Carrot, pineapple, and candied ginger muffins on a counter, the one in front has its liner peeled off.

Come winter in the Bay Area, when the mornings are cold and nippy and the sun is not yet shining through, there is frost on the roofs of the homes outside our window. Stepping outside in the garden, misty fog blowing out of your mouth, a warm cuppa Masala Chai, and these delicious muffins are all that I need to start off my day. These muffins are a hit with my kids. They love them for breakfast with a warm glass of milk before they start their school day.

I finely chop the candied ginger so that you get tiny bites of it in the muffin for that slight kick. The spices that I use in these muffins are ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg. Together they bring on all the winter spices in one delicious morning treat.

There’s really nothing Indian-​inspired about these muffins. But this recipe has become a part of our lives here in the United States. Part of our routine, and one of several breakfasts that I make for my kids. We have roots in one place, and carry the foods, culture, and tradition from our roots to wherever we end up. Also, we adapt to the place we settle in as adults. And we evolve with the culture and the foods from that place while also trying to maintain our original culture and traditions. In the process of building new traditions for our kids, they can experience both and embrace them as their own.—Amisha Dodhhia Gurbani

Carrot, Pineapple, and Candied Ginger Muffins FAQs

How long will carrot muffins last?

Leftover muffins should be stored in an airtight container and enjoyed within 2 to 3 days.

Can I freeze carrot muffins?

You can freeze them for up to 3 months, tightly wrapped if you have leftovers. Thaw on the counter, still wrapped, and serve.

What can I substitute for candied ginger in carrot muffins?

Not into that sweet, tingly ginger? You can substitute 3/4 cup finely of chopped toasted walnuts or pecans instead.

Carrot, pineapple, and candied ginger muffins on a counter, the one in front has its liner peeled off.

Carrot, Pineapple, and Candied Ginger Muffins

5 / 3 votes
With the onset of winter, the carrots at the market are much sweeter and deep orange in color. Candied ginger hits the grocery stores because all the holiday baked goods need a whiff of warm ginger in them. These muffins also have sweet pineapple because it complements the carrots and candied ginger really well, which I simply love.
David Leite
Servings12 jumbo or 24 standard muffins
Calories244 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes


  • Two standard 12 cup muffin pans or 6 cup jumbo muffin pans
  • Paper liners


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup mild vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, preferably full-fat
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup tightly packed grated carrots
  • 1 cup (about 5 rings) finely chopped drained canned pineapple
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • 6 to 8 teaspoons coarse sparkling sugar or turbinado sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200°C). Line two standard 12 cup or 6 cup jumbo muffin pans with paper liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined.
  • In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Add the vegetable oil and, using a balloon whisk, whisk for a minute to combine.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk vigorously after the addition of each egg. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the wet with the dry, just until you see specks of flour throughout. Do not overmix.
  • Add the grated carrots, pineapple, and candied ginger (or nuts), and mix gently to fold them into the batter. Do not overmix.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out a heap of the batter into each liner, leaving a 1/3 inch (1 cm) gap from the top of the liner. Distribute the batter evenly among the liners. Depending on the size of your muffin pan, you'll get between 12 and 24 muffins.
  • Sprinkle the sparkling sugar or turbinado sugar equally on top of all the muffins (about 1/2 teaspoon per muffin, or more if you like a very crispy muffin top).
  • Put the pans on the middle rack of the oven to bake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375ºF (190°C), and continue to bake until a tester comes out clean and the tops are golden brown and shiny in color, about 10 minutes more for standard muffins, or 20 minutes more for jumbo muffins.
  • Remove muffins from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes.
Mumbai Modern

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Mumbai Modern

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 244 kcalCarbohydrates: 47 gProtein: 6 gFat: 4 gSaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 47 mgSodium: 273 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 28 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2021 Amisha Dodhia Gurbani. Photo © 2021 Iain Bagwell. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These delightful gingery muffins were the perfect pick me up on a cool drizzly morning with a hot maple latte. The muffins have a tender texture and the candied ginger really punched up the warm spices in this recipe. We loved the crispy turbinado top.

Carrot, Pineapple, and Candied Ginger Muffins--Currie

I might experiment with using more carrots next time, as the carrot was marginalized by the ginger and pineapple.

