Several years ago, I posted a recipe for – In that post, we chatted about some of the jokes surrounding muffins vs. cupcakes. Today’s recipe for Stuffed Carrot Cake Muffins adds a new wrinkle to that debate!
Well, what about a muffin that has frosting hiding inside? Does that make it a muffin? Or is it a cupcake? Or perhaps something in between? Ah, who cares what we call it. These Stuffed Carrot Cake Muffins are delicious!
Have you ever baked a stuffed muffin? They’re fun! In this case, the muffin is a classic carrot cake muffin, but it includes a dollop of cream cheese frosting of the muffin. Yup, no one knows that frosting is hiding in there…until they take a bite. As far as I’m concerned, finding frosting hiding inside of a muffin is pretty high up there on my list!
For these Stuffed Carrot Cake Muffins, we start with a classic carrot cake muffin. I personally like raisins and walnuts in my carrot cake, so I included those here. If you aren’t a raisin fan, leave ’em out! Same for walnuts. You could use pecans, or just omit nuts entirely. Maybe you like carrot cake with bits of pineapple? Toss it in! (Just pat the pineapple bits dry with a paper towel so they don’t add extra moisture to the batter.) Or maybe shredded coconut? Go for it!
The base for this carrot cake muffin is fantastic, so feel free to make whatever changes you like with the “mix-ins.” Whatever you do, don’t forget the streusel crumb topping! Brown sugar, oats and walnuts combine to make one fantastic streusel to crumble on top of these muffins before they get baked. The oats get nice and toasty as the muffins bake – delicious!
If you stopped there, you’d have one heck of a tasty carrot cake muffin. But we’re taking the extra step and stuffing those muffins today! For the frosting inside, I used my go-to carrot cake frosting that I use for traditional carrot cake. It’s 2 parts cream cheese, 1 part butter and a bit of sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. It’s delicious! Laura says that cream cheese frosting is the best she’s ever tasted – so that means something, right?
To stuff a muffin with frosting, you simply add ~2 tablespoons of batter to each muffin cup. Then go along and add ~1 tablespoons of frosting to each muffin cup. Finally, top that frosting with another ~1-2 tablespoons of batter. The frosting gets “trapped” inside of the batter as the muffins bake. It does take a bit of extra time, but it’s not a hard process at all. Plus, you end up with some pretty fun muffins…err, cupcakes…err, muffins…or whatever you want to call ’em!
If you’re looking for a fun way to celebrate Easter this year, I highly recommend baking a batch of these Stuffed Carrot Cake Muffins. In truth, these muffins would be great any time of the year. I just usually associate carrot cake with Easter. No matter the time of year, I do hope you make a batch of these muffins. They’re fun…and more importantly, they’re delicious!
These Stuffed Carrot Cake Muffins feature tasty carrot cake muffins topped with brown sugar + walnut streusel…and stuffed with a dollop of cream cheese frosting!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes minutes
Servings: 18 muffins
Calories: 290 kcal
Using a small bowl, add all of the streusel ingredients (butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, walnuts and cinnamon); stir until well combined. Set streusel aside.
Using a microwave safe bowl, add cream cheese and butter; microwave on low for 30 seconds. Stir until well combined. (Note: If necessary, continue microwaving in 10 second intervals until mixture is soft enough to easily stir together.)
Add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon; stir until well combined. Place bowl in refrigerator until needed.
Line 18 muffin tin cups with paper liners, or spray with nonstick baking spray; set pan(s) aside.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Using a large bowl, add dry ingredients (flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt); stir until well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, eggs, milk and vanilla. Add liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined.
Fold in carrots and raisins.
Drop 2 Tbsp of batter into each of the prepared muffin cups, spreading the batter so that it covers the bottom of each cup.
Drop ~½ Tbsp of filling into each muffin cup.
Fill the muffin cups with remaining batter until ~½” from the top. (~1 Tbsp of batter per cup.)
Using your fingers, crumble the streusel topping on top of the cups.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake part of one of the muffins comes out mostly clean.
Let muffins cool in pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. (Note: If you serve the muffins warm, the filling will be loose. If you serve the muffins at room temperature, the filling will be a bit more firm.)