Inspired by a trip to a well known coffee shop and ordered their new chocolate caramel muffin. They graciously warmed it up for me, after tasting the muffin almost instantly this came to mind, “well I can certainly make a much better tasting muffin!” This tasted good, but was so disappointedly dry in texture, I needed to slug down more coffee. It has a good chocolaty taste and lots of molten caramel inside, but half of the muffin stuck to the paper liner. And at this cost $$$, for value I received set me on a quest to make a better muffin. Most of all the amount of calories in the muffin, holding my breath, then thinking to my self “did I eat that many”.

Fond memories of going into the Bakery Class and tasting their Morning Glory Muffins, boy where they good! So I am marrying to inspirations into one muffin recipe that will make you say this was really worth enjoying. Thus the Oatmeal Carrot Muffin recipe was born with a hidden treasure of soft caramel.

Oatmeal Carrot Muffin
Oatmeal Carrot Muffin

First thing came to my mind is how to achieve a moist muffin, without having overwhelming amounts of fats in the muffin. Two things came to my mind by adding greek yogurt and crushed pineapple into the batter. This will keep the muffin moist, and reduce the amount of fat in the recipe by half.

Oats are such a great whole grain to be used in this recipe, replacing over half of the all purpose-flour with finely ground oat meal. Then using white whole wheat flour to give a better structure for all the good ingredients used in this muffin. Putting the right flavorful ingredients into basic muffin formula is keys to success. Looking at various recipes, carrots, pineapple, apricots, and coconut all have great flavors that work very well with each other. Now for putting a surprise in the muffin center.  Thinking of one thing I really enjoyed from the coffee shop muffin, by using soft rich homemade caramel to be place in center of the batter would make it over the top.

The reduced flavorful muffin which very moist and totally delicious. Yields 8 jumbo muffins

Oatmeal Carrot Muffin Recipe 

Oatmeal Carrot Muffin cut to reveal melted caramel center
Oatmeal Carrot Muffin cut to reveal melted caramel center

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup Old Fashion Quaker Oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons Splenda sugar blend
6 tablespoons Splenda brown sugar blend
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs, beaten
8 oz vanilla greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats, to garnish
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup dried apricots, small dice
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
8 chunks soft homemade caramels 1/2 oz pieces
8 squares parchment papers 4″ by 4″

Directions:

  1. Blend the following ingredients Old Fashion Quaker Oats, White Whole Wheat Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Splenda Sugar Blend and Splenda Brown Sugar Blend in Vitamix Blender on medium speed until Oats is ground into fine flour. This should take about 45 to 60 seconds to blend. Dump the dry ingredient mixture into large mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut flakes and diced dry apricots mixing into dry ingredients, form a well in the middle of the mixture. Set aside for another step.
  2. Combine together in a medium mixing bowl using a whisk the following ingredients, oil, eggs, greek yogurt, vanilla extract and crushed pineapple whisking until emulsified.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into middle of dry muffin ingredients, stir with spatula until just combined, do not over mix the oatmeal carrot muffin batter.
  4. Form parchment paper cups using 4″ square into wells of each giant muffin pan cavities. Using #12 scoop portion batter into each prepared cavity. Place cube of homemade caramel into center of each muffin batter, then top with 1 tablespoon Old Fashion Quaker Oats.
  5. Bake in 350°F oven for 25 minutes or when a toothpick test comes out clean.
  6. Remove muffins from muffin cavities onto cooling rack, cool to room temperature. Place in tightly covered container for storage. Freeze muffins if storing for longer then 2 days.

The Original Oatmeal Carrot Muffin lots of flavor more fats and sugar. This recipe has a cream cheese center. Yields 8 jumbo

Ingredients:

Oatmeal Carrot Muffins Plated
Oatmeal Carrot Muffins Plated

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup canola oil
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup dried apricots, small dice
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 cup Old Fashion Quaker Oats to garnish

Directions:

  1. Blend the following ingredients Old Fashion Oats, White Whole Wheat Flour, All-purpose flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Sugar and Brown Sugar in Vitamix Blender on medium speed until Oats is ground into fine flour. This should take about 45 to 60 seconds to blend. Dump the dry ingredient mixture into large mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut flakes and diced dry apricots mixing into dry ingredients, form a well in the middle of the mixture. Set aside for another step.
  2. Combine together in a medium mixing bowl using a whisk the following ingredients, oil, eggs, vanilla extract and crushed pineapple whisking until emulsified.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into middle of dry muffin ingredients, stir with spatula until just combined, do not over mix the oatmeal carrot muffin batter.
  4. Form parchment paper cups using 4″ square into wells of each giant muffin pan cavities. Using #12 scoop portion batter into each prepared cavity. Place cube cream cheese into center of each muffin batter, then top with 1 tablespoon Old Fashion Quaker Oats.
  5. Bake in 350°F oven for 25 minutes or when a toothpick test comes out clean.
  6. Remove muffins from muffin cavities onto cooling rack, cool to room temperature. Place in tightly covered container for storage. Freeze muffins if storing for longer then 2 days.

Both recipes are outstanding so much better then famous coffee shop expensive muffins.

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