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Deliciously spiced, moist, and tender carrot cake muffins topped with cream cheese frosting are the perfect treat that take a classic carrot cake and turn them into a muffin!

12 carrot cake muffins with cream cheese frosting topped with chopped walnuts on a large oval platter next to a large carrot
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Hop to Bake: Carrot Cake Muffins

My new favorite ingredient for baked goods is putting carrots in muffins. It gives it texture but also helps keep the cake moist. Would you believe that I used to not like carrot cake? I always thought you could actually taste the carrot in the carrot cake, but little did I know, the spices of the cake and the cream cheese frosting really are the star of the show.

To amplify the flavors of the carrot cake base even more, I used apple butter in this recipe. Not only do the carrots help keep the cake base moist, apple butter does too and the warm spices throughout really make these carrot cake muffins so irresistible! Pair this muffin at brunch with a raspberry peach prosecco punch or a non-alcoholic mimosa and serve these alongside breakfast sliders or a spinach artichoke quiche!

chopped walnuts being sprinkled on top of carrot cake muffins and cream cheese frosting

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • Make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature so when you mix them together for the frosting, it will be smooth and combine more easily.
  • Swap out chopped walnuts for pecans or another nut. Omit all together if you’d like!
  • To quickly shred carrots, use a shredding attachment on a food processor. Make sure it’s on the fine setting. Alternatively, using a box grater and some elbow grease work just as well!
  • If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour. I like whole wheat flour in this because it gives a little nuttier flavor with a slightly denser texture.
a bite has been taken out of a carrot cake muffin to display the insides of the cake

Storage Instructions

Store leftover muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days on the countertop. If you need it to last longer, put it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and bring to room temperature before serving.

5 from 1 vote

Carrot Cake Muffins

Adorable carrot cake in muffin form! A muffin form of carrot cake that is decadently topped with a cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

Equipment

Ingredients 

For the muffins:

  • 2 cups (240 g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups (256 g) shredded carrots
  • ½ cup (59 g) chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (282 g) homemade apple butter, or store-bought
  • ¼ cup (81 g) maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (55 g) melted coconut oil

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • ½ cup (114 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces (227 g) plain cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups (360 g) powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400 °F (204 °C) and line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin cups.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
    whole wheat flour in a large white bowl with a metal whisk
  • In a medium bowl, stir together carrots, walnut, apple butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, eggs, and coconut oil.
    shredded carrots, apple butter, eggs, chopped walnuts in a large white bowl with maple syrup being poured in
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients then stir gently until just mixed and incorporated.
    carrot cake muffin mixture mixed together with a wooden spoon in a large white bowl
  • Evenly divide batter amongst muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way to the top, then bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
    carrot cake muffin batter in a 12 cup muffin tin lined with white muffin cups
  • Remove from oven then let cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until frosting reaches desired consistency to frost or pipe. Don't forget to scrape down the sides with each addition of powdered sugar.
    powdered sugar on top of butter and powdered sugar mixture in a stand mixer bowl
  • Add in the vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
    vanilla extract added to the cream cheese frosting mixture in a stand mixer bowl
  • Once the muffins are cooled completely, frost the tops of the carrot cake muffins with the cream cheese frosting. Garnish with more chopped walnuts on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 468kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 467mg, Potassium: 238mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 44g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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Photographs by Jess Gaertner Creative

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7 Comments

  1. oh these look sooo good. We got hit with 6-7 inches of snow here in NY haha so much for the 12-18 inches. do you think if I folded some whipped cream into frosting it would affect measurements?

    1. Haha not much to dig out of, which is good! I am not sure if adding whipped cream would change the texture or not; it might make the frosting a bit more runny.

  2. im so glad we dont have to worry about snow storm but again, you never know Texas weather. i dont bake carrot cake flavored anything but i like the flavors..its a sign i need to make them soon.

  3. I am just ready for spring! So over all the winter weather! These muffins are awesome- the best of carrot cake in something we can eat for breakfast!