These carrot, pineapple, and candied ginger muffins may be a little time-consuming prep-wise but were absolutely worth it! They turned out perfectly moist and if you’re a fan of candied ginger like I am, then these muffins are for you. The sweetness of the carrot and pineapple complement the ginger and the hint of spice.

This is a superb muffin–a comfort for fall, but honestly will be welcome year-round. The contrast of the crunch of the top and the jewels of pineapple and ginger won both of us over. And for baked treats that is no small feat. I so often find myself reducing sugar, so I was genuinely curious how this would play out. But the balance was just right. 

These carrot, pineapple, and candied ginger muffins take just a bit longer than my usual go-to oat muffins but were worth the extra effort. I only got 11 because my muffin liners were a bit taller, and sturdy (enough so you could probably bake outside a muffin tin on a rimmed sheet) but no one complains about a generous domed treat with emerald cut sugar glistening on the top and whiffs of ginger. Hoping the morning is extra crisp so we can savour these looking out over the marine layer on a Monday morning, though I think these are also holiday-worthy.

These carrot, pineapple, and candied ginger muffins were delicious and very moist. The spice combination made them very warm on this beautiful fall day. I tried one warm out of the oven. The top was deliciously sweet and crunchy topped with lovely sugar. The inside was moist and warmly flavored with all of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

If you told me that I could only use one word to describe these carrot, pineapple, and candied ginger muffins, I would have a difficult time deciding between, fabulous, scrumptious, exceptional, and absolutely delicious. I know. That last one was two words. Since I’m not limited to just one word, let me say that these muffins are scrumptious, fabulous, exceptional, and absolutely delicious. We were bowled over by all of the flavors, as well as the textures. It’s very hard, at the moment, to not go over to where I stored them and eat another muffin, which might tend to spoil the wonderful dinner that I have planned.

These carrot, pineapple, and candied ginger muffins were moist and tender, with lovely texture. I think the canned pineapple did more for moisture than for taste. And I wonder how a little candied pineapple might play out in these. I did find them to be a tad salty, and I would recommend trying with 3/4 or even 1/2 tsp salt. Overall though, the flavor was wonderful and they were easy and straightforward to make.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. These look yummy.
    I’d like to make a half recipe, 12-muffins. How many eggs should I use? Thx

    1. Robin, ideally you want to use 1 1/2 eggs here, which you can do by weighing or measuring the number of tablespoons of a second egg and dividing by half. Add that plus one full egg to your batter. I’m guessing that you’re trying to avoid wasting 1/2 an egg but you could add it to scrambled eggs or an omelet, or freeze it for future use. Alternatively, if you have access to extra-large or medium eggs, 1 extra-large or 2 medium eggs would be a good approximation.

      1. Thanks! I do have an extra large egg so will try that rather than waste a half egg to start!

  2. I’ve made these several times, to rave reviews. A tender crumb, a lovely combination of flavors, and the crunchy sugar topping adds a nice texture. In the second batch, I added walnuts and golden raisins. I feel like the pineapple adds moisture, but I don’t otherwise notice it.

    These muffins are in my regular rotation!

    1. So happy you love this recipe as much as we do, Valentina. Walnuts and golden raisins—nice!

  3. 5 stars
    I made these for breakfast ending the Thanksgiving weekend this morning. They turned out perfectly textured, and with the Swedish Pearl Sugar topping, a little crunch for a finish.

    Using the two types of ginger might seem like a lot to some, but it provided “warmth”, without overpowering the carrot and pineapple. I wondered about the sugars and the sweetness from the pineapple maybe making these too sweet, but they are surprisingly not. I made 12 muffins, and the suggested baking time of 30 minutes total was about right. I always check with a Thermapen, and they hit the 200F sweet spot internal, where I’ve found most bread and cakes to be suitably done. I added a swipe of Hope butter, and dug in. I may add some pecans to the rest of the ingredients next go, but these will definitely be in rotation here! BTW—I’m not a food photographer, so go easy on me! LOL

    1. They look fantastic, Ranger+Rick! I’m delighted that they turned out so well and have earned a permanent spot in your rotation. I love the pearl sugar on top. Great idea.