carrot tahini muffins Recipes

carrot tahini muffins

Do you think carrots get nervous around me? I managed to go a full two years after launching this site to bake with them the first time (classic cupcakes, not egregiously carrot-y) and from there, I haven’t stopped harassing them. They’re in salads with harissa and feta, and roasted with cumin in avocado salads, in savory Japanese fritters and in sweet American breakfast pancakes, in afternoon-ish cakes with apple cider and olive oil, and in celebration layer cakes with graham cracker crumbs and cream cheese frosting. They’re in miso-ginger dressing, and then a miso-ginger soup, and then in another soup-salad twinset with crispy chickpeas and tahini.

carrots upon carrots
what you'll need, more or less

These last two are, of course, my favorites because I think carrots and tahini are exceptional together — it was just a matter of time before they collided again in muffin format. And isn’t it timely, too? Tahini, the Middle Eastern paste of ground sesame seeds that’s the “other” ingredient in hummus, baba ganoush, falafel and halva candy, despite having been around since at least the 13th century, is currently having a moment in the food world. These days, it’s the recipient a level of PR ardor previously reserved for kale, and has even launched an artisanal mill in Chelsea Market (that I’m bummed is never open when I do mad dashes through some mornings).

even more carrots than this

pretty full
pretty domes
tahini glaze dunk, optional

Fortunately, even if you’re (gleefully) outside a foodie media bubble, I think you’re going to love these. Loaded with carrot, the sesame seed paste provides a nutty background flavor and an even more indulgent and pronounced one if you use the glaze. They also keep exceptionally well, so if you make them today you can enjoy them right through the weekend, which is so close, I think we should kick it off right after I hit publish. It works like that, doesn’t it?

carrot tahini muffins

More tahini: Fortunately, we here at the SK have always known its greatness, in everything from a warm butternut squash salad, a miso-broccoli bowl, lentil salad, with crushed peas and many delicious cold noodles.

One year ago: Obsessively Good Avocado Cucumber Salad
Two years ago: Asparagus-Stuffed Eggs
Three years ago: Spinach and Smashed Egg Toast
Four years ago: Over-the-Top Mushroom Quiche
Five years ago: French Onion Soup
Six years ago: Tangy Spiced Brisket
Seven years ago: Homemade Chocolate Wafers + Icebox Cupcakes
Eight years ago: Spring Panzanella
Nine years ago: Artichoke Cranberry Bean and Arugula Salad

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: My Old-School Baked Ziti
1.5 Years Ago: Better Chicken Pot Pies
2.5 Years Ago: Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl
3.5 Years Ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
4.5 Years Ago: Apple Pie Cookies

Carrot Tahini Muffins

As ever with muffins, I found myself skirting the is-this-cake or is-this-breakfast line. On the breakfast side, do know that these taste excellent with up to a 2/3 (1 1/3 cup) flour swap with whole wheat flour (possibly more, but I only tested them that far). I also ended up retesting them with more carrots than you’ll see the in photos, a full 2 cups (in the final recipe below) to make them even more vegetable-packed. They’re very lightly sweet and practically one-bowl for those of us who do not motivate willingly in the morning. And then there’s the glaze — I’m pretty sure a sweet glaze puts these squarely in the cake-or-afternoon-tea category, and less a breakfast, but that’s for you to decide. Indecisive myself, I only glazed half. Finally, please note that while the tahini provides a nutty background the muffins, the glaze is only for tahini junkies as the flavor is front and center.

Yield: 12 to 14 muffins

1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1/4 cup (30 grams) well-stirred tahini
1/2 cup (80 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (175 ml) buttermilk, almond milk or (nonalcoholic) apple cider
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour (see Note)
2 cup packed coarsely grated carrots (from about 9 ounces or 5 slim carrots)

Glaze (optional)
1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered sugar
3 tablespoons (25 grams) tahini
2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk olive oil, tahini and brown sugar together in the bottom of a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, then buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt, then switch to a spoon or flexible spatula and stir in flour, then carrots, mixing just until combined.

Either line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with paper liners or coat them with a nonstick spray. Fill each about 3/4 of the way with batter. You’ll probably have enough for 2 more after this, so you can hold some back if needed. Bake muffins for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of each comes out batter-free. Muffins should be domed and lightly golden on top. Let them cool in pan for 5 minutes on a rack before transferring them to the cooling rack to cool completely.

If you’d like to glaze your muffins, whisk powdered sugar, tahini and water together in a medium dish. Either drizzle this over the cooled muffins or dunk them into the puddle. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

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167 comments on carrot tahini muffins

  1. Linda

    Do you keep the dunked cupc – er, muffins at room temperature though? Since the label on my jar says to “refrigerate after opening and consume rapidly”. (Though I’ve kept it around for, uh, a long time.)

    Other weirdly-healthy-but-I eat-shamelessly-off-the-spoon food: pumpkin seed butter! Cashew butter! Fermented bean curd!

    ….Yeah. I’ll go make muffins now.

  2. Sara

    How does the choice between almond milk, butter milk, or apple cider affect the flavor/texture of the muffin? I am super excited to try this btw

  3. JennaKay

    I’ve just purchased tahini for the first time with NO idea of what to make first. Thank you for planning the seed – really excited to making these!

