These moist, delicious carrot cake muffins will appeal to all kinds of taste buds. They taste exactly like the carrot cake we all know and love, with half the work, calories and fat! Enjoy them for breakfast, as dessert, or during snack time.
The taste of traditional carrot cake in a muffin! Brilliant if you ask me because carrot cakes can be a whole lot of work, don’t you agree? While I absolutely LOVE carrot cake, I’m not a huge fan of making it.
Keep in mind that these are carrot cake MUFFINS, not cupcakes. Cupcakes are much lighter and fluffier, muffins are denser. Cupcakes also tend to have way more sugar than muffins do, which means you can eat these for breakfast (wink).
Carrot Cake Muffins
Carrot cake is a spice cake consisting of carrots blended into a cake batter with warm pungent spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and ginger. The cake is layered between an irresistible cream cheese frosting. It’s pure indulgence.
What makes these carrot cake muffins healthy?
Most cakes (and muffins) use oil (and cheap refined canola oil) along with a lot of sugar. So we made a few substitutions:
- Applesauce – We substituted the oil for unsweetened applesauce. You can hardly taste the difference and it adds a nice apple flavor.
- Sugar – We opted to use brown sugar to give it that deeper flavor, but decreased the usual amount to only use ½ cup.
- Flour – We used WHOLE WHEAT white flour instead of regular A/P flour – for a little more nutrition.
- Veggies – And lastly, we added even MORE carrots and raisins, again for that boost of nutrition. Be sure not to use the shredded carrots in the bag. We want freshly grated carrots.
How to Make Carrot Cake Muffins
No special equipment is required for these delicious muffins – all you need is a hand mixer and 3 bowls.
- Simply mix the the carrots, walnuts and raisins together in a medium bowl.
- In another bowl, using a hand mixer or whisk, mix the wet ingredients and the sugar together.
- In a third and larger bowl combine the dry ingredients (the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice) together.
- Mix all the ingredients together and fill muffin cups that have paper liners and sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake the muffins at 350° F until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Place on a wire rack for circulation to cool.
- Meanwhile make the cream cheese frosting with the ingredients listed below.
- Once the muffins have cooled, add a nice thick layer of cream cheese frosting on top.
Looking for more baked breakfast ideas?Print
Carrot Cake Muffins
- Total Time: 35 min
- Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
These moist, delicious carrot cake muffins will appeal to all kinds of taste buds. They taste exactly like the carrot cake we all know and love, with half the work, calories and fat!
- 1 ½ Cups Carrots, peeled and finely grated
- ½ Cup Walnuts, chopped
- ½ Cup Raisins
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar
- ½ Cup Unsweetened applesauce
- 2 Large Eggs
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 Cup White Whole Wheat flour (King Arthur makes one)
- 1 teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt, fine
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (or nutmeg)
For cream cheese icing:
- 4 oz. Cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 2–3 Tablespoons Powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Milk
- Walnuts or pecans finely chopped for rolling or topping
For the muffins:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Line a muffin tin with liners (paper or silicone)
- In a bowl, mix the carrots, walnuts and raisins together.
- In another bowl, using a hand mixer or by hand, mix the sugar and applesauce together until well blended.
- Add the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla and continue mixing for about 30 seconds.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin spice (or nutmeg) together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour and stir until combined.
- Last, add the carrots, nuts and raisins to the mixture and stir to combine.
- Fill each muffin tin about ¾ full and bake approximately 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool before frosting.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- Using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk together until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
- Frost the cooled muffins with about 1 Tablespoon cream cheese and top with nuts if desired.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
These can be some of the best carrot cake muffins I’ve ever made. Simply delish. Love the frosting.
I made your pinwheel lemon cake and everyone was so impressed by that I decided to make these too. These cupcakes are pure genius. So flipping good. Another 10 out of 10
These muffins were outstanding. I love carrot cake. If you do too then these muffins will tickle you silly. So much less work.
Too much salt! Next time going to try halving it. Also, used coconut oil and they were pretty greasy, maybe will try half oil, half applesauce?
I am so glad I found your recipe! I tried making these muffins yesterday.. And I am not at all a baker but have been trying for my kids. They turned out delicious! I used coconut oil instead of regular oil though. I baked the muffins again today and my son shared them with his friends. Thanks for the recipe! Definitely a favorite 🙂
so happy!!!! 😀
Hi! Thanks so much for ur recipe – it looks so tasty and wholesome! I am so excited to make these for my family at Christmastime! cream cheese frosting and all 🙂
One question: is it ok to substitute whole milk with 2%? Will they still taste good? We never drink whole milk so it would be a waste to buy even a half gallon if we just need a tbp or two, and I am trying to avoid heavy cream, etc.
Thanks again for ur wonderful recipe! 🙂