March 27, 2012

Cream-Filled Carrot Cake Muffins


Cream-filled carrot cake muffin recipe
Maybe it’s because Easter = bunnies and bunnies = carrots, but something about springtime makes me crave carrot cake. When I came across a recipe for some very yummy carrot cake muffins at King Arthur Flour a couple of months ago, I banked the idea away for future reference. This morning, I made a batch to enjoy with my morning coffee. Wow, are these ever good!
I made a couple of minor changes to the spice and flavor profile, but overall, this was an excellent recipe. And (bonus!) my kiddos loved them, too! I think next time I might try adding a bit of flaked coconut to the batter, which I’ve indicated in the recipe below. If you don’t care for coconut, though, these are perfectly delicious without it!
Cream-Filled Carrot Cake Muffins
adapted from King Arthur Flour
For the filling:
1 (8-ounce package) cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A pinch of salt (optional)
For the batter:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed (3 smallish carrots was the perfect amount)
1/4 cup flaked coconut (optional)
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the cream cheese on low power for 30-40 seconds. Stir in the sugar, vanilla and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, blend together the dry ingredients. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil. Switch out the whisk attachment on your mixer with the paddle attachment, and, using a low speed, blend the the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in by hand the grated carrots (and coconut, if using), making sure they are evenly incorporated throughout the batter.
Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter into 12 greased muffin cups, spreading it to cover the bottom. Dollop a heaping tablespoon of filling on top of the batter. Now, use the remaining batter to fill the muffin cups quite full, using a spoon to evenly spread the top layer of batter so it completely covers the filling center. The batter will come about 1/4″ to 3/8″ from the top of each muffin cup, depending upon the size of your muffin tins. (The original recipe says you will probably have some batter remaining after this step; I did not.)
Bake the muffins in a 400-degree oven until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese center) comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch. Remove the muffins from the oven, and as soon as you’re able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. Wait to serve the muffins until they have cooled for a half hour or so, so the filling has ample time to firm up.

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23 Responses to Cream-Filled Carrot Cake Muffins

  1. The Yellow Cape Cod March 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Oh my word, those look amazing. Pinning to my must try recipe files. Thanks for sharing!

  2. i.ikeda March 27, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    These look scrumptious! Must try with the coconut (I’m a big fan of both carrots and coconuts, yum).

  3. Jen @ My Own Road March 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    Mmmm, wish I had one right now!

  4. Kara March 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    I am just the same, I feel like I must make carrot cake every single spring!

  5. Kellie March 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    OMGOSH.. these look Amazing! Yummy. :) Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Beverly {Flamingo Toes} March 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    These look amazing Amy!! YUM! Carrot cake is one of our favorites – I’m printing this out to do this weekend!

  7. patti west March 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe, Amy! I’m going to add these to my Easter buffet table. :)

  8. Andrea @ Decorating Cents March 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Oh yeah. My husband loves carrot cake. These would rock his socks.

  9. Bonnie @ Uncommon March 27, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    oh good gravy!! my family LOVES carrot cake and this is just perfecto!! Pinnning!! :)

  10. Sue March 28, 2012 at 3:16 am #

    What a nice surprise inside each muffin:) YUM!

  11. paula March 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I am hosting a brunch on Saturday and have been looking for the perfect muffin recipe….looks like I just found it! These look superb!

  12. Krys April 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    Hrmm.. I made these as goodies for this years easter hunt. (We hide baked goods and other surprises instead of chocolate.) Despite my cooling the cheese mixture before I spooned it in the middle, and then topping it off with batter, they sort of separated where the cream cheese meets the muffin. So there’s a top, a bottom and the top is a mixed cream cheese/better sort of marble. Not pretty, but delicious! Any ideas what may have happened?

  13. Amy @ Positively Splendid April 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    @Krys – I am so sorry you didn’t have any luck here! Did you by chance try to spread the top layer with a spatula to cover the cream layer? That would be the only reason I can think of for everything getting muddled. I am sorry not to be of more help!

  14. Kathy May 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Thank you for this excellent recipe! I hope you don’t mind that I linked it to my blog.

  15. Liz May 27, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Hi, I tried out this recipe and it was lovely, thanks for sharing the recipe!


    • Amy @ Positively Splendid May 28, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      You are very welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed them.

  16. Cristy September 20, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    These looks delicious!! Do I need to refrigerate leftovers?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid September 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      I refrigerated the leftovers because of the cream cheese filling. Great question! Thanks for stopping in.

      • Cristy September 23, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

        Thanks for answering :)

  17. Suze R. February 4, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

    These would be a great Valentine’s Day treat for my husband who loves carrot cake!

  18. Hillary February 4, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    These look delicious. My favorite carrot cake recipe has crushed pineapple in it and I am just wondering if it would work in these or if it would mess them up. Has anyone tried it?

    • Amy @ Positively Splendid February 6, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

      Hi, Hillary! You would probably need to adjust the other wet ingredients slightly to compensate for the added liquid in the pineapple. If you give it a try, I’d love to hear your results!


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