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carrot cake muffins

My craving for carrot cake with a plush pile of cream cheese frosting returns every spring, like clockwork. This year I’m satisfying my cravings at breakfast with carrot cake muffins! Flavored with warming spices, orange zest, vanilla, and plenty of freshly grated carrots, you’ll love starting your day with a freshly baked muffin.

Carrot Cake Muffins

A dollop of mascarpone in the middle of each muffin melts into the center while baking, inspired by that classic cream cheese frosting I adore. Topped with brown sugar pecan streusel and a sweet orange drizzle, I can’t think of a more irresistible Easter breakfast.

Carrot Cake Muffins

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Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins


Ingredients

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Muffins

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups peeled and grated carrots (loosely packed)
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone, at room temperature

Glaze

  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line two 12-cup standard muffin pans with baking cups; spray baking cups lightly with cooking spray. For the crumb topping, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and pecans in a small bowl; add melted coconut oil and toss mixture with a fork until crumbly. Chill topping in the freezer until needed.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves in a large bowl; make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine buttermilk, yogurt, egg, coconut oil, vanilla, orange zest, sugar, and brown sugar in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture and stir just until almost incorporated. Gently fold in carrots.
  3. Fill each baking cup with a spoonful of batter and top with a teaspoon of mascarpone; top with another spoonful of batter (each cup should be 2/3 full). Sprinkle evenly with crumb topping and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, until muffins spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Let muffins cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 minutes before removing from pan to cool.
  4. For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, salt, orange zest, orange juice, and milk in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over muffins and let set before serving.


Nutrition

  • Calories: 205
  • Carbohydrates: 30

Keywords: Carrot, Carrot Cake, Muffin

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15 Comments

  1. Carrot cake is a spring favorite of mine too Laura. These look fabulous! Love the orange glaze. So fresh! Can’t wait to try your recipe.

  2. Laura these look absolutely exquisite. Carrot cake is a favorite in my house so I know these beauties would go over big. Loving the idea of the mascarpone center also.

  3. Every Easter my decision making is in a jumble, coconut or carrot cake? With muffins I can have both, bravo! Happy spring Laura!

  4. I LOVE this delicious excuse to eat carrot cake for breakfast! Perfect for Easter morning or any day of the year!!!

  5. I have been craving carrot cake like crazy lately, so these will definitely be happening here soon 🙂

  6. Mascarpone in the center….yum! What a great idea. These look delicious 🙂

    1. Hi Kelly, I think muffins would freeze just fine – for the sake of texture, I’d omit the mascarpone. Once baked and fully cooled, you can wrap them well and freeze for later. When you’re ready to enjoy them, thaw and glaze at that point. Hope that helps!

  7. These muffins are at the top of my must-make list. We have our Easter break in South Africa at the moment and I am desperate for easy ideas to keep my kids fed and happy.

  8. Ooh, these look delicious, Laura! I haven’t hard carrot cake in far too long; would love one of these right now… <3

  9. These carrot cake muffins have the feels! They looks super delicious! I love that you added an orange drizzle on the top 🙂 I am making carrot cake this weekend!! yaya! 🙂

  10. I’ve been craving some carroty goodness, too, Laura. And these look like they would satisfy me perfectly! 🙂