook this recipe!! wonderful pictures ;)
    Happy Monday!!

  64. Dublin says:

    Your images look so inviting and tasty, love the ideas.

  65. Christina says:

    Fabulous recipe! The brown butter truly gave the muffins that nutty flavor and lacking hazelnut flour I did substitute almond flour and they were delicious. The photographs accompanying the recipe were just lovely!!

  66. Allie says:

    Aran, I have to ask: what is the weaved pink cloth? A rag? A hot pad? Did you make it? I absolute love it. The muffins look decadent & lovely as well. How wonderful to add browned butter.

  67. Allie- its actually a linen knitted mat that I purchased from a shop in Japan. But I think it’s probably fairly easy to knit. Thanks!

  68. laura says:

    thank you so much for continually inspiring and uplifting me with your creativity. I really enjoy taking on the creations you both come up with

  69. Juliana says:

    Absolutely delicious! I made these in a bundt pan and had a big piece with my afternoon tea.

  70. susan says:

    Hi Aran! I made these today for a school meeting and they were delish. I swapped out the carrots and apples for grated zucchini, bittersweet chocolate chunks, and toasted walnuts. Topped them with a cream cheese butter cream, sprinkled with cinnamon! They were a huge hit. So light and just not too sweet. Thanks for laying the ground work, creating wonderful recipes, and for continued inspiration! I will continue to learn and grow from you and feel blessed to have you as a mentor! xx

  71. susan says:

    Hi Aran! I made these today for a school meeting and they were delish. I swapped out the carrots and apples for grated zucchini, bittersweet chocolate chunks, and toasted walnuts. Topped them with a cream cheese butter cream, sprinkled with cinnamon! They were a huge hit. So light and just not too sweet. Thanks for laying the ground work, creating wonderful recipes, and for continued inspiration! I will continue to learn and grow from you and feel blessed to have you as a mentor! xx

  72. These look incredible and I will make them today. Hazelnut flour can be made in the food processor right? Like almond flour? I can´t wait for a taste of these!

  73. Paula- yes, you can buy it or make it yourself. Make sure it’s finely ground but don’t turn it into a paste. Hope you like it!

  74. I finally made these yesterday with almond flour. You´re right, they´re very hard to stop eating! I love to be getting on board the gluten free train.

  75. Aran, I want to post about these muffins, but linking back the recipe directly to your post. Is that OK?

  76. marla says:

    Love these for lunchbox snacks ~ linking back to these muffins today :)

  77. aubrey t says:

    Hi! this looks absolutely divine, but im alergic to dairy. Would melted vegan butter work?

  78. Mareike says:

    I’m just curious.. but if we want to use just all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour do we just substitute directly for the same amount as the flours listed here?

  79. ardiar says:

    I made these tonight, almost exact recipe, as I used almond flour from Trader Joes instead of hazelnut flour… and it was just moist and delicious. Thank you!

  80. Shelley says:

    Made these this afternoon – tasted fantastic!!! What a simple but tasty recipe :) Thanks for sharing.

  81. aubrey t says:

    these. are. heavenly. maple syrup and hazelnut flour gives them a rich, deep caramel like flavor and the carrots and apples provide a lot of moisture. I am dairy free and used melted vegan butter and it wourked perfectly, though I am sure brown butter takes them overboard in amazingness!! Thank you thank you thank you!

  82. […] zucchini muffins are a modification of these and the zucchini, walnut, chocolate combo pleased almost everyone in my house. I say almost because […]

  83. Batya says:

    Hi Aran, I’m making these for my son’s birthday party in school next week. They look delicious and I can almost taste them through my screen. One question though: what’s sprinkled on top? Nuts? I didn’t notice it in the preparation/instructions. Many thanks!

  84. Muriel says:

    These muffins are delicious, I just made some for breakfast!
    Thank you Aran for your beautiful pictures and lovely recipes, you are inspiring!

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