Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Cake Muffins #BrunchWeek #Giveaway

Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Cake Muffins | Sweet and tender with a marvelous surprise in the middle

Brunch Week

Welcome to the second annual brunch week hosted by Terri of Love and Confections and Susan of The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen!  Join us May 5th through 11th while we celebrate the deliciousness of brunch and to prepare for Mother’s Day and summer brunching season.  We have 32 bloggers bringing you their best brunch game, from cocktails to eggs benedict to donuts, there is something for everything this week.  Our amazing sponsors have donated some great prizes for a gigantic giveaway, please visit them all for more information. And scroll down to see ALL the recipes shared today!

Best Muffins Ever

There is nothing better than biting through a crisp, sugary crust into a sweet tender muffin. Well, except if that tender muffin has a center of sweet cream cheese filling.  As a riff on carrot cake, these splendid muffins have a surprise filling instead of a topping of cream cheese icing. I took my favorite carrot cake recipe from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins and tweaked it into mini-versions that are perfectly acceptable for breakfast. Nice, huh? I shared these cream cheese filled carrot cake muffins with my un-biased taste testers one Friday morning, asking for their honest reviews. “Too much oil?” I posed. “How’s the texture?” I queried. Between bites and swallows, there was only praise. My non-baking friend, Sally, inquired whether she could make these…”Of course,” I replied. Anyone who can read and follow directions can make these. There’s nothing complicated when it comes to mixing, spraying and scooping.

Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Cake Muffins | Sweet and tender with a marvelous surprise in the middle

I promised to type up the recipe ASAP, so I could share immediately. And I sent as many as I could home with my friends. These babies are dangerous to have in plain view. Even tucked in my freezer, I’ve been dreaming of them all day. I have a feeling I won’t even wait till one defrosts before I dive in! They may not win any beauty contest, but they will win first place in the muffin category…and maybe even best in show. They are spectacular!!!

Update: Two of my friends made these within a week of sampling my version. One doubled the filling so keep that in mind if you’d like to increase the ratio of filling to muffin. She also suggested freezing the filling mounds overnight…which I quickly seconded. It will be easier to roll and hold its shape if it’s fully frozen.

Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Cake Muffins


Carrot cake batter adapted from the Silver Palate cookbook

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar (I used Dixie Crystals brand)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots (I used Grimmway Farms)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup crushed pineapple, well drained


  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I used Dixie Crystals brand)


    Note: You may want to freeze filling balls overnight.

    1. Preheat oven to 350º. Add paper liners to 12 cup muffin tin and spray insides of papers with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
    2. Make filling by mixing cream cheese and sugar with hand held electric mixer till smooth. Scoop out scant one tablespoon rounds onto a parchment lined pan and place in freezer while continuing with recipe. You will need 12; one for each cupcake.
    3. Place shredded carrots in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, till carrots have softened slightly. Set aside to cool slightly.
    4. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in large bowl. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla and mix well. Stir in carrots, walnuts, coconut and pineapple.
    5. Scoop a tablespoonful or two of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Remove filling from the freezer and quickly shape into a compact balls with your hands, if desired, and put one ball in each of the muffin cups. Divide the rest of the batter between the muffin cups. Spread batter over filling if necessary.
    6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

    Yield: 12 muffins

      Total time: 50 minutes


        Nutrition Facts
        Serving Size
        Amount Per Serving As Served
        Calories 3675kcal Calories from fat 2018
        % Daily Value
        Total Fat 224g 345%
        Saturated Fat 60g 300%
        Transfat 1g
        Cholesterol 431mg 144%
        Sodium 2339mg 97%
        Carbohydrate 396g 132%
        Dietary Fiber 21g 84%
        Sugars 273g
        Protein 41g

        Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

        Calories 2000
        Total Fat Less than 65g
        Sat Fat Less than 25g
        Cholesterol Less than 300mg
        Sodium Less than 2,400mg
        Total Carbohydrate 300g
        Dietary Fiber 25g
        Did you make this recipe?
        Leave review!


        All the giveaway information including prizes and how to enter can be found HERE. So many magnificent products up for grabs! Follow the Rafflecoptor for your chance to win. Good luck!

