Carrot Cake Muffins (with Surprise Cream Cheese!)

Published April 3, 2012. Updated February 20, 2024

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Carrot Cake Muffins are tender, deliciously spiced carrot muffins with a hidden cream cheese surprise center and a crisp sugar finish! You’re looking at luxury in muffin form. These are incredibly delicious muffins!

Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

I’m a big fan of carrot cake—it’s moist, spiced, and HEALTHY because it has vegetables in it! I often make carrot cake around the Easter season, and I’ve been known to have a leftover slice of cake for breakfast and it made me think… what if I made this into a muffin?

They would be great for an Easter brunch, Spring party, or any time you’ve got the craving for a delicious muffin or carrot cake. Carrot Cake Muffins are a fantastic breakfast option, and would be easy to meal prep and freeze. I like to find cute seasonal cupcake liners when I make these as an Easter breakfast treat (serve with Easter jelly beans on the side to make your kids’ day).

Surprise Cream Cheese Bombs

I hope you enjoy these delightful muffins, they are all the great things about carrot cake in muffin form, without waiting for a cake to cool and frosting it =).  These muffins are a wonderful surprise to people. They think they are just biting into an ordinary cupcake only to find a spectacular, rich cream cheese filling that perfectly compliments the carrot cake muffins.

You might experiment with different flavors of cream cheese (I’ve seen cinnamon, maple, apple, or even chocolate!), adding more healthy ingredients like applesauce, nuts, raisins, protein powder, greek yogurt, or even sprinkles and frosting to cross over into Carrot Cake Cupcake territory!

Easter Recipes to Try

With Easter just around the corner, here are some great recipes you can make for an Easter brunch, Easter dinner, or spring party!

Happy Easter everyone!

Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Muffin

16 Quick & Easy 30 Minute Recipes! (plus weekly recipe updates)

5 from 1 vote

Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Cake Muffins

Tender deliciously spiced carrot cake muffins with a hidden cream cheese surprise center and a crisp sugar finish!
Servings: 12
Prep30 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes


Cream Cheese Filling


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, whip together cream cheese, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, lemon juice and 1/2 tsp vanilla on low speed until mixture is smooth, set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, blend together 1 cup granulated sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, applesauce, eggs and 1 tsp vanilla for 30 seconds. Add in dry ingredients and mix just until combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in grated carrots.
  • Fill paper lined muffin cups with an 1/8 cup muffin mixture (Note: it's important to keep these measurements even. Also, if you don't have an 1/8 cup measure out 2 Tbsp). Gently drop 1 Tbsp cream cheese mixture on top, in the center of each filled muffin cup, then cover the cream cheese mixture with an additional 1/8 cup muffin mixture. Sprinkle each muffin evenly with 1/2 tsp Raw Sugar. Bake 20 - 23 minutes until edges are lightly golden.
  • If necessary, run a knife around the edges of the cupcakes to remove from pan (note: I haven't tried this yet but spraying the top of the pan with non-stick spray before baking may help muffins remove more easily). Enjoy warm for a slightly runnier cream cheese filling or allow to cool 30-40 minutes for a set cream cheese filling. Store muffins in an airtight container.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy