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Carrot Cake Muffins

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Carrot cake muffins are a mini version of your springtime favorite carrot cake in cupcake form! Sweet, moist, and perfectly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, these carrot cake muffins are topped with a creamy, delicious cream cheese frosting. Perfect for breakfast, snack, or Easter dessert.

carrot cake muffin topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts

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I love carrot cake in all forms, which is why I decided this past week to rework my favorite carrot cake recipe into these delicious carrot cake muffins!

Not only are muffins a little bit faster and easier to make, but I can totally pass them off as breakfast despite that sweet cream cheese-y dollop of frosting on top! (Kidding, maybe!)

Why I love this recipe

These muffins are perfectly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and oh my goodness that cream cheese frosting is the best ever. My kids devoured these guys in all of one day-for both breakfast and dessert!

ingredient for carrot cake muffins on countertop from above


  • sugar
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • cinnamon
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • nutmeg
  • carrots
  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar
  • walnuts

Step by step

  1. Preheat oven and place paper liners in a muffin tin.
  2. Shred carrots and set aside.
  3. Blend together wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Mix dry ingredients and slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just blended.
  5. Fold carrots into the batter.
  6. Pour into muffin tin and bake.
  7. Allow muffins to cool completely before mixing up the cream cheese frosting and topping.
carrot cake muffins on wire rack with cream cheese frosting and some have chopped walnuts

Tips for best results

  • Do not use pre-shredded carrots, they will lack moisture and carrot cake is all about moisture!
  • The key to making cream cheese frosting full of flavor is to use high-quality ingredients, use real butter and full-fat cream cheese.


  • use pecans instead of walnuts
  • omit the nuts altogether
  • add raisins or shredded coconut to the batter
  • drizzle the top with maple syrup or honey instead of frosting
  • adapt for gluten-free with a gluten free flour baking mixture
  • make dairy-free by omitting the cream cheese frosting or using a plant-based cream cheese
carrot cake muffin topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts with more muffins in background


Can I use applesauce instead of oil?

I have substituted half of the oil with applesauce with good results. I have not tried to use all applesauce.

Can these muffins be made ahead of time?

I actually recommend making it ahead of time! The flavors will intensify and the frosting will soak slightly into the cake so I prefer to make it the day before I’ll be serving it.

How do you store these muffins?

Wrap loosely or place in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Can you freeze carrot cake muffins?

Yes! You can easily freeze the cupcakes before frosting by freezing on a plate or tray and transferring to a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave for 1 minute. I do not recommend freezing the cream cheese frosting.

If you try this recipe, please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!

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close up of carrot cake muffin with cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts

Carrot Cake Muffins

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5 from 3 reviews


Springtime favorite carrot cake in cupcake form! Perfectly spiced carrot cake with a creamy, delicious cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter dessert.


Units Scale
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 medium carrots

For the frosting:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened (4 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a food processor (or I use my Ninja Blender) shred carrots finely, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl combine sugar, oil, and eggs and mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
  5. Slowly add dry mix into wet mixture while mixing on medium speed.
  6. Mix until just combined-do not over stir.
  7. Fold in carrots and pour into muffin pan, filling each almost full.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature.
  10. For the frosting combine cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl and mix on medium speed until creamy and uniform.
  11. Add vanilla and then slowly add powdered sugar.
  12. Frost muffins once completely cooled.
  13. Top with chopped walnuts if desired.
  14. Serve immediately or store covered and refrigerate up to 3 days.


Storage: Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Freezing: Freeze without frosting in a freezer bag up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in microwave for 1 minute.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 290
  • Sugar: 26.6 g
  • Sodium: 118.6 mg
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.8 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 36.1 mg

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