Carrot Cake Muffins

published Mar 26, 2022
Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe

Turn your favorite, spice-packed cake into a morning muffin.

Serves12

Prep20 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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carrot cake muffins with white icing on a wire cooling rack
Credit: Laura Rege

These muffins hit all the delicious notes of carrot cake and its warming spices without falling into cupcake territory. A drizzle of cream cheese glaze adds just a touch of sweet tang while still ensuring this is a muffin you can enjoy for breakfast or a snack.

How to Make Moist and Fluffy Carrot Cake Muffins

Oil, carrots, and a bit of light brown sugar and granulated sugar lend super moist and fluffy texture to these carrot cake muffins. I love using olive oil rather than your typical vegetable oil here, which brings a delicately fruity and peppery flavor to the crumb, although you can opt for canola or safflower, if you prefer. No matter which route you take, these muffins have that iconic carrot cake flavor down pat.

One of the easiest ways to fill muffin tins with batter is to use a cookie scoop. Here a heaping 2-ounce scoop is just right to evenly fill all the tins, but a heaping 1/4 cup or level 1/3 cup will do the trick as well.

Carrot Cake Muffins Add-Ins

This recipe stirs in pecans and golden raisins for a little crunch and extra sweetness. You can swap the pecans out with walnuts, thinly sliced almonds, or pistachios. If you don’t have golden raisins, try regular raisins, dried cranberries, currants, or chopped apricots. Stirring 1/4 cup of sweetened coconut flakes into the batter is also a wonderful addition to these muffins.

Credit: Laura Rege

How to Store Carrot Cake Muffins

Store carrot cake muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe

Turn your favorite, spice-packed cake into a morning muffin.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1/2 cup

    olive or canola oil

  • 1/2 cup

    buttermilk

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 8 ounces

    (about 4 medium) carrots

  • 1 1/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup

    chopped pecans

  • 1/4 cup

    golden raisins

  • 2 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons

    whole milk

Instructions

  1. Place 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 cup buttermilk, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract in a medium bowl and let sit until room temperature, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin well with paper liners. Peel and trim 8 ounces carrots, then grate on the large holes of a boxed grater (1 1/2 to 2 cups).

  2. Place 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg in a large bowl and whisk until well.

  3. Whisk the egg mixture until well combined. Pour into the flour mixture. Add the carrots, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and 1/4 cup golden raisins. Fold with a rubber spatula until just combined. Divide the batter between the muffin wells (about heaping 1/4 cup each).

  4. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely.

  5. Cut 2 ounces cream cheese in a few plaes and place in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the cream cheese is room temperature, about 15 seconds. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons whole milk and whisk until well-combined and smooth. Add more milk as needed, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the glaze can be drizzled. Drizzle the glaze over muffins and let sit until the glaze is set, about 1 hour.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days.