Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 muffins

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Did you ever wish you could eat carrot cake for breakfast? These muffins are a tasty stand-in. Moist and tender, studded with grated carrots and lightly spiced with ginger and cinnamon, they hold a tasty surprise within: a melting pool of sweetened cream cheese filling.

Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins

star rating (33) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 muffins
Published: 02/17/2011



  • one 8-ounce package cream cheese or Neufchâtel cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia flavor, optional but very tasty


  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 medium-large carrots


see this recipe's blog »

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard 12-well muffin pan. Or line the pan with paper muffin cups, and grease the cups.

2) To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar and flavor. Set aside.

3) To make the muffin batter: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.

4) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil.

5) Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

6) Fold in the grated carrots, stirring to combine.

7) Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom.

8) Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling; a level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

9) Cover with enough batter to fill the muffin cups quite full. The batter will come to within about 1/4" to 3/8" of the top of each muffin cup. But don't try to use all the batter; unless you have particularly deep cups, you'll have abut 1/3 cup batter left over. Bake it in a separate custard cup, if desired.

10) Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch.

11) Remove the muffins from the oven, and as soon as you're able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. If you serve the muffins warm, the filling will be molten. If you wait for them to cool, it'll firm up.

Yield: 12 filled muffins plus 1 unfilled muffin.


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  • star rating 03/15/2015
  • Barbara from Chandler, Tx
  • Came out better than I expected. Easy and tasty.
  • 06/20/2014
  • from
  • Can I make these the night before and store in fridge or are they best prepared the morning of and served warm?
    I highly recommend making them fresh just before you intend to serve them. The refrigerator tends to dry them out. ~Amy
  • star rating 01/31/2014
  • antjem from KAF Community
  • Very yummy! I did make a few changes. I replaced 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of all purpose. I used milk instead of water. I replaced 3/4 cup of sugar with 1/3 maple syrup. I used 1 1/2 cups of grated carrots instead of 1 cup. I also sprinkled cinnamon chips on top. Very moist.
  • star rating 09/27/2013
  • Amber from Iowa
  • star rating 09/08/2013
  • Rebecca from Philadelphia, PA
  • Muffin part was too dry and not sweet, and the cream cheese on the top burned. Not good at all!
    Sorry for the confusion, Rebecca. There should be 3 layers of muffin here, batter - cream cheese filling - and more batter that covers the filling. There's also a blog for this recipe so you can see how it worked in our kitchen. You can get there from the recipe page by clicking on the button "see this recipe's blog". We also have a new recipe for Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins. We hope this is helpful and that you try one of these filled muffin recipes again this fall baking season. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 03/25/2013
  • horsydressage from KAF Community
  • Another awesome recipe from KAF! Baked according to the directions, other than using coconut oil in place of vegetable oil, and they came out fluffy and light. I also used vanilla extract in the frosting since I didn't have any Fiori Di Sicilia--yet. I just ordered some and can't wait to try it! My muffins were on the large side, so I only had 9, not 12. Thanks for all the wonderful products and recipes. This is my favorite website! : )
  • star rating 03/21/2013
  • from
  • they were the best!
  • 08/28/2012
  • tngranny1 from KAF Community
  • Made these the other day and they were so good! This is the first time I had filling in the middle and I was sooooo suprised that they turned out so great. I'll be using the filling in many other things also. Thanks again KAF.
  • star rating 08/05/2012
  • stslusher from KAF Community
  • An absolute favorite in my house. Great for an afternoon snack or for breakfast. They are amazing!
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