Carrot, Orange and Sultana Breakfast Muffins recipe

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Carrot muffins made with 50% wholemeal flour, spices, sultanas and nuts. Probably the muffin I make the most. I use my food processor to grate the carrots but a box grater will do.

Can be baked in a 450g/1lb loaf tin (see notes).

  • Prep20m
  • Cook30m
  • Total50m

I’ve revisited my Apple, Cinnamon and Sultana Muffin recipe a lot recently because I’ve wanted to eat cake but nothing too sugary. I’ve used that recipe as a basis for this one, borrowing the spices and orange zest from my favourite Carrot Cake recipe and increasing the amount of wholemeal flour to 50%*. That makes these muffins breakfast appropriate in my mind.

The ingredients list looks fairly long but hopefully it’s mostly store cupboard stuff and there’s no decorating needed thanks to the sugar/nut topping.

I toyed with the idea of an orange-flavoured icing or a cream cheese topping, which would make the muffins much more photogenic. I decided against it because I want ease above all else and to keep the sugar content relatively low.

★ ★ ★

* You can use wholemeal plain flour instead of bread flour. I don’t want to buy yet another type of flour so I use what I have in my cupboard, which is nearly always bread flour.


I use demerara sugar for the topping to add crunch but any kind of sugar will do.

I sometimes increase the wholemeal flour to 200g (plus 50g self-raising), which makes the muffins heavier but more fibre-rich.

Can be baked in a 450g/1lb loaf tin and takes around 1 hour in my fan-assisted oven at 160°C.

Store for up to three days in an airtight container. The muffins freeze well.


Carrot, Orange and Sultana Breakfast Muffins

  • Prep20m
  • Cook30m
  • Total50m
Makes: 12


Carrot muffins

  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 125g wholemeal flour (I use strong bread flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • zest from 1 large orange
  • 75ml flavourless oil (sunflower, vegetable. I use light olive oil)
  • 125ml milk (I use soya)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 200g carrots, grated (around 2 large or 3 medium carrots)


  • 2 tsp demerara sugar (or any brown sugar)
  • 25g pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped


  1. Heat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Muffins: Add 125g of self-raising flour, 125g of wholemeal bread flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, ½ a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, 100g of light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg and a pinch of salt to a large bowl and mix.
  3. Grate in the zest from 1 large orange.
  4. In another bowl or jug add 75ml of flavourless oil, 125ml of milk and crack in 2 eggs. Whisk then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir a few times to roughly combine then add 100g of sultanas, 50g of chopped walnuts or pecans and 200g of grated carrot. Stir until no more dry flour remains but take care not to over-mix. Divide the batter into the muffin tin.
  5. Topping: Combine 2 teaspoons of demerara sugar (or any brown sugar) with 25g of chopped walnuts or pecans. Top each muffin with the sugar/nut mixture then bake for 25-30 minutes until golden on top (30 minutes in my oven). A skewer should come out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.

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