  4. deb

    Linda — I did. We’re still here. May have missed that part on the label? ;)

    Sara — Not actually a huge amount, in my experience. Apple cider is relatively similar in acidity. I like buttermilk the most, but know that you won’t need it to make a great carrot muffin.

    Jodie — Didn’t test it in one but really wanted to. (I was originally going to make this a loaf then realized it had been forever since I’d done a muffin here.) I suspect you’ll be just fine in one loaf, but if it goes above the 2/3 to 3/4 mark, well, keep an eye on it. :)

  5. Naomi`

    Look lovely, and I personally have not problem glazing my breakfast. I’m sure my toddler would also agree. But what happened to the weights? One of my favorite things about your recipes is that you always have ingredient weights. Without it this would make far too much of a mess for breakfast

  6. They are gorgeous and I bet delicious too. I started making savory muffins, what the French call “cake,” loaded with veggies, oatmeal and whole wheat flour. I make them ahead and freeze them, and then just take out a couple for breakfast, because 30 seconds in the microwave is as much prep time as I can deal with at 6 a.m.
    The recipe is similar to yours, but without any sugar at all, to avoid that mid-morning slump that comes when you eat sugar at breakfast.

  7. Zoe

    Yum – two questions
    do you think i could use coconut milk (not the stuff in cans the stuff in cartons) so they would be dairy – free and daycare “nut free” and secondly, do you think i could use gluten free flour so I could eat them, though I could just make them for my toddler but if she refuses them (likely!) then i’m left with a lot of muffins!


  8. deb

    annie — They rise a lot. You want to make sure they don’t spill over.

    Naomi, re, weights — Now added. Please keep reminding me. I’m such a scatterbrain these days, but I cross-check almost every recipe in weights while making it.

    Zoe — Yes, I think coconut milk would be fine. I haven’t tried this with a GF flour blend but they strike me as a relatively forgiving batter and I suspect you’ll be okay.

  9. Hmm… I love love love this idea, and I know that you and I tend to fall on the same side of the ‘is this too sweet’ line, but I’m not sure about the glaze — I find myself thinking about ways to make it almost entirely unsweet, while still maintaining a glaze-like consistency (since the sugar and the cornstarch help to bind it). I might try it with just a bit of cornstarch and see how it goes! Thanks for the great concept.

  10. Sarah M.

    Mmmm. We just had your carrot miso soup last night, and this will be coming up soon!
    Tahini-related question: have you tried chocolate tahini or honey tahini? I’m thinking the honey tahini may be good here (when squarely aiming for a dessert). I just bought a jar of chocolate tahini at the recommendation of a market cashier who said it’s delicious spread on fresh bread. But other than that, I have NO idea what to do with it!

  11. These look incredible. I think these will be a must in my “muffins I must feed to you once you have your baby” arsenal for my sister-in-law within the next week or two. Also, for me — to satiate my sweet tooth while I navigate not being able to run all that much. Thanks, Deb!

  12. Sasha

    Oh my goodness. I love tahini and have often thought about what an amazing frosting it would make! This is going to be fun.

  13. shannon


    Have you read “Creepy Carrots!”? It is one of my nephew’s favorites, and I couldn’t help but think of you suffering the same fate as Jasper with all of your carrot harassment.

  14. Wendy

    My fridge is full of zucchini right now. I wonder if zucchini tahini muffins would be as fun to eat as they are to say?

  15. Grant

    I’m a carrots + hummus junkie. I’ve had a huge, unopened can of tahini in my pantry for like a year (telling myself that one day I’ll make homemade hummus, but never finding the motivation because I can find it extremely cheap at a local store), and I can’t wait to use it to make these!

  16. sillygirl

    I have been using coconut oil lately – I’ll try it swapped out for the olive oil. Maybe then try them plus a little oatmeal in there. Those things along with the carrots and tahini would convince me it was totally healthy!

  17. Gabby

    This is too funny. Just this morning I printed out the 2008 carrot cupcake recipe to make tonight for the weekend. How coincidental that you published this today!

    Also, I see you have the Joyva tahini in your pictures. I also used to use Joyva or the Israeli brands. Recently, after Michael Solomonov’s urging in his “Zahav” I went out and bought the “Soom” brand tahini. It is WILDLY better than the Joyva. Try it soon, it is just that good.

  18. Stephanie

    This looks delicious, but I’ll need to find a substitute for tahini since my daughter is severely allergic to sesame seeds. Maybe almond butter?

  19. Sara

    Speaking of tahini and Chelsea market..

    Dizengoff is opening very soon there (I keep checking to see if it’s open yet) and if it is half as good as its Philly version – oh man! I can’t wait!

  20. jill palumbo

    I have been searching for a good morning glory muffin/loaf – any links? I had one on vacation last week and it was so good I can’t forget about it.

  21. Megan

    I always enjoy reading every recipe published here, even when I don’t try them out.
    I enjoyed reading this one also, and am sorely tempted to try it out. But I plugged it into an online calorie counter program (assuming 14 muffins, no glaze), and each one is over 1000 calories each! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Please, someone, prove me wrong!

