Love carrot cake? You are going to love these Carrot Cheesecake Muffins. The soft carrot cake muffins are stuffed with a cream cheese filling and make a delicious choice for breakfast, snack, or dessert.
Why This Recipe Works
Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is one of my all time favorite cakes, so it just made sense to make these carrot cake muffins with a cream cheese filling.
As I was working on the recipe for these carrot cheesecake muffins, I had to make a few batches to get it absolutely perfect.
After a few test runs on the carrot cake muffins, I doubled the cheesecake center because more cheesecake is never a bad idea. Am I right?
The muffins are soft and moist and have a delicious cheesecake center that will have everyone reaching for more. Great breakfast recipe to make for Easter or Mother's day.
You can make these muffins using simple pantry ingredients. The cream cheese carrot cake muffins are soft and so delicious, and they will make you think you are eating carrot cake for breakfast. Oh, yeah!
For the Carrot Muffins
- Oil, Eggs - Adds the moisture needed for the batter.
- Buttermilk - Gives a softer texture to the muffin and provides a slight and delicious tang.
- Sugars - Granulated and brown sugar sweeten these muffins.
- Flour, Salt - Adds structure and balances the sweetness.
- Baking Powder, Baking Soda - Helps the muffins rise as they bake.
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Anise, Orange Extract - Gives a spicy and delicious flavor.
- Shredded Carrots - Make sure you use freshly shredded carrots because they have more moisture.
- Chopped Pecans - Optional, but delicious.
For the Cream Cheese Filling
- Cream Cheese - Make sure to set it out ahead of time, so you can beat it easily.
- Sugar, Orange Extract - Sweetens and adds a little flavor.
- Flour - Just a little bit helps the filling to be firm and not melt into the carrot muffin.
How to make Carrot Cheesecake Muffins
Follow our simple step by step instructions for this carrot cake muffins recipe. In no time at all you can have a batch of cheesecake muffins cooling on your counter.
For the Muffins
- Shred fresh carrots using a food processor or use a hand held grater.
- Mix the oil, sugars, extract, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir together the dry ingredients and slowly mix them into the wet mixture.
- Add the buttermilk and shredded carrots and stir until mixed in.
- Divide the batter evenly into 18 greased muffin cavities. You will need a 12 count pan and a 6 count pan.
BRUCREW TIP: Do NOT buy the all ready shredded carrots that are available in the stores. Those are only for salads! They do not provide enough moisture for baked goods.
For the Cheesecake Filling
- Mix together the cheesecake ingredients until creamy.
- Spoon it into two large plastic baggies. Cut one tip off a corner of each bag.
- Use one bag to squeeze cheesecake down into the CENTER of the muffin batter. Use the second bag to add another swirl of cheesecake batter on TOP of the muffins.
- Sprinkle the outside edges with diced pecans. This is totally optional, but it really makes the muffins look a little prettier and taste so good.
Do these carrot muffins with cheesecake need to be refrigerated?
If you are eating them within a day or two, you can keep them in a sealed container on the counter. Keep them in a container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Can you freeze carrot cake muffins?
Yes, you can. Place the cooled muffins on a sheet pan in the freezer for an hour. Place them into a freezer safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
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Other cheesecake muffins
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (Starbucks copycat)
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
More breakfast muffin recipes
- Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Grab N Go Pancake Muffins
- Chocolate Avocado Muffins
- Banana Coconut Muffins
- Monkey Bread Muffins
- Apple Streusel Muffins
*The post for Carrot Cheesecake Muffins was originally published on September 24, 2012. The photos and post have been updated and republished on April 3, 2021.
I've made these a few times now and they all go and everyone loves them.The frosting some people like the orange zest and some people don't but I love it. If you haven't made these with the frosting try it you won't be disappointed.
I always like to make bite-sized, mini-muffin treats. Do you think this recipe would work with mini-muffin tins?
I think it would work just fine. I'm just not sure what your baking time will be with the smaller tin because I haven't tested it that way. I hope you enjoy the muffins!
What can i use to substitute the orange extract?
You can use vanilla extract instead of the orange. I hope you enjoy the muffins!
Hi, these look amazing! I have been trying all kinds of cheese muffins recipes but my center "gets eaten" by the batter. I love thick cheese in the center. Minor issue, I don't like carrots muffins lol! I am wondering if this could be converted to a chocolate or Cinnamon batter and if it would work the same and stay firm in the center, or is it the carrot that keeps it firm?
If you can help me convert this with the same success it would be amazing! (I saw your chocolate Zucchini recipe didn't have as much filling. Does the chocolate "eat" the filling?)
Thanks so much for your time and help!
The carrots and the zucchini are what give these particular recipes some moisture. The cream cheese centers in both are exactly the same. Sometimes the cheese center sinks further into the muffin...it just depends which one you get when you bite into it. Maybe the extra cocoa flour does help the cheese center stay up a little, but it's the same ratio. I also have a pumpkin version if you are interested in that one. https://insidebrucrewlife.com/pumpkin-cream-cheese-muffins-starbucks-copycat/
Hi! I tried making these for 3 times already but the muffin always sinks in the center. I wonder why. It tastes delicious though. But mine is always a bit uncooked at the top so I'm not sure if I should cook it a bit more.
I'm sorry to hear that they are not turning out for you. I have not had mine sink before, so I'm not quite sure. It does sound like they may need to go a little longer though. All ovens do bake differently, so you could try baking them a minute or two longer.
I face this issue sometimes with my baking and I was told one of the reasons can be that 'maybe' we open the oven too much before the goods are completely finished.
Meaning too much air gets in the