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Quinoa Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins

I’m a breakfast girl. It isn’t possible for me to go the 16 hours between dinner and lunch the following day without eating. I become a crazy person when I’m hungry. Like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors yelling "FEED MEEE!!!" at random strangers. If I ever get stuck on a deserted island, or in a plane crash in the Andes, don’t pray for me, pray for which ever poor soul has to deal with the hungry version of me. Not pretty. Plus I just make bad decisions when I’m hungry, which results in me coming to the conclusion that an entire jumbo sized bag of Jalapeno Kettle Chips is just one snack, and it’s totally fine for me to eat the entire thing. 

Because of this, I must eat breakfast. And besides my long standing love with Saturday Morning Breakfast indulgences, I want a super healthy breakfast 6 days a week. 

And you are probably sick of all the quinoa, but I’m not. Not yet. It SO good for you, and if you cook it the right way, it has a great flavor and texture. Don’t cook it the same way you cook rice or it will be mushy.  

My Morning Magical Quinoa Muffin Stats, calculated by Spark People Recipe Calorie Calculator:

191 Calories

3 grams of fiber

4.3 grams of protein 

Plus a healthy dose of Calcium, Vitamins A, B-6 & C

Only .5 grams of the bad Saturated Fat

Not too bad. And an easy thing to grab on your way out the door in the morning. 

So that you can conquer the world without being a whiney and unreasonable. Or maybe that’s just me. 

Quinoa Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins


  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup cooked quinoa (You need to cook your quinoa with 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts water, too much water makes it mushy)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 tbs raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup carrots, peeled and finely grated (place between sheets of paper towels to remove excess water)
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • 2 tbs chopped walnuts

(Makes 6 muffins)


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, quinoa, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking powder. Make a well in the ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, apple sauce, honey, egg and vanilla until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the well you made in the dry ingredients. Stir until just barely combined, a few lumps is fine. If you over mix, your muffins will be tough. Add the carrots, raisins and walnuts and stir until just combined.
  3. Grease 6 wells of a muffin tin (or line with muffin papers). Pour evenly into the 6 wells, about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until the top springs back when touched.

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Deanna February 1, 2012 um 11:48 am

I love carrot cake, and any excuse to eat it for breakfast is a good one. Breakfast is my favorite meal, but it normally gets shafted in my run out the door to school. God bless cliff bars. They keep me from starving most days.


Liz February 1, 2012 um 12:58 pm

Oh, boy, do these look wonderful. Much as I love a little something sweet after dinner, I want to start my day out healthy. These muffins would be perfect for my breakfast!


Emma Clare February 1, 2012 um 2:57 pm

WOW. Amazing! Cannot wait to try, and already I have carrots and quinoa sitting in my kitchen. It must be fate. 🙂


Morgan February 1, 2012 um 3:01 pm

These look great! I wonder if Greek yogurt could be used in place of sour cream?


Jackie February 1, 2012 um 3:06 pm

I think that sounds like a great idea!


Cassie February 1, 2012 um 3:18 pm

These sound awesome, Jackie! I love muffins but don’t eat them very often because they aren’t usually very healthy. LOVE the quinoa in these!


Jackie February 1, 2012 um 3:43 pm

It’s so weird to look up the nutrition facts on a muffin and see 400 calories! Thats more than some burgers! And so not worth, way too many calories. Or worse, when "serving size" is half a muffin. THAT should seriously be illegal.


chinmayie @ love food eat February 1, 2012 um 11:54 pm

Looks like a great breakfast/snack. I am big fan of healthy muffins 🙂


Andi February 2, 2012 um 10:20 am

I must make these! They look soo delicious!


Adrian February 2, 2012 um 7:12 pm

Quinoa nerd! 😉 These look great. Great pictures too Jackie!


Kristi Rimkus February 2, 2012 um 8:56 pm

I love these muffins! I’ve bookmarked this recipe. Nice job!


Katia February 3, 2012 um 12:50 pm

I must eat my breakfast as well, sometimes I can’t wait – especially if my dinner has been too light – so I love this kind of recipes: delicious but low calories, a good treat without feeling guilty!


