Fix Approved Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling (Gluten Free)

My husband loves carrot cake, and I wanted to try to make a clean version.  A typical carrot cake is loaded with fat and calories.  It seemed like I ought to be able to make it healthy.  Carrot cake has a ton of carrots in it after all!  In the 21 Day Fix Fixate cookbook, there is recipe for a pumpkin muffin with cream cheese filling.  I realized that I could use the same concept for a carrot cake muffin.  These turned out so good!  (With only 84 calories per muffin!)

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Servings:  5 (2 muffins per serving)

Muffin Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (make sure the container says gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup baking stevia or 3 tablespoons stevia
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar baking Truvia
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of carrots
  • 20 pecan halves

Muffin Filling:

  • 2 oz fat free cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

21 Day Fix Containers (per single serving):

  • 1/2 yellow
  • 1/2 green
  • 1/2 blue
  • 1/2 teaspoon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare muffin tins with cooking spray, paper cups, or silicon cups
  3. Put all filling ingredients in a small bowl and whip with fork until blended, set aside
  4. Put all muffin ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  5. Fill 10 muffin cups halfway with muffin batter
  6. Spoon one teaspoon of cream cheese mixture in center of each muffin cup
  7. Spoon remainder of batter evenly over each muffin cup
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean!

Nutritional Information:  Calories 168, Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 84.4 mg, Sodium 406 mg, Potassium 166 mg, Carbs 36.6 g, Protein 6.6 g, Vitamin A 53.2%, Vitamin C 4.6%, Calcium 5.6%, Iron 8.2%

If you have any questions about 21 Day Fix, I would love to answer them.  Feel free to contact me in the comments below.  Check out my story here.

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World’s Best Cinnamon Raisin Bread

As I posted last week, I got a KitchenAid stand mixer for my birthday!  I was working like crazy to finish my dissertation and didn’t really have time to play with it until this weekend.  I decided to using the kneading tool and attempt to make bread.  I had never made yeast bread by myself.  The last time I “made” any type of yeast bread, I think I was in second grade and “helping” my great-grandmother.  Spending that whole day baking is one of the best memories I have of her.

I’ve been slightly addicted to the Sun-Maid raisin bread lately, so I decided to try to find a homemade version online.  A quick Google search led me to a recipe titled “World’s Best Cinnamon Raisin Bread.”  That sounded promising.  Since I am not an experienced bread maker, I left the bread part of the recipe mostly alone, but I played with the filling that creates the cinnamon swirl.  I really felt like the bread needed some brown sugar and more raisins.

The bread turned out delicious.  I had one mishap in the baking process.  Several of the reviewers said that they used less flour than was specified to create a slightly sticky dough that made the bread more moist in the end.  I put all of recommended flour in and my dough was still quite sticky.  The sticky dough was OK until the point that I needed to roll the dough into a cylinder.  It was very difficult to roll.  My roll wasn’t symmetric, so my loaf ended up asymmetric.  I would suggest adding more flour initially, so I added some flour in the recipe below.

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Time Required:  About 3 hours

Yields:  1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup and 1/2 tablespoon of milk
  • 1/3 cup of warm water (must be between 110-115 F)
  • 1 (1/4 oz) package of yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2/3 cups of raisins
  • 2-2/3 cups of flour

Directions:

  1. Warm 1/2 cup of  milk in a small saucepan until it starts to bubble, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.  Let cool until approximately 120 F.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Set aside until yeast is frothy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Mix together yeast/water mixture, 1/4 cup white sugar, egg, salt, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1/3 cup of raisins.
  4. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth.  (Or use your KitchanAid mixer!)
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and coat the bottom of a large mixing bowl.  Place the dough inside the bowl.  Tilt the bowl so that the access butter coats the dough.  Put a warm, damp cloth over the bowl and place in oven with the light on.  Allow to rise until the dough doubles in size (about one hour).
  6. Roll the dough to 1/2 inch thickness on lightly floured surface.  Moisten the dough with about 1 tablespoon of milk using your hands.
  7. Mix the 1/4 cup white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 cup raisins in a small bowl.  Sprinkle over rolled dough.
  8. Grease a 9 in by 5 in loaf pan with 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter.
  9. Roll the dough tightly.  Pinch ends together.  Place dough in loaf pan.  Coat the top of the dough with 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter.
  10. Let rise uncovered in oven with light on for one hour.
  11. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped.
  12. Remove from oven.  Pour 1 tablespoon of melted butter on top of loaf.
  13. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in pan.  After 20 minutes put loaf on wire rack.

Here are some pictures of my process:

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Cinnamon Toast

Cinnamon toast was probably my favorite breakfast as a kid.  It’s delicious and not even a little bit healthy.

Ingredients:

  • Slices of bread of your choice
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter

Directions:

Cinnamon Toast 1

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Butter each slice of bread and place on cookie sheet.
  3. Top each slice of bread with 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar.  Spread the sugar over the bread with the back of your spoon.
  4. Lightly sprinkle cinnamon over brown sugar.
  5. Bake for about 7 minutes.  The crust of the bead should be firm.  The butter should have melted and mixed with the cinnamon and sugar to form a delicious goo-like substance.

Cinnamon Toast 2