★★★★★

Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins–a moist and sweet breakfast treat! Topped with cream cheese frosting and walnuts, these easy to make muffins are the best way to start your day.

Give me carrot cake everything, please! For a sweeter take on handheld carrot cake, try my Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe next.

Carrot cake muffins with cream cheese frosting on a white plate.

Why this Recipe Works

Every spring we stock up on fresh carrots to make all the carrot recipes. From our favorite carrot cake, to carrot banana bread!

Today’s muffins are the perfect way to start your morning!

  • Filled with real shredded carrot for incredible color and flavor.
  • A perfect blend of spices complements and enhances the carrots’ natural sweetness!
  • Freezer friendly muffins mean you can bake these ahead of time and stock up the freezer.
  • You’ll love the rich cream cheese frosting and crunchy nuts on top.

If you love carrot cake recipes, be sure to try our carrot cake cookies next!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make carrot cake muffins.

You’ve got your usual suspects for baking, from the sugar to the flour.

  • Oil. Provides moisture to the muffins!
  • Shredded carrots. It’s best to use freshly shredded carrots here for the moistest muffins. Store bought shredded carrots tend to be drier with a more muted flavor.
  • Walnuts. I add these on top of the baked and frosted muffins. You can omit them for a nut free recipe. We like to toast the walnuts before using!
  • Spices. Nutmeg. Ginger. Cloves. Cinnamon. You can also swap this out in a pinch if you want to use our homemade pumpkin pie spice mix.

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make carrot cake muffins.

These carrot cake muffins couldn’t be any easier to make!

  1. Start by combining your oil, sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients. Then, fold in the shredded carrots.
  2. Scoop the batter into muffin tins. Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
  3. To make the cream cheese frosting, simply combine all the frosting ingredients in a bowl. Beat until fluffy and smooth.
  4. Once the muffins are baked and fully cooled, spread the tops with cream cheese frosting. Press a few chopped walnut pieces onto each muffin.

Serve and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

  • Spray a muffin tin with baking spray. You don’t need to use liners for these muffins!
  • If your batter is really thick, don’t worry, it should be! Don’t overbeat it.
  • Use a large cookie scoop (I like this one) to portion out your muffin batter so they are even. This recipe makes 10-12 muffins!
  • Let your muffins cool COMPLETELY before adding the glaze!
  • Store muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best results. You’ll want to keep that cream cheese frosting chilled. If you’re skipping the icing, you can store these at room temperature.
Cream cheese frosting in a clear glass bowl.

Recipe FAQs

Why do my muffins get stuck in the muffin tin?

Make sure to generously spray the tin cavities with baking spray! I also recommend taking the muffins out of the pan pretty soon after baking. If they cool in the pan they’re more difficult to remove.

Can I freeze these muffins?

You sure can! These keep well in the freezer for 2 -3 months (with or without the glaze).

How do you shred carrots for carrot cake muffins?

You can grate carrots for carrot cake muffins using a box grater. Wash and peel the carrots before grating. Place the carrot against the side of the grater and run the carrot downward over a bowl. You can also grate carrots using a food processor with a grating attachment. If using a food processor, be careful not to puree the carrots by accident.

Carrot cake muffin with a bite taken out.

More Easy Breakfast Recipes

Yield: 12 muffins

Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes

You're going to love eating these Carrot Cake Muffins for breakfast. Especially since they are topped with a cream cheese frosting and walnuts!

Ingredients

For the muffins:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

For the topping:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray muffin tin with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, oil and eggs together. Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Mix until fully combined. Fold in carrots.
  3. Using a large cookie scoop, fill muffin tin with batter about ⅔ full each. You should get 10-12 muffins.
  4. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
  5. For the frosting, beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and milk until smooth and fluffy. Drizzle over each muffin and add a sprinkle of the chopped walnuts. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Spray a muffin tin with baking spray. You don't need to use liners for these muffins!
  • If your batter is really thick, don't worry, it should be! Don't overbeat it.
  • Use a large cookie scoop (I like this one) to portion out your muffin batter so they are even. This recipe makes 10-12 muffins!
  • Let your muffins cool COMPLETELY before adding the glaze!
  • Store muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator for best results. You'll want to keep that cream cheese frosting chilled. If you're skipping the icing, you can store these at room temperature.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12

    Serving Size:

    1 muffin

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 107mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 1gSugar: 26gProtein: 3g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    If you love carrot cake, it’s time to meet your new favorite muffin! Carrot Cake Muffins have the perfect amount of sweetness, a hint of spice and a moist crumb. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy!

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    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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    Posted on March 27, 2022

    Comments & Reviews

    1. Delicious! I omitted the oil and substituted cinnamon applesauce, equal amount. For the spices, I used a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp of apple pie spice and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Baked 24 min, made 9 cupcakes with liners. Definitely will make again!

    2. My muffins flopped! They sunk in the middle and spread out and fell apart. I used GF flour, but it was cup for cup substitute.

      But, never fear…I will put the carnage in ramekins and top with whipped cream. My husband will love them!!!! 🙂

    3. I put half a cup of sugar and 2 cups of carrot and also added chopped walnuts in the batter. I also put 2 spoons of pumpkin oil and the rest was sunflower oil. For the topping I put 2 spoons of powdered sugar, 6 oz cream cheese and no milk. As for tin, I always use high-quality muffin cups, I don’t risk it. I can’t express how wonderful and delicious they were, it’s definitely one of my favorites!!

    4. I made these yesterday for my Garden Club, they were great. I did have trouble getting them out of the muffin tin, but I used an organic flour and I think that made them more fragile, after they sat in the tins fir about an hour they came out fine. Next time I won’t be in such a hurry to remove them from the muffin tons. Thanks, my club loved them.

    5. I tried your recipe and unfortunately 1 cup graneted sugar is too sweet, I really didn’t like. Sorry about that. 

    6. I have made these muffins at least a dozen times since I came across this recipe. Love them..Family and friends always ask me to make them..thanks best muffins ever!

    7. I was not happy with the result either. I think there was too much sugar and not enough flower. Next time I will try another carrot cake recipe, but I still might make them muffin shaped.

    8. Well, I tried this carrot cake muffins recipe, and I’m sorry to say I was not happy with it. The muffins would not come out of the muffin tin, in spite of the baking spray, and I could never serve the mangled muffins to guests. I ended up throwing them away, rather angry at the waste of time, energy (I’m old) and ingredients. I could not recommend this recipe to anyone. They did taste fine, but not so spectacular that I will try this again.

      Sallly

    9. I’m very happy I found your blog! I love to bake, but my family is grown, so I am selective about what I do bake for occasions that come up. I host a group of older musicians every couple of weeks and am expected to serve some kind of refreshment. I found that they seem to really like it when I make muffins and serve them with a pitcher of cold milk, I think because they are not as overboard sweet as cake or cupcakes, and they are easier to eat. So, as I always try to do something a little different yet special, I searched for “carrot cake muffins” and landed here. I can’t wait to make these carrot muffins for this Thursday! And then I see you have a treasure trove of muffin recipes! I will be back to say how they turned out and also delve deeper into your other recipes! Thanks so much for going to the trouble of posting all these recipes!

      Sally

    10. These have been pinned and will have to be re-created ASAP in my house. They’re so pretty and sound so tasty, too!

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