  22. Excellent! How did you know I just harvested many pounds (20!) of the happiest colored vegetable, and needed another way to consume them – variety being the spice and all… They may run but they can’t hide. ;D

  23. Oh my goodness! My son’s school has a bake sale tomorrow and they asked for “healhier” options (as in not tons of frosting) and all I could think of was carrot cupcakes so THIS is perfect!! and I have tahini!! yay! perfect timing. Thank you :)

  24. @Megan: I got 166 cal. per muffin (no glaze) with a 14 serving option. That is not bad.
    5% fiber
    9% iron
    7% calcium and 53% vitamin A
    3.6g of protein


  25. Rebecca

    Wow! These sound great! I’ve been drizzling tahini and maple syrup on my oatmeal in the morning but now I’m inspired to add chopped carrots to the oats before cooking. Thank you for the inspiration!

  26. Eva

    Megan, I also put the ingredients into a calorie counter (14 muffins, no glaze), and the results I got state that each muffin has 157 calories, 5.9 grams of fat, 11.3 grams of sugar, 1.2 grams of fiber, and 3.6 grams of protein… Which all sounds pretty good to me. :)

  27. Oh dear, I’ve been drooling over Tahini cookies this week and now you come with muffins, which is so unfair since I am still in the no sugar zone! Although the carrots might do the trick and justify the whole thing, clever, Deb and thank you for the alibi-inclusion…

  28. Ivana

    I loooove all the things you do to carrots! You have totally reinvented them for me, from something I considered a super boring vegetable to one I use probably most often!

  29. JP

    I like your little carrot topped muffin as much as I am sure I will like this recipe. New grand son born two days ago. I bet any kid would love these…adults too! I think the glaze clinches it! Thanks!

  30. Michelle

    I just made these. I’ve never not loved one of your recipes. Let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t go out and buy expensive ingredients. I love savory but these needed more sugar. I will say that the texture was spot on. So moist.

  31. Sunny

    I’m thinking I’ll sprinkle them with gomasio. Is that okay by you?
    A friend just shared another of your recipes I have to try, but I just got a new jar of tahini and love toasting sesames just for the fragrant experience of crushing them in the suribachi. .

  32. Karen

    Every single recipe of yours is truly irresistible & I’m sure this is no exception. For your son, a must read is The Enormous Carrot. My kids at his age wore out the pages.

  33. Katie L

    I did the Internet equivalent of a side eye when I saw this recipe, and it’s a true testament to how much I trust your cooking prowess that I’m even considering making them.

  34. Krish

    How did you know I ‘ve been looking up tahini cake recipes all week????
    I did make a tahini date cake but have enough left over for these too !

  35. Angeli

    I’ve been following your site for ages and this was the first thing I made. I’m attending my friends Masters Thesis defence in the morning saw this tonight and thought perfect-I wanted to make a cake but it’s probably too early for the faint at heart. They turned out great. I added some spices (nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger). The Tahini icing is incredible. I added a touch of vanilla to it and some cardamom and dipped them in sesame seeds. Thanks for a great recipe!

  36. I first thought the combination of carrot muffins and tahini topping is savoury, but then I read it’s a sweet version. This sounds so interesting! I wonder how they taste!

  37. Marianne

    While I do, of course, love your fabulous recipes, my absolute favorite part of getting a new post is to find the hidden pictures of your two little angels. They are adorable!! Love this new picture….thanks so much for sharing!

  38. My husband is Persian so tahini has been a staple in our household before it even became trend so to tell you that I absolutely adore that tahini glaze draped over these beauties s an understatement. It gives them an irresistible quality. And that is A-OK with me because the carrots make them healthy (right?) . . .which gives me permission to scarf down the entire batch all by my lonesome. ;-)

  39. Terri

    King Arthur flour advises that. 1 cup of all purpose flour is 120 grams. Your recipe calls for 2 cups or 260 grams. I have been trying to weigh my baking ingredients as often as I can so I just wanted to know why you use a different conversion as your recipe substitutes 130 grams for 1 cup of flour

  40. Susan

    When I saw the head line, I imagined these as savory, so now I am trying to wrap my head around slightly sweet. Maybe add raisins. Or maybe I will just convert it to savory; will reducing or eliminating the brown sugar harm the integrity of the recipe?

  41. Ann

    It looks like you are missing out on the most delicious tahini on the market (soon after I discovered it I spotted a tahini taste test where it came out #1!!) — its the Whole Foods 365 brand – its so fresh and affordable!! Thanks for the delicious recipes!!

  42. Stephanie

    I was hoping, while I waited for “exceptional together” to load, that I was right that I’d get a fun/beautiful pic of both of your wee ones. The recipe looks great, the kids, oh my!

  43. Andrea

    Wonderful! One idea for a GF version would be chickpea (besan) flour. Obviously chickpeas and tahini go well together (thank you, hummus!), so that may actually work. I am not gluten-free, but my husband tries to avoid gluten due to stomach issues. These seriously sound amazing. Thank you, Deb!

  44. deb

    Susan — Sugar provides moisture, so I’m not positive it would have as good of a final texture.

    Terri — I go between 120 and 130 grams. King Arthur says 120 (as do their packaged flours) but I often find cups weighing in somewhere in the 120s. (P.S. When I use 120 as the weight, I often get comments asking why I don’t agree with America’s Test Kitchen, which has used 5 ounces (140 grams) in the past.)

    Asa — The only ingredient in the tahinis I use is sesame seeds.

    Andrea — I’ve never picked it up (which is too bad, as I think I’d like it even more) but if the texture is similar, I think you’ll be just fine. If it’s more dry, you’ll probably want more oil to compensate.

