RECIPE: Carrot Muffins with Kinako (Soybean) Oat Streusel

  • 3 min read
RECIPE: Carrot Muffins with Kinako Oat Streusel


Move over Morning Glory – here’s another breakfast muffin for your consideration. This muffin has nearly everything: freshly grated carrots, sweet raisins and crunch walnuts combine with the warm spices of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. But what makes this recipe memorable is the addition of two special ingredients from our Baking: “Amai” Care Packageokara and kinako.

What is okara

Okara is soybean pulp, pressed out in tofu or soymilk processing. Sold fresh or  dehydrated for a longer shelf life, okara mixes splendidly into batters for cakes, muffins, or tart fillings. The addition of okara powder in this muffin batter provides three benefits: plant-based protein, dietary fiber, and moisture.

What is kinako

Kinako powder is another soybean product in which the soybeans are roasted and ground up into a light brown, delicate and nutty flour. Kinako is popular in manywagashi confectioneries likewarabimochi and also makes for a unique ice cream flavor or smoothie addition. In this recipe, kinako is mixed into the oat streusel topping as a delightful accent complementary to the muffin batter’s warm spices. 

For that “cafe style” domed muffin result, bake these muffins at high heat for five minutes before turning the oven down. The high temperature start will cause the batter to rise upwards rapidly and form the domed crust, while the center will cook off normally at a lower temperature after. 


Servings: 6 muffins

Ingredients for the muffins

  • 80ml water
  • 20g okara (soybean pulp) powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 60g neutral oil (Eg canola)
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 100g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 120g carrots, shredded
  • 25g golden raisins
  • 25g walnuts, chopped

Ingredients for the kinako oat streusel

Instructions for the kinako oat streusel

  1. Combine all ingredients with a fork, breaking down the butter into smaller, clumpy pieces. Set aside. 

Instructions for the muffins

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C or 425°F. Lightly grease a standard 6-cup muffin pan.
  2. Bring the water to a simmer in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat and mix in okara powder. Once combined into a paste, transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, and cooled okara paste until combined. Add the sugars, beat until dissolved.
  4. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt in a separate bowl. Fold into liquid ingredients in three batches until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Fold in the shredded carrots, raisins, and walnuts.
  6. Divide batter amongst muffin cups and tap gently on the kitchen counter to remove air pockets. Top with a heaping spoon of streusel.
  7. Bake for 5 minutes at 220°C/425°F. Then, turn down the heat to 180°C/350°F and bake for another 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

Recipe and highlighted products available in our Baking: "Amai" Care Package

Yaz Gentry

About the recipe creator and photographer: Yaz Gentry is a freelance recipe developer and food-lover based in Tokyo, Japan. Half-Japanese and half-American, she enjoys fusing together seasonal ingredients and dishes from both cultures as a reflection of her mixed heritage. You can follow her culinary adventures at and @meshibliss on Instagram.

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