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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looking for other sweet recipes? Here are a few ideas:
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
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.
- 1/2 cup avocado oil or melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 cubes
- 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar
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- 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.