    Kama — Hadn’t even considered it, so I’m not sure. It probably will work but I would not expect the alcohol to fully cook out. I mention nonalcoholic because of course apple cider in the UK and elsewhere means something different entirely and I don’t want to confuse anyone.

    Sabina — The note is in reference to the headnotes, the part about about the whole wheat swap potential.

    Creepy Carrots — We have not read it; I’ll pick it up. I think Enormous Carrot might be a little young for him; he reads chapter books now! (But maybe we’ll get it for Anna down the road.)

    Sarah — I haven’t tried chocolate tahini so I’m not sure how it would work here. Maybe just fine?

    Mike — I’d love to hear what you come up with. I promise, however, neither the glaze nor especially the muffins are very sweet.

  45. Wowza!! What a lovely texture and crumb! Tender … a little holey … and definitely a MUFFIN not a tiny cake! I used 1c whole wheat and 1c all-purpose — never expecting such a light pastry from the whole wheat! The tahini is SUCH a delicate background note — I skipped the glaze to make it easier to freeze — I’m really in love with these.

    Now, I was a little light on carrots, so added an unpeeled finely chopped/coarsely grated tart apple. Don’t even notice it in there.

    For those asking about dropping the sugar — don’t. This is a barely sweet muffin as is — my husband will probably think it’s undersweet — and you really do need that brown sugar for texture and moisture (hygroscopic).

    Yield: I got 16 filled-to-the-brim muffins, but I wasn’t really careful about measuring my carrots and apples. So that’s probably on me.

    Another winner, Deb!

  46. These look yummy! But I’m curious, I thought I just nailed a traditional falafel recipe and in my research didn’t ever come across tahini as an ingredient. Do you include it in your falafel, or just as a sauce?

  47. Cylvia

    I woke up hungry and felt that my fridge was empty. Found this recipe waiting in my email, so I made these this morning. Not only do I prefer a muffin over cake, but I don’t like things sweet and try to keep my family off sugar. So I halved the sugar amount. Added some chopped raisins. Did not use any glaze, and even though I thought about dusting them with powdered sugar, everyone liked them without it.

  48. Kristi

    I can’t have dairy (while nursing my baby, who is allergic) and miss your (often buttery) delicious recipes! This looks like a great option for me, and even has icing – definitely making this on the weekend.

  49. MR in NJ

    For those not indulging in the glaze, but not wanting to deprive themselves of all treats, might one sprinkle some sesame seeds on the tops of the muffins before baking? I wouldn’t pre-toast them, since the baking would take care of that. Meet with your approval, Deb?

    Another question: Andrea (#64) suggests using chickpea flour. I have a bag of it that I impulse-bought in a quest to bake with crazy kinds of flour (which is generally going well; there are whole cookbooks on the subject now) but haven’t quite figured out how to use. What proportion of the 2 cups of all-purpose flour could be happily substituted with chickpea flour without having everything fall apart for lack of gluten? Maybe a third? I’m looking for a breakfast-style muffin that isn’t super-sweet. Thanks.

  50. Minik

    Just in time! I was thinking about an edible gift this week (we’ll be staying at our friends house) something breakfast-y but sweet and portable (like muffins/cupcakes). This fulfills all my dreams because I already have every ingredient too.
    Your children are adorable!

  51. Lydia

    Made these today, following the recipe exactly using me cup each a.p. Flour and whole wheat, all ingredients measured by weight. I have a new food processor so used that carefully, i.e.minimally, to blend. I did NOT frost it.

    The taste was bland. What gives, is that because I skipped the frosting? And I used 9 Oz. of carrots, no skimping. How would you punch up the flavor?

  52. Stacey

    Gorgeous, as always!! I am trying to cut calories and am wondering if I could substitute a banana for the oil since there is already fat in the tahini. What do you think? Thanks.

  53. JP

    I made these tonight, and actually halved the recipe because I am the only one at home right now to eat them. I upped the brown sugar a bit because I enjoy things a bit sweeter (for half a recipe to 1/3 cup) and used half wheat and half white flour. I also used dry buttermilk that you add water to reconstitute because I do not keep regular buttermilk in the house. I think the glaze really makes these muffins and I love the tahini flavor that comes through just enough. The only other difference was that I poured the batter into cupcake liners because my muffin tin is notorious for sticking. These muffins turned out moist and flavorful. I had never heard of using tahini in baked goods but I am now a believer. Thanks, Deb!

  54. JP

    p.s. If you scrub your carrots well, you do not even need to peel them first. You probably get a few extra vitamins that way!

  55. Ara

    Didn’t feel like messing with muffins, so I’ve plunged into the figuring out of how long and what temperature to bake a loaf pan of this. I also used vanilla organic whole milk yogurt in place of the buttermilk because it’s what I had in the house. Will let you know how it turns out. The batter is delicious.

  56. Hannah

    I made these muffins today with Bobs Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour and soy milk. They turned out great! I liked them plain (no glaze) and would probably leave them all plain next time. The glaze definitely has that tahini flavor like you said which I find strangely unsettling in a muffin but also strangely addicting. I had to keep eating them ha!
    Thinks for a great website. It’s my go-to place whenever I’m looking for recipes and I’ve made MANY! I live in Arizona and we just came through grapefruit season so I made the Yogurt Grapefruit Bread a few times. It’s amazing.