Hannah February 4, 2012 um 8:45 pm

I made these recently but subed the sour cream with plain greek yogurt (I heard somewhere that you can sub it in some recipes). Well it did NOT work. They were mushy and falling apart. Also, I followed the measurements exactly but mine yielded 12 muffins! Not sure if the yogurt had something to do with it. I might try making these again, they tasted alright nonetheless.


Jackie February 6, 2012 um 8:33 am

Thank you for the comment, I appreciate the feedback. I got your comment last night and decided to make them again to see if I could figure out what happened. I had my husband help to give a new set of eyes. They turned out great, and again yielded exactly 6 muffins. The only difference was it took 22 minutes to cook this time instead of 18.

The ONLY thing I can think of (The greek yogurt should be fine as a substitute) is that I wasn’t clear about the quinoa? When I said, "Half a cup of cooked quinoa" did you read that as "1/2 cup of dry quinoa, and then cook it"? because that would give you a lot more than 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa and that would give the results that you talked about.

So sorry they didn’t work for you!


Wendy October 2, 2012 um 4:57 pm

I just tried these, substituting nonfat greek yogurt and I had the same results. I baked them for almost 30 minutes and they were still mushy and it made about 9 small muffins (regular size muffin pan filled about 2/3 full, they just didn’t rise much). I followed the recipe exact- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa. I will definitely try them again with sour cream next time because I love the taste and the smell of them, and even though the were mushy they were still good!


Jackie October 2, 2012 um 6:33 pm

That’s strange. This is a recipe I make on a fairly regular basis and have never had a problem. The only think I can think is that your quinoa is cooked with too much water, giving it a much higher water content and therefore making the muffins mushy. Quinoa should be cooked with a 1 part quinoa to 1.5 parts water, not 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water like rice. It makes a big difference when you cook with it if it has way too much water in the grain. I did a post of Eating Rules about how to cook it the right way, so that it doesn’t get mushy.


Tiffany February 6, 2012 um 9:49 am

What a great way to use quinoa! And since I’ve picked up juicing I’m always looking for ways to use the pulp! … Ways like these muffins! 😀


Kendrick Stifflemire February 15, 2012 um 5:36 pm



Sonny Diehm February 22, 2012 um 2:02 pm

Made these! saved to fav (:.


Irene February 23, 2012 um 2:13 pm

Wow, these look awesome!! I am always looking at new ways to use quinoa. Thanks for the great recipe!


Marjorie Hald February 29, 2012 um 6:37 pm

This really is great! I make them all the time now, helathy and delicious.


Clair Balnis March 2, 2012 um 3:18 pm

Weight loss is all about spending more calories than you take in. That’s usually done through diet & exercise. The chips & the oreos can be included in a diet, but they have to be accounted for.


Jackie March 2, 2012 um 3:22 pm

I agree. Portion control is key, but very difficult. Some people find it too hard to just have one Oreo or only a few chips, so they choose to stay away all together. It’s about each person finding the best way to balance that in their own lives.


Jo October 7, 2012 um 9:00 pm

My two year old loves these! She refuses to eat meat and vegetables so these are a great source of protein and veg-related nutrients. I swap the sour cream for mashed up roasted pumpkin (to get even more veg in my daughter) with a bit of milk added and it all seems to come out well, if slightly stickier than the original recipe. Hubby and I both love them too!!!


Jackie October 7, 2012 um 9:17 pm

Pumpkin?!! Oh my GOD, that sounds so perfect 🙂


liz August 3, 2013 um 8:36 am

I like the pumpkin suggestion – do you think canned pumpkin puree would work in place of the sour cream??


Jackie August 4, 2013 um 7:44 am

I think so. If you cook your quinoa with a 1 to 1 ratio of quinoa to water, add a bit more flour to compensate for the extra moisture.


Addison James October 14, 2012 um 12:02 am

The first time I made these, they didn’t work. The next time I made the quinoa they way you say and it was so much better! Love the quinoa, love the muffins and now I am so glad that I now know the right way to cook quinoa!


Breakfast | Pearltrees August 1, 2013 um 8:19 am

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