Carrot Date Muffins with Oat Bran

Carrot Date Muffins with Oat Bran are easy to make, tasty, and healthier than your average muffin.  Perfect for any meal–or a delicious snack

Carrot Date Muffins in basket

Muffins can be tricky.  A lot of really tasty muffins are loaded with fat and sugar–you might as well eat a cupcake. 

Then there are the healthy versions–some of which are seriously dense and unappealing.  Now I don’t know about you, but I’m not compromising when it comes to my food. 

Yes, here’s to going for the win-win! 

The original Carrot Date Muffins with Oat Bran came from a Woman’s Day Magazine years ago, but has been modified since. ‘Cause that win-win gets better all the time!

carrot date muffins on plate

Why You’ll Love This!

Tasty.   With only 1/3 cup of sugar, these muffins are not cakey sweet, but have more of a brightness–especially with the flavorful dates and oaty goodness. 

Healthier.  With less sugar and flour, plus healthy carrots, oat bran, dates and nuts, these are definitely healthier than your average muffin!

Easy.  There are noo tricks or complexities to these muffins–so you can have them anytime!

Carrot Date Muffins

What You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes

  • All purpose flour.  With the oat bran, this provides the bulk of the muffin volume.
  • Oat bran.  Instead of using more flour, oat bran gives you extra flavor, fiber and nutrition.
  • Brown sugar.  This sweetens the muffins and provides a hint of molassess flavor.  
  • Baking powder.  This helps the muffin rise.
  • Cinnamon. Vanilla.  These add flavor.
  • Shredded carrots.  These add flavor, moisture and nutrition.  I grated mine using a standard grater.
  • Butter.  This adds moisture and helps to prevent staling.  Use coconut oil to go non-dairy. 
  • Skim milk.  This adds liquid.  You can use any type of milk including full fat or non-dairy.
  • Eggs.  This helps the muffins lighten and rise, plus adds richness
  • Chopped dates.  These add sweetness, flavor and nutrition.  You can use another dried fruit, but dates are special so recommended.
  • Chopped walnuts.  These also add flavor and nutrition.  You can omit, or use another nut or more dried fruit. 

Special Tools

  • No special tools required!

Step by Step Directions

Mix flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and shredded carrots.

Mix, then addd, dry iingredients
Melt the butter and combine with milk and vanilla. Add beaten eggs.

mix liquid ingreddients
Mix wet and dry ingredients until just combined. 

combine wet and dry ingredients

Stir in dates and nuts.

stir in dates and nuts

Spoon into muffin cups filling mostly to the top since they don’t rise a lot.  Bake  until starting to turn golden.

fill muffin cups
Let cool before eating.  Unlike some muffins, these are better at room temperature.

How to Serve

As a cross between a bread and a dessert, these Carrot Date muffins work well in so many places!

Use them as a side anywhere you’d have a potato, bread or rolls.  Or serve them with coffee or tea for a special break time.  

And one of my favorite ways to serve a nice muffins is as part of a dinner bread basket.  They can add variety and a touch of elegance tucked in between the sliced sourdough and rustic rye!

You can also consider including Carrot Bran Muffins in your brunch offerings.  The carrots would be especially fun for Easter brunch.  Gotta keep those bunnies happy!

carrot date muffins with coffee

Variations and Special Diets

If you really truly need to have the sweet version (and increasing the sugar isn’t enough), take a look at my Carrot Cake Cupcakes.  It’s a yummy cupcake recipe that still gives a nod to healthy ingredients.  Or for another great fall cupcake how about these Spice Cupcakes.

And for some other healthy muffins, take a look at my Award Winning Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins, Classic Betty Crocker Blueberry Muffins or delicious Apple Crumble Muffins!

Craving something else?  Then consider these muffins from my friends:

carrot bran muffins


I would recommend that you eat these within 2-3 days for best quality.  Since they are smaller muffins, it probably won’t be hard—even for a small household (I won’t tell you how fast my husband and I finished them off!). 

They can also be sealed tightly and frozen.  For best quality freeze the muffins on the first day. carrot muffins with coffee

Tips & FAQs

Do you sometimes get carrots that are too twisted or small to peel easily from your garden or CSA?  Grate them up for these muffins!  (Or use them for homemade vegetable broth!).