  57. Megan

    Just made these using buttermilk. They were really easy and turned out beautifully moist even though I think I overbaked them by a minute. I added raisins to half, and it’s good, but no big deal. Next time I will shred the carrots the night before (so I can use the food processor while everyone is awake–hand shredding, while quiet, is annoying) and swap in some whole wheat flour. I might also use OJ instead of water in the glaze. A great fancy-seeming breakfast for houseguest mornings!

  58. Karen

    Should I measure with weight or by volume if my tahini is more dense than yours? My tahini bottle says 2 tablespoons weighs 28 grams. However the recipe calls for 1/4 cup or 30 grams. I’m suspecting I should just go with the volume measurement, but thought I’d check! I’m excited to make these. After all these years of just subbing creamy peanut butter for tahini, I finally bought some tahini. And then the next day, you posted these!

  59. Liz

    I made 1/2 recipe and baked in a cast iron loaf pan (with parchment and oil). I used 1/2 ghee and 1/2 coconut oil for the olive oil and 1/2 white whole wheat-1/2 white flour. I baked for 30 minutes in my toaster oven with convection and it is perfect – volume perfect for my pan. My cast iron loaf pan measures 8 1/2 x 4 3/4 inside which I think is a bit smaller than most, but not sure.

    I drizzled with a lemon drizzle instead of the tahini glaze. I’m very happy with the result – Thanks for a great recipe!! I like a previous commenter’s thought re raisins also.

    re flour volume: I use a hard red wheat flour made where I live in Montana. The bag notes 38g per 1/4 cup. Most grocery store flours note 30g per 1/4 cup. King Arthur has a page with all of their flours and they do NOT all weigh the same. Every baker must know their flour :) I know that if I use the 38 g and equate that to cups called for in a recipe, then I need to add more liquid. If I’m using a recipe that I KNOW the poster actually knows the weight of the flour(s) they used, then I use that exact weight with my flour(s). In this case, based on your comment, I wasn’t sure so used 140g (70 g www and 70 g white) of my heavy flour and it worked fine with no adjustments in liquid.

  60. Karen

    Update: I made the recipe with tahini as measured by volume. They worked out great! I used half whole wheat and half all purpose flour, 2 cups small grate carrots (9 oz after being peeled), and I used a heaping half cup brown sugar)

  61. SallyT

    These are amazing! I finely grated the carrots, used a 50/50 white flour/whole wheat mix, and baked for 12 minutes. Next time I would use slightly less water in the glaze – it was too liquid-y and I added more powdered sugar to compensate. My almost 10 year old loves them too!

  62. Carla H

    Tried this recipe today. I added raisins and in my oven they baked for about 18 minutes. I like them unglazed but glazed some with just a mixture of powdered sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and water. I thought the Tahini would be too overpowering in the glaze. Good texture.

  63. JP

    Did anyone have an experience with the glaze melting off the next day? I did not refrigerate the muffins and stored them in Tupperware. They were in the cool kitchen, but the glaze melted off, for the most part. I made the glaze particularly thick, using less water then suggested, but still had this problem. They still taste great, but I was a little sad to see the glaze melt.

  64. Megan

    Yes, JP #92, the glaze has pretty much disappeared and it’s not quite as delicious. I think a cooler temperature would be kinder, or glazing not long before serving. They’re still moist and yummy though!

  65. SallyT

    JP – yes, me too, even though my glaze was SO thick, and I glazed them when they were room temperature. Such a bummer!

  66. Sam

    I made half with Bob’s Red Mill new gf flour mix for my boyfriend and half with regular white flour for me — both came out delicious, and I almost can’t tell the difference. I also realized I was out of powdered sugar, so I used a tablespoon of honey instead in the glaze and also added a pinch of salt. I think that worked really well!

  67. I have tried carrot muffins a number of times, but using tahini is a good combination for muffins. What other variations of tahini do you think goes well with this delicious muffins?

  68. Leah

    I made these as written, with the exception that I used all whole-wheat pastry flour and a combination of plain yogurt and almond milk; they were a big hit with the whole family. Next time I think I’ll try zucchini for the carrots and almond butter for the tahini to see how that combo tastes.

    Deb, I didn’t know tahini was having a moment, but your note about food trends reminded me of a conversation a friend and I had over the weekend about how much we respect your blog because you don’t do corporate partnerships (such as “This post was brought to you by ABC Rutabaga Company but all opinions are my own”). I feel like I can always trust that you’re recommending a recipe simply because it’ll be a tasty use of my time, and I love that! So: thank you!

  69. Mmm I made a batch of these this weekend with gluten-free flour and Soom tahini, and they were absolutely delicious, moist and creamy. Thanks for the recipe!

  70. Catherine

    Made these this morning with my 6 year old son who is learning to bake. I will admit wondering how into the final product he would be with the tahini but my philosophy is to never discourage any food and to see how he likes it on his own, as he is a fairly adventurous eater for his age (thankfully!).

    I made a double batch as my plan is to take them to the office tomorrow. With the little bit of extra that was left after filling two standard muffin tins, I made some mini muffins. As soon as the little chef tasted his first mini muffin, his eyes lit up and he ran back to grab a full sized muffin! I am not sure how many will make it to my office after all. :-)

    They are delicious. I glazed half for my sweet toothed colleagues and kept half unglazed – I love those just as they are. Thanks for a great recipe!

