I’m not sure what it is about carrot cake that I just can’t place. It seems like a spring time thing, doesn’t it? When carrots are super fresh and especially sweet. Maybe I’m wrong, but now I finally have a time of year when carrot cake flavors are going to seem to fit in. I was just out in my garden the other day digging out carrots and I knew what I had to do. When I made this carrot cake earlier in the year I knew I was going to make these muffins with my own fresh carrots. And here they are.
That being said the most wonderful carrots are available at our Farmers Market right now. Every year I look forward to them even though I grow my own, although usually not enough! 🙂 We love our carrots!
You’ll notice that these have walnuts in them, but they’re easily omitted so that they can be school friendly. And they have the cream cheese inside so you don’t need a messy frosting on the outside. While I just leave the cream cheese as-is I’m sure you could add a little sweetness by beating a tiny bit of honey or sugar into it before dropping little spoonfuls of it into the muffin batter, but that’s up to you. These are just sweet enough as it is, and are a lot more like a muffin than a cupcake in my opinion, but they still taste like delicious carrot cake 🙂
These do make fairly large muffins, they even spill out the sides of the muffin cups so be sure to grease the edge around the cavity for easy removal. And just make sure that your oven is fully preheated when they first go in or they might spread a little too much and stick together. But not to worry, they will still taste wonderful!
Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Surprise Muffins
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour from soft wheat
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 3/4 cup honey
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts if desired
- 4 oz cream cheese sliced into 6 slices then cut in half to make 12 pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin by lightly greasing.
- In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
- In another larger bowl stir together the melted coconut oil, honey, eggs, vanilla, shredded carrots and applesauce until completely combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir together just until combined, adding the walnuts just before the batter is finished mixing.
- Place a large spoonful of batter in the bottom of each muffin cup, filling about 2/3 full. Place one piece of cream cheese per muffin, pushing the piece into the batter. Then divide the remaining batter between the muffins, being careful to cover the cream cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean(or just with cream cheese on it, no batter).
- Remove from the oven and cool in the muffin tin for 5-10 minutes until the muffins have cooled enough to remove without loosing their shape. Gently run a knife around the edge and transfer the muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely.