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Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins. Better than you could get at any coffee shop, these muffins melt in your mouth. Soft carrot cake made with shredded carrots, sweetened with maple syrup, swirled with cream cheese, topped with sweet cinnamon sugar, and served warm. Enjoy these just as they are, or serve with a smear of sweet butter and sea salt. Perfect for all of the spring weekends, especially Easter Sunday!

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins |

I probably have well over a dozen cookie recipes, multiple pumpkin muffins, many types of banana breads, and far too many blueberry muffins. But carrot cake? I think I have 2 or 3 variations of carrot cake.

I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but I didn’t grow up with carrot cake. Everything sweet in my house was chocolate-focused. Well, other than my dad’s cinnamon toast that he’d often make us for breakfast.

Everything was CHOCOLATE.

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins |

Zero complaints, of course, but this means I missed out on every other type of sweet. We definitely did not venture over to carrot cake territory.

In the 10+ years of creating new recipes daily (that’s not too many, right?) I’ve occasionally strayed away from chocolate treats. I certainly have a decent amount of fruit-based desserts. But still, I haven’t really gotten into carrot cake.

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins |

So when I had this idea for a carrot cake muffin, I was excited to test it out. Especially after my cousin Abby confirmed she’d definitely be into a carrot cake muffin.

I am so glad I made these!! We’ve been loving them, and they’ll be great for upcoming spring gatherings, and then, of course, Easter!

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins |

Here are the details

This is all made in one bowl. Simply mix the wet ingredients with the dry and that’s it. Use avocado oil or melted coconut oil, then mix in maple syrup as the sweetener. Mostly because I LOVE the warming flavor that the maple syrup adds to baked goods. Now mix in the eggs and lots of vanilla.

And then the carrots! I used a good amount of freshly shredded carrots, which keep the muffins sweet and moist.

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins |

For the dry ingredients, you’ll need whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and then the spices. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg for a touch of cozy flavors.

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins |

Mix everything together, then divide the batter between muffin cups. Add a cube of cream cheese to each muffin. If you don’t love cream cheese, you can omit it, but I think it works well with the flavors in the carrot cake.

And then, the secret to these muffins, a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar over each unbaked muffin.

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins |

As the muffins bake, oh my gosh, your kitchen will smell incredible. It’s the cinnamon that always does it. Just like your favorite bakery. A little butter and sea salt on top is the perfect way to enjoy these muffins. It melts deliciously into every nook and cranny.

Of course, it’s not needed, but it sure makes every warm bite just that more delicious.

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins |

Looking for other sweet recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Blender Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Giant Double Blueberry Muffin Cookies

Bakery Blueberry Vanilla Crunch Muffins

Blueberry Swirl Coffee Cake Muffins

Double Strawberry Cupcakes

Maple Glazed Doughnuts

Baked Chocolate Fudge Glazed Doughnuts

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cinnamon Maple Glaze

Lastly, if you make these Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories Per Serving: 255 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
    2. In a large bowl, stir together the oil, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Stir in the shredded carrots. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until just combined.
    3. Divide the batter among the prepared pan. Push 1 cube of cream cheese into each muffin, using a spoon to cover the cube. It's OK if not all the cream cheese is covered. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over each muffin. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until just set. Serve with butter and sea salt (if desired) on top.
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Cream Cheese Swirled Cinnamon Carrot Cake Muffins |

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  1. Hello! Do you think I could make these and freeze? Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jennie,
      Sure, that should work well for you, I would just be sure to freeze them in an airtight container for no longer than 3 months. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I used half maple syrup/brown sugar, and half whole-wheat/ap flour. Also added a bit of Greek yogurt. Came out so fluffy, light, and perfect! Thank you!

    1. Hey Emma,
      Love to hear this!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback! xT

  3. Love these can’t wait to make them for Easter, thank you! Do they keep well if made the day before or any tips for making ahead?

    1. Thanks Victor! Yes, just keep them in an airtight container at room temp or in the fridge:) Let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  4. Do you have a recommendation for fresh nutmeg to store bought ground nutmeg ratio? What I’m finding online is sort of all over the place and I’d love to make these for Easter!

    1. Hey Katherine,
      I would do 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

    1. Hey Laura,
      You could use melted butter or another neutral oil. Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  5. Wow, these are absolutely delicious. I followed the recipe, except I couldn’t find cardamom, so I subbed allspice. I also softened the cream cheese in the microwave for a bit. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    1. Hi Susan,
      Happy Sunday! I appreciate you trying this recipe, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xT

  6. 5 stars
    Made these today and they are so delicious ! 😋
    Everyone’s going to love them!
    But how can I properly store them?

    1. Hey Meaghan,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! You can store in an airtight container on the counter:) xx

  7. 3 stars
    Oh I see – click on Cinnamon Sugar link and TARGET pops up. You make it impossible to see the recipe dear.

        1. Hi Caitlin,
          I like to use a 1:4 ratio, so you could do 1 cup of sugar and 4 tablespoons of cinnamon to make a big batch to have on hand:) I hope you love this recipe! xT

    1. Hey Laila,
      Love to hear this! Thanks a lot for trying this recipe and your comment:) Happy Sunday! Xx

  8. 5 stars
    Just made these muffins with King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour and they turned out fantastic! Saving this recipe to bake it again when the carrot cake craving kicks in! Thank you!

    1. Thanks so much Anastasia!! Love to hear that these muffins turned out well for you, thanks for giving them a try! xT

  9. 5 stars
    Just made these! Amazing—could be breakfast, could be dessert! Combination of spices is so nice and that dash of cinnamon/sugar on top is the perfect little caramelized YUM!

  10. 5 stars
    Skipped the cream cheese filling, used half whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour, and added raisins and walnuts. Yummy!

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Amazing!! So glad to hear these muffins turned out well for you, thank for making them:) The raisins and walnuts sound yummy! xT