  71. Anna

    These are great! Made them using Greek yogurt rather than buttermilk and they came out quite good. For me, these fall squarely into a breakfast muffin category and definitely more on the savory side. I could see some wanting to use more sugar, but I’m not big on sweets and found the amount to be just right. Opted not to glaze, but instead plan on slicing in half horizontally and topping with some almond butter or berry preserves. The recipe yielded 12 muffins and 11 mini muffins (the latter were done in about 8 minutes).

  72. Laura

    Just made these, and they are delicious! The recipe is very forgiving, as you promised – I ran out of tahini and added some almond butter, I used maple syrup (it is sugaring season here in VT), and I replaced half of the flour with quinoa flour. The recipe is generous, so I was able to make 12 muffins and 10 muffin tops. They rose beautifully. I ate more than one before the 5 minute cooling was done….

  73. Devorah

    Just made these (without glaze). They’re so mild, nutty, delicious :) Definitely on the breakfast/snack side of the divide- they’re just barely sweet, even a glaze wouldn’t make them too desserty.

  74. Carol

    I just made these, and they turned out great! I didn’t have buttermilk, so I used 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt + 1/4 cup milk. I did sub half the flour for whole wheat, and I skipped the glaze. I just had one with a cup of lemon ginger tea, and it was delicious!

  75. Sarah

    Made them for my baby and toddler using half white whole wheat flour, half oat flour and they baked up great! Less time actually. I also used coconut oil instead of olive oil and maple syrup instead of brown sugar.

  76. Anna

    Used half whole wheat and half regular flour. My glaze was also gone the next day even though I thought I made it extra thick. I laughed at the comment from the baker who halved the recipe because it was only for her… I made the entire recipe all for me (the other three in my household pretty much only eat chocolate baked goods)! Put some in the freezer but have already eaten more muffins than I care to admit. Delicious and unique muffin.

  77. Laura in CA

    This was great. I would say this isn’t sweet (doesn’t feel like dessert, not like banana bread or zucchini bread or somehting), but it isn’t savory (not like a cheese and onion scone or something). It’s subtle and very moist and easy to gobble up! I didn’t think I liked tahini… but maybe I do!

  78. Leah

    ^^to Tracy #93 above – I almost used apple cider VINEGAR, too!!! I’m so glad you posted that – I had some in the fridge I thought I’d use up but went for yogurt/almond milk instead at the last minute. Just so you don’t think you’re the only derpy one here ;)

  79. Tracy (93) and Leah (114). Don’t feel bad. I once made Deb’s Carrot Cake with Cider and Olive Oil and *intentionally* subbed cider vinegar for the apple cider, thinking it’d be extra tangy and delicious. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I threw the whole unedibly sour thing out.

  80. Melissa

    I made these and they were amaaaaazing. I used mostly lemon juice in the glaze instead of water, and half whole wheat pastry flour. Everybody loved how unusual and slightly sweet they were. I used a scant half cup of sugar and next time I will use a full half cup.. I think they are already not too sweet, they don’t need extra help.

  81. Rose

    I made these with 1 1/3 cup of whole wheat, served half of them iced as written and the other half spread with Jem cashew cardamom spread. Both ways were excellent.

  82. Dawn

    I made these over the weekend with half regular Cup for Cup and half Wholesome Cup for Cup and they turned out really well, and gluten free! I am thinking of trying them again with a better tahini than just store brand, and I really think these would shine with the addition of some crystalized ginger and some toasted nuts- just something that provides textural contrast and a bit of a *zing* to cut through the tahini. Maybe some lemon zest?

  83. Lisa

    Made these for my family last weekend, one of whom has severe nut allergy but no problem w/ sesame seeds, using buttermilk option and cupcake liners in muffin tin, and opting to frost & sprinkle w/ sesame seeds. A HUGE winner, especially for daughter-in-law w/ nut allergy who said these muffins provided nutty flavor she loves & misses. Recipe yielded 14; the few leftover ones stored well for one day wrapped loosely in foil before “disappearing” on day two. Love everything about this recipe–thank you, Deb! Don’t know where you find the time to keep sharing & surprising your devotees, but appreciate very much.

  84. jan dash

    I’d like to know why you bake them in so hot an oven? I tried 180C for 20 minutes but the outside was a bit too brown and the inside was not quite done…hotter and shorter would have been even worse, I think. I did make larger than average muffins – this recipe made 8 of the large ones. What is your suggestion for next time?

    1. deb

      jan — You might have a more robust oven than we do. The temperature has worked just fine here, and I like the texture that comes from a higher heat, but of course it definitely sounds like you need to use a lower on in your oven. Maybe 175 next time?

  85. Cigdem

    In Turkey we often mix Tahini and Molasses and use it as a basic thick dipping sauce to consume with fresh bread or use it to sweeten cookies/desserts. It is heavenly! Instead of using the powdered sugar, would Molasses work and would it hold its consistency when covering the muffins? Thank you for your wonderfully yummy posts:)

  86. jan dash

    I made a new version of these after making the first one which was NEARLY like the recipe.
    The second version used 1/2C rice malt syrup instead of the sugar, omitted the oil (by mistake) and added 1/3c toasted minced almonds. This version is to die for- why use sugar and fat if you don’t need it. Omit the icing, too.

