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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. 5 stars
    Tieghan hits it out of the ballpark again! I’ve made them twice as is, including fabulous cream cheese, and they are perfect! Thank you!

  2. 3 stars
    The batter part of the muffin is good, but the cream cheese ruined it. It just ended up with a chunk of cream cheese in the middle instead of spreading like the photos showed. That made the whole muffin taste weird.

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so sorry to hear the cream cheese was not enjoyed! You could always just skip it next time:) xx

  3. 4 stars
    I made these for lunches this week. I skipped the cream cheese and the cinnamon sugar topping to make them more kid friendly and they were still good!

    1. Hi Meagan,
      Happy Memorial Day weekend!🇺🇸 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for making it! xx

    1. Hi Maddie,
      Sure, you could make this recipe in a loaf pan! I would start checking for doneness at 40 minutes. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  4. 3 stars
    Not a huge fan of the cream cheese in the middle. It would be better, in my opinion, with cream cheese frosting instead. It’s too tart!
    Otherwise a good recipe, but not sure I’ll make it again with the plain cream cheese.

    1. Hi Molly,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback! So sorry to hear you did not enjoy the cream cheese, you could always just skip it next time! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xT

  5. Hi T!

    Hope you’re well. I’d like to bake these for my boyfriend’s birthday (our first together!) and ofc I’m overthinking it. Do you think I could swirl/pipe a cream cheese frosting inside? In place of just straight cream cheese, before baking? I’m not a very advanced baker so I’m not sure if putting frosting in before baking is.. advised.
    I’m also thinking of piping buttercream carrots on top of a few to make it more ✨ aesthetic ✨ …I hope it turns out as well as I hope!
    From one CO girlie to another- Thank you 😊

    1. Hi Miri,
      Thanks for choosing this recipe! You can follow everything as written, I bake with cream cheese all the time:) Please let me know if I can help in any other way! xT

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious muffins! I added chopped pecans on top. I do wish the written instructions matched your video for the cream cheese where you swirl in very soft cream cheese rather than putting a big cube in the middle. I think that would have turned out better to have a more even cream cheese distribution.

    1. Hey Madeleine,
      Happy Monday!!🌞 I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your feedback, so glad to hear that it turned out well for you! xx

    1. Hi Kellsi,
      You bet! I hope this recipe turns out well for you, let me know if you give it a try! xT

    1. Hi Mary,
      Totally, just bring it bake to room temp before baking, or just bake these a day in advance, they will stile delicious! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  7. I’ve made these twice now and they’re delicious but the carrots end up turning green. Any advice on how to prevent this?

    1. Hey Jasmine,
      Wonderful!! Love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks for giving it a go! Wow, that is so strange, I’ve never heard of that happening! xT

    2. Hi Jasmine!
      I read that the green reaction had to do with baking soda freshness! They turned green in mine too…