Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves spice up these Carrot Cake Muffins while a sweet cream cheese filling adds a creamy bit of cheesecake in each bite! Enjoy carrot cake for breakfast or any time of day with these easy muffins!
While there are all kinds of carrot cake variations around here, carrot cake in breakfast food form is definitely a favorite!
So, it’s no surprise that these Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Cake Muffins didn’t take long to disappear!
Packed with the warm, classic spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, these muffins have all of the flavor of carrot cake. Just in a muffin form that you can enjoy any time of day!
Though the filling of these muffins isn’t as sweet and is more like a having a bit of cheesecake in each bite, the lightly sweetened cream cheese filling adds that creamy sweetness that you expect from the cream cheese frosting on a traditional carrot cake.
The combination of the spiced muffin and the sweet, creamy filling makes these muffins an irresistible option for enjoying carrot cake in a slightly healthier form.
Whether you want to have a couple for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert, these carrot cake muffins are sure to satisfy!
How to Make Carrot Cake Muffins with a Cream Cheese Filling
Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set the bowl aside.
In a small to medium-sized bowl, whisk together the milk, unsweetened applesauce, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir the mixture together until just combined to keep the texture of the mixture tender. Fold in the grated carrots with a spatula.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy and smooth.
Spoon one heaping Tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup, and spread batter so it evenly covers the bottom of the cup.
Top with one heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture.
Cover cream cheese mixture with one heaping Tablespoon of muffin batter. Spread batter so that it completely covers the cream cheese. This will help keep the cream cheese filling from running out of the muffin while baking.
Repeat that process until the muffin batter and the cream cheese mixture are gone.
Bake muffins for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops are just starting to turn golden brown. The center should feel firm when tapped. Try not to over-bake the muffins as they dry out easily.
Remove the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing the muffins from the tin to cool completely. If the muffins are too hot for you to touch after 5 minutes, wait until they are cool enough for you to handle before removing from the tin.
Store any leftover muffins in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Tips for Making Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Cake Muffins
- Depending on the size of your muffin tin cups, you will get around 12-14 muffins.
- Don’t skip lining the muffin tin with cupcake liners or spraying it with non-stick cooking spray. If the cream cheese filling leaks at all, the muffins will stick.
- These muffins work great for making the day before you need them. We actually liked the flavor of the muffins best the next day when all the flavors has a chance to blend.
Add additional flavors and textures with these optional add-ins:
- 1/2 Cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 Cup raisins
- 1/2 Cup shredded coconut
For the Muffins
- 2 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 1/4 Cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 Cup milk
- 1/4 Cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, measured in its melted state (or canola oil)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Cup grated carrots
For the Filling
- 8 ounces 1/3 of the fat (Neufchatel) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 Cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners of lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together milk, unsweetened applesauce, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
- Fold in grated carrots with a spatula.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with an electric hand mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Spoon one heaping Tablespoon of batter into each muffin cup. Place one heaping teaspoon of cream cheese mixture on top of the batter. Cover with one more heaping Tablespoon of batter. Repeat until batter and cream cheese mixture are gone.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until tops of muffins just start to turn golden brown. Try not to over-bake as the muffins dry out easily.
- Transfer muffin tin to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing muffins from tin to cool completely.
- Cover leftover muffins, and store in the refrigerator.
Optional add-ins: Stir 1/2 Cup chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, shredded coconut, or raisins into the batter with the grated carrots.
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This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour .
Love carrot cake? More Carrot Cake Recipes to try!