  87. I made these a few days ago but, I must admit, found them to be very bland. I followed the recipe to the letter, using only white flour, and they lacked flavor and were not sweet enough for my taste (even though I really don’t like my muffins to be overly sweet). But I liked the carrot/tahini idea, so I decided to make them again with some alterations: I used 1 cup plus two teaspoons whole wheat floor and 1 cup graham flour; substituted coconut oil for the olive oil, and added 2 tablespoons of molasses, a handful of currants and unsweetened coconut flakes, and a smaller handful of millet (because, why not). SO GOOD! And still healthy (for a muffin). If you want to add frosting, though, I’d cut down the molasses to 1 tbsp since it packed quite a sweet punch.

  88. Erin

    When you substitute flours–do you use the total weight or volume? Since whole wheat flour is heavier than all purpose, would you use 1 cup of each (for example), which would give you over 260 grams? Or 130 grams of each, which would yield under 2 cups? I’d prefer to use weights, but I’m never sure. I’ve been wondering this for a while. Apologies if you’ve addressed this elsewhere on your site and I’ve missed it! Thanks!

    My 15 month old and I made and enjoyed the muffins this morning! And then again for lunch! Carrots = lunch, right??

  89. We made these last weekend and loved them! I used all white whole wheat flour, and added chopped dates because I can’t get enough of the tahini/carrot/date combo. We also swirled tahini on top before baking to make a PB-swirl-like topping, and nobody complained

    Thanks for the constant inspiration!

  90. Anne

    I made those this morning, without the glaze. They were nice, the recipe worked well and only one bowl which is always great, but I didn’t think they were that special. Nice muffins but nothing I’d especially go out and get the ingredients for. Thank you for posting!

  91. Anna

    I only had regular milk when making these and I wonder whether that was the reason the dough remained undercooked in spite of spending almost 1,5 hours in the oven ? It shouldn’t have mattered, should it ? Or it might have been a mistake to cook it as a loaf, although in a bundt tin where everything usually bakes through.

  92. Julie

    I swooned over this recipe from the day it came up in my news feed. Loving all things tahini and carrot cake, I figured a combo muffin that can be had for breakie would do me right. I was low on brown sugar- no molasses in the house either. I do think these suffered a bit in the flavor department as a result. Also had to use coconut milk, as I forgot the buttermilk at the store- coconut milk was sweetened so I thought maybe that would make up for the lack of brown sugar. The texture is perfect. The flavor is lackluster. A wise friend once advised me- always double the vanilla and add some cardamom (Norwegian origins) and following that advice here may have saved these from being meh. I didn’t plan on glaze, but made some hoping that would be redeeming. It didn’t change much. For this category of muffin I’ll stick to my morning glory-like muffin recipe found on the back of bobs red mill ground flax (bran flax muffins) with apples, carrots, spices and what must be a hearty dose of fiber.

  93. krish

    I made these with a natural tahini( no additives) and got a bitter after taste. I had stirred my tahini well . I have noticed that this tahini has a bitter taste. Is it true of all the one ingredient tahini available?

  94. Megan

    If you can get your hands on grape molasses it makes a fantastic caramel-like sauce when mixed with tahini, it would be great drizzled on these muffins

  95. Sina

    These are so wonderful and delicous, very easy to make, especially the glaze with tahini is a revelation! Thanks so much for this recipe!
    And yes, JP#92, Megan #95 and SallyT #96, my glaze also did melt after one night of storage. But I figured it is a problem with the way I store them and not with this particular recipe, since this happened with other glazed muffins as well. So far I’ve tried tupperware and a tin box and in both cases the glaze melted. I think the moist texture of the muffins (which is very welcome:-) somehow works against the glaze staying crisp and set. I think next time I’ll try leaving them on a platter and loosely cover them with a bowl so that they get some air and are not in a completely closed invironment.

  96. Caitlin

    Noooooooooo, I used apples cider vinegar! BAKER BEWARE, if it says ‘vinegar,’ put it back in the pantry, you’re looking for just apple cider. Totally revolting with the vinegar version :(

  97. kb in to

    I’ve made these muffins 3 times and they are awesome – just a note that they are especially awesome with yellow carrots rather than orange ones, not sure why, maybe the yellow are just a tad bit sweeter. Thanks Deb for yet another mainstay.

  98. Navah

    I made these this morning, and just ate the first one. I had to bake them for over 20 minutes (I didn’t measure the shredded carrot so I expect I had bigger/moister muffins). The texture is very good. I agree with the posters who said the muffins are a little bland. Next time, I will add spices and perhaps put toasted sesame seeds in the batter. If I want to make these as a dessert, I might try adding crushed Joya sesame-honey candies.

  99. Dana

    Carrots+tahini! Hah! My favorite baby food combo (17 years ago!! Wow!) was cooked carrots, tahini, and yogurt. And when I say MY favorite, I mean, I made extra for me in the dish and ate it right off that baby spoon along with my kid.

  100. Jamie

    I just made these using gluten-free flours – 1 cup of amaranth flour and 1 cup of oat flour, as well as a gulp of extra olive oil and extra spoonful of tahini. Yum! I live at high-altitude so I reduced the baking powder and soda slightly so that they wouldn’t rise too, too much.