        A huge thank you to all our amazing #BrunchWeek sponsors. Please follow these lovely folks on their social media sites:

        Bob’s Red Mill – FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram

        Stemilt – FacebookTwitterPinterest, blog

        Baloian Farms – Facebook

        Woot Froot – FacebookTwitter, Pinterest

        Vidalia Onion – FacebookTwitterPinterest

        Grimmway Farms – Facebook, TwitterInstagramPinterest (Who provided the marvelous carrots used in my muffins)

        OXO – FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest

        Bonne Maman – Pinterest

        Dixie Crystals – FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest

        And here are all the other outrageously delicious brunch recipes from my blogger friends today:

        Brunch Beverages:

        Brunch Eggs:

        Brunch Main Dishes:

        • Crab Imperial Peppers from The Vintage Cook

        Brunch Sides:

        Brunch Breads and Grains:

        Brunch Desserts:

        BrunchWeek 2014 LogoDisclosure: Grimmway Farms and Dixie Crystals, two of our most generous Brunch Week Sponsors, supplied me with carrots and sugar, respectively. I was not compensated for writing this post and the opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Grimmway Farms or Dixie Crystals.


        1. Liz, these sound scrumptious. That crisp exterior and creamy center sound perfect. Pinned.

        2. Oh me! Oh my! These are super! What a superb idea putting the topping as stuffing….next…stuff my face! Great riff, Lizzy!

        3. A great treat waiting inside of really pretty muffins

        4. More muffins for me?? I’ve never tried cheese in muffins, let alone carrot cake………

        5. Oh wow I am definitely loving that cream cheese filling! It’s just like carrot cake but with the frosting on the inside.

        6. What’s better than a homemade muffin? A homemade muffin with cream cheese in the middle! These look amazing 🙂

        7. Love this spin on carrot cake, the cream cheese filling is brilliant!

        8. I love the Silver Palate books and I love this muffin. Perfect for brunch! Happy Mother’s Day, Liz!

        9. i love the generous filling!

        10. Just stop it! I must admit the first thing I thought when I saw these was, “how’d she get that cheesecake inside?!” SUCH a good idea!!! Seriously, cannot wait to make these! I can practically taste the gooey cream cheese filling.

        11. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

          Carrot cake you can hold in your hand and eat! Sounds like a winner:@)

        12. Over the top outstanding, Liz!

        13. I love carrot cake, and in muffin form sounds even better so I can eat it for breakfast without feeling guilty 😉 I would probably double the filling, too – can’t go wrong with double the cream cheese frosting/filling!

        14. Love carrot cake! Especially the cream cheese frosting! 🙂

        15. Oh my, these look good, Liz! My husband, the carrot cake fanatic, would go wild for these.

        16. Lizzy,
          I’d like 1 or 3 right now. Do I need to wait for brunch to eat these? Pinned. Can’t wait to try them.

        17. Cream cheese fillings make me happy. Love this!

        18. Wow, Liz… my Peter would love these!

        19. Juliana says:

          Nice, I love the “surprise” inside the carrot muffins…yum!
          Thanks for the inspiration Liz…hope you are having a great week 😀

        20. I love carrots cake and these look awesome Lizzy:)

        21. They are perfect for the weekend brunch!

        22. Hotly Spiced says:

          These are gorgeous and obviously successful with two of your friends already having made them. They do look full of flavour and very moist xx

        23. Love that creamy heart! Beautiful muffins, Liz!

        24. I really wish I would have had these for breakfast instead of my lame cereal! I love carrot cake and love that that the filling is tucked right inside so I don’t have to worry about piping anything!

        25. boy oh boy would my husband like these! Not to mention I would to 😉 They look awesome!!

        26. The only thing better than putting cream cheese on top of carrot cake is stuffing it inside! YUM

        27. Oh I love how you stuffed these muffins! Sounds like a great breakfast/brunch to me.

        28. Simply put, I think this is muffin nirvana!

        29. Add me to your list of friends making this recipe…Genius! And the good news about carrot cake is that well, er, it has veggies so it’s a good-for-you dessert =)

        30. Sounds like a great idea to have cream cheese filling instead of frosting 🙂

        31. I can’t imagine anything better than to bite through a sugary crust to a sweet tender muffins. Oh happy dayz.

        32. The cream cheese filling is calling me!


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