Carrot Cake Muffins

These Carrot Cake Muffins are packed full of flavour topped with a cream cheese frosting and decorated with a mini sugar carrot.   Okay, so…

These Carrot Cake Muffins are packed full of flavour topped with a cream cheese frosting and decorated with a mini sugar carrot.  

Okay, so we all know I love a muffin recipe. I have posted so many recipes over the last couple of years including my Biscoff Muffins, Millionaire Muffins, and Malteser Muffins, but I think this is my favourite muffin recipe ever.

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Carrot Cake 

I have no idea who first decided that putting carrots in a cake would be a good idea. I mean just the thought of it is a bit weird. Adding fruit to a cake, strawberries, raspberries, passionfruit I wouldn’t think twice, but carrots? 

Well, that person was a genius! Because carrot cake is just so deliciously moreish. Everyone will have as slightly different way of making it. I always add some cinnamon and allspice as well as some walnuts.

Related Recipes

Blueberry Muffins

Biscoff Muffins

Millionaire Muffins

When you take a bite from these cakes, you get the sweet taste of the cake, but there is a slight hint of spice in the background, and it just works so well.  

I wanted to include all these flavours in my muffins, so apart from a few slight changes to make this a muffin mixture rather than a cake mixture I have added in all my favourite things.

Muffins 

When I make muffins, I always split up my wet and dry ingredients. So, I will begin by putting my flour, sugar and spices into one bowl and giving it a quick mix. To ensure everything is evenly distributed. Then I will add all my wet ingredients to a second bowl or jug and again give them a good mix.  

In this recipe, I used light brown sugar instead of caster sugar. The light brown sugar just gives the muffins a slight hint of caramel flavour, which works so well with the spices.  

One of the great things about muffins is that they really don’t take a lot of mixing to come together. If you haven’t made muffins before, you can do all the mixing by hand just to ensure that you don’t overmix using a mixer.  

You want to beat the mixture until it is completely smooth and all the ingredients are fully incorporated. You shouldn’t have any clumps of sugar or flour anywhere in the mixture.  

The carrots and walnuts should be folded through last. This is just to ensure again that the mixture isn’t over-mixed. Everyone has their own way of folding but I find, for me, the best way is to go around the side of the bowl with my spatula and fold the mixture in on itself, then cut through the centre of the mixture and fold it outwards on itself.

Tulip Cases 

Whenever I am making muffins, I always use these muffin tulip cases. They are so pretty and the perfect size for the muffin mixture. If you use a smaller case, you may end up with a few extra muffins.  

To split the mixture between the tulip cases I, use a cookie scoop. I know it sounds a little bit mad but hear me out, it is the perfect size for measuring out your batter. I do around 2 scoops per muffin case and that way I know each muffin has the same amount of batter in them.  

Baking the Muffins 

The muffins should be baked after 25-30 minutes in the oven. They should be golden brown on top and a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffin should come out clean.  

If the skewer comes out with batter on just pop them back into the oven for 3-4 minutes and repeat. 

Another way to tell if the muffins are baked is to gently press down on the top of them with your finger. If the muffin springs back to its original shape when you remove your finger then they are baked.  

If you end up with a finger-shaped dent in the top of your muffin pop them back into the oven for 3-4 minutes and repeat until the muffins spring back.  

Difference between Muffins and Cupcakes  

There are a few differences between muffins and cupcakes, the most obvious one being that muffins are made with oil rather than butter. Using oil in the muffins helps keep them lovely and moist.  

Cupcakes tend to have a lighter and fluffier texture whereas muffins are denser and almost bread-like. 

Cream Cheese Frosting 

There is only one topping for a carrot cake muffin and that is cream cheese frosting. I love doing a little swirl of frosting on top of a muffin and these are no different.  

Cream cheese frosting is made similarly to buttercream. I always start by beating together the icing sugar and unsalted butter. In this recipe, you MUST use unsalted butter.   

Cream Cheese frosting can be a lot softer than buttercream, and you don’t want to make it even softer by using a baking spread. The unsalted butter helps the frosting keep its shape when you pipe it onto the muffins.   

Once you have beaten together the unsalted butter and icing sugar add in the cream cheese. It will look like it has split, to begin with, and honestly, at this point, it doesn’t look the most appetising but keep with it. Continue to beat the mixture and it will start to come together.   

When the cream cheese frosting has come together it will be smooth and super creamy. Perfect for piping onto the top of your muffins. 

Decoration 

So, you can decorate these muffins in any way you want. I went with a little sugar carrot that you can buy in packs of 12 in most supermarkets. You could also decorate by crushing some walnuts and sprinkling them over the top.  

Alternatives 

If you prefer you can add 50g of raisins, another option is adding in the zest of 1 orange.  

Equipment

Muffin Tray

Tulip Muffin Cases

Scales

Measuring Spoons

Spatula

Mixing Bowls

Piping Tip

Piping Bag

*I earn a small amount of money if you buy any of these products. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting A Spoonful of Vanilla. 

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If you do have any questions about these Carrot Cake Muffins or any other recipes on my blog you can contact me either by sending me a DM on social media or an email. You can find all my details on the right-hand side of this page.

Carrot Cake Muffins

These Carrot Cake Muffins are packed full of flavour topped with a cream cheese frosting and decorated with a mini sugar carrot.  
Prep Time40 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Decorating Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 50 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Muffins
Keyword: Carrot Cake, Muffins
Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Sarah Mark

Ingredients

For the Carrot Cake Muffins

  • 150 ml Vegetable Oil
  • 175 g Whole Milk
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 250 g Self-Raising Flour
  • 175 g Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp All Spice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 150 g Grated Carrots
  • 100 g Walnuts (chopped)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting and Decoration

  • 100 g Unsalted Butter
  • 100 g Icing Sugar
  • 200 g Full-Fat Cream Cheese
  • Carrot Decorations

Instructions

To Make the Carrot Cake Muffins

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan. Line a muffin tray with your muffin liners and leave them to one side.
  • Add the oil, whole milk, eggs and vanilla to a large bowl or jug and whisk until they are all combined. Leave to one side.
  • In a separate bowl add the flour, sugar, ground cinnamon and allspice until fully combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until the mixture is smooth and combined.
  • Fold through the grated carrot and chopped walnuts until they are evenly distributed.
  • Split the mixture equally between your muffin liners.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Once they have baked leave them to cool in the muffin tray for 15-20 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool fully.

To Make the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl and beat until it becomes thick and creamy.
  • Add in the cream cheese and beat again. It will look like the mixture has curdled and split but keep beating and it will come together.
  • Add the cream cheese frosting to your piping bag and pipe it onto the top of your cooled muffins. Finish by adding a sugar carrot to the top.

Notes

  • These Carrot Cake Muffins will last for 3+ days in the fridge.

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