  101. Emily

    Oooh! My dad is on a very limited renal diet as he waits for a kidney transplant. Tahini is one of the few nutty things he’s allowed (though he’d do anything for peanut butter or chocolate). I think these will work well for his limitations, can’t wait to try!

  102. Anna

    Hmm. Made these this morning (with half whole grain spelt flour). They were definitely bland. Fresh ginger would help. I made the glaze and put it on half. The unglazed ones I sort of wished had even less sugar and were a savory muffin to have with soup or something. I won’t have any trouble finishing this batch but I doubt I’ll make them again, esp. considering not everyone liked them at all (kids yes, husband no).

  103. Matthew

    I’ll definitely be making these again. But this time I will make sure to use 2 teaspoons instead of the 2 tablespoons I did this time. Also, I think when she says apple cider, she means apple cider not apple cider vinegar that I used.

    Needless to say, my first batch didn’t turn out very tasty…

  104. Matthew

    Oops… meant to say 2 teaspoons of baking powder instead of the 2 tablespoons I used. Gosh, I’m full of mistakes this week. Maybe it’s time to make The Perfect Manhattan …

  105. DK Baker

    I am allergic to carrots! (adult onset, epi pen worthy, really silly IMHO and I love Carrot Cake!) Would zuc’s work? I might try this weekend…

    1. deb

      Vincci — I assume you mean toasted… I think swapping some or half in would be great. Haven’t used a full swap before so cannot say for sure.

  106. Joanna

    THANK YOU these are delicious! And with 1/2 swap for whole wheat flour I don’t even feel too guilty eating them for breakfast. I divided all the batter among 12 muffin cups (I like big muffins) and had no problems with spillover. I resisted the glaze though am seriously tempted to make some tonight for the remaining muffins.

  107. Rob

    Just made these today. I liked them. However, I had the same observation as Karen (above), a 1/4 cup of Whole Foods tahini weighs about 60 grams, not 30 as specified in the recipe. I used the volume measure. It made a tasty but perhaps extreme flavored muffin even without the glaze.


  108. Joyce

    DK baker: try sweet potatoes. I’ve substituted sweet potato for carrot in muffin recipes successfully, and my family even liked the sweet potato version better.

    We just ate these muffins for breakfast. Thanks for a one bowl recipe! I usually try to reduce sugar in recipes, but this recipe has the minimum of sugar. We didn’t try the glaze, but I think it would be nice with the muffins.
    I also used all King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour, and piled the muffins cups high because I didn’t want to take the time to bake another pan. They turned out nice and fluffy and tall.
    Maybe next time we will use almond butter instead of tahini.

  109. Leah

    Yummmy! It’s so late and I’ve already had a delicious desert after dinner but I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a while and want to make it right! I wonder, would Spelt flour be an okay substitute? I hope so… because it’s all I’ve got as I’m out of all my gf blends and am now grating my carrots. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

  110. Naomi

    I’d love to make this for my husband’s birthday. Has anyone tried to make it in a round cake pan? I see some readers used a loaf pan, but I feel a round pan looks more festive :) Any tips would be greatly appreciated! TIA!

  111. Kate

    I made these a couple of weeks ago. I loved the tahini flavor and glaze, but I found the muffins a bit dry. I even weighed my ingredients! The glaze definitely helped with the dryness, but I’d look to add more moisture next time.

  112. Robin

    Dearest Deb,
    For those of us over fifty…it’s taken me weeks to find the print icon😂.
    So if you are looking for positive feedback on the website, there you are!
    All the best,

  113. Wendy

    I made these with grated beets instead of carrots, replaced 2/3 of a cup of the ap flour for whole wheat, added a heaping 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (I think I could have added a little more), used a mix of regular sugar and dark brown sugar for the light brown (didn’t have any around) and used regular milk with a tablespoon apple cider vinegar mixed in and allowed to sit out for 15 minutes. Alter all the subs and one addition, I followed the rest of the recipe as written. They came out great! I do think the glaze makes it; I tried one before adding the glaze and felt it was a little on the bland side. Like the right amount of salt in a savory recipe, that extra touch of sugar and tahini brought all the flavors into focus! Super good, thank you!

  114. Susan

    I just made 48 mini muffins with this recipe and they’re super moist and tasty! Perfect use for the floppy carrots I found in my produce drawer today (oops) – I shredded them in my food processor.

  115. Stacy

    I upped the buttermilk to 1 cup because of the dry comment, delicious moist muffin. Kitchen smells like toasted sesame heaven thanks for a terrific recipe. I made 18 regular size muffins.

  116. Meredyth M

    I made these this morning and would definitely use the glaze, even if eating for breakfast. Otherwise I found them to be a bit boring—maybe not quite sweet enough, maybe missing some needed spice, not sure. The glaze made these better (I added cinnamon to mine) with that little kick of needed sweetness

  117. elizabeth

    This looks delicious! Do you think you could use frozen carrots? I happen to have some baby carrots I froze because I had too many on hand.

  118. Kate

    These muffins were easy to make and incredibly delicious. I found them to be the perfect balance of savory & sweet. I made the muffins with buttermilk and had no issues with dryness. Looking forward to making these again!

  119. Malkah Livneh

    Usually, I love your recipes but I was disappointed by the muffins.
    The texture was wonderful but the taste was really nothing special. The glaze never hardened so it was sticky when one picked up a muffin. We all love tahini but I will not be baking these muffins again.