Why do you use oat bran instead of wheat bran or oatmeal? When I first started making these muffins, bran was seriously, over-the-top, in fashion.  Problem was, I didn’t love wheat bran.  My answer was to bake with oat bran which I think has better flavor than wheat bran and better nutrition than oatmeal.  There’s that win-win!


muffin in half

carrot date muffins

Carrot Date Muffins

Carrot Date Muffins with Oat Bran are easy to make, tasty and healthier than your average muffin.  A great side for any meal or delicious snack! 
Author: Inger
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Bread & Muffins
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 174 kcal


  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat bran
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar increase to 1/2 cup if you like things sweeter
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup skim milk or other milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts optional


  • Mix flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and shredded carrots.
  • Melt the butter and combine with milk and vanilla. Beat eggs, then add them to milk mixture.
  • Mix wet and dry ingredients until just combined, then fold in dates and nuts.
  • Spoon into muffin cups filling mostly to the top since they don’t rise a lot.
  • Bake at 400 for 15- 20 minutes until starting to turn golden.
  • Let cool before eating (unlike some muffins, these are better at room temperature).


Calories: 174kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 5gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 162mgPotassium: 199mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1978IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 1mg
I am not a health professional and nutrition data is calculated programatically. Accuracy may vary with product selection, calculator accuracy, etc. Consult a professional for the best information.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Updated from original, published on Jun 5, 2013

24 thoughts on “Carrot Date Muffins with Oat Bran

  1. Lynn

    Yummy – these look delectable! I LOVE any kind of carrot muffin – anything with vegetables in it is good for you, right? 😉

  2. Kathy

    I like the idea that these don’t have a lot of fat and sugar. Just the kind of muffins I might make for us! Thank you, Inger.

  3. Louise

    Oh if I could only convince Michele to bake up these muffins. She detest carrots but I’ve recently discovered that they are so good for your blood, which I’m surprised I didn’t know, and she needs to build up her resistance.

    I think I will send this recipe along with my sister to Idaho. Maybe she will lure her into goodness:)

    Thanks for sharing, Inger. They look yummy.

    P.S. I had a bit of a time getting here from your comment on my blog. Your avatar leads to Google+ but there isn’t a link to your blog on it. Thank goodness you’re in my sidebar:)

    1. Inger Post author

      Now that I am on a self-hosted site, the wordpress option to identify myself often doesn’t work. I use the name/url option if it is available, and the google+ if it isn’t. But I haven’t been able to figure out how to add a link to Google+ so I guess I’m stuck.

      But I hope you get Michelle to try the muffins. They aren’t much like carrot cake, but drier, less dense and less carrot-y, so perhaps that will help…

      1. Inger Post author

        You know I just went back in to Google+ and there is a link in it, but it is really hard to find. For whatever reason, they don’t put it on the profile–you have to go to About (which of course is not very user-friendly)

      2. Louise

        I actually passed this recipe on to Michele’s friend last night. It seems they decided to have a hair shaving party and they wanted some healthy snacks. I’ll let you know how they liked them Inger.

        Believe it or not I did get my URL on WordPress but I’m not setting it up. WordPress & I don’t seem to get along, lol…Hopefully I’ll remember to check About should it happen again:)

  4. Needful Things

    These sound wonderful. Perfect for breakfast on the run. I have oat bran, carrots and dates on hand and would probably skip the sugar entirely. I made something similar for my daughter’s birthday and, to my own palette, the sugar was unnecessary.

    1. Inger Post author

      I am baking some more soon (my daughter found more old carrots), so perhaps I’ll try reducing the sugar even a little more (though I don’t think I’m brave enough to go cold turkey 😉 )

  5. grace

    while i love cupcakes and sweet muffins, that’s not necessarily what i want (or need) for breakfast. this is a tasty-looking option that appeals much more!

    1. Inger Post author

      That makes sense to me Grace. In fact, I left my oldest, who is away from home for a summer job (and complaining she might starve), with a bunch and it was nice to feel it was something more meal-like.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks! I like to believe that eating healthy is easier (and tastier) than we think!

  6. Beth

    Although I’m not posting about it, you’ve encouraged me to use up some of the ingredients that have been around for a while. It’s a great way to find a new recipe!

    1. Inger Post author

      It has been an interesting experience–kind of like buying a rug or a sofa then decorating a room around it. Ironically, I think I may need to re-buy a few things that we’ve gotten a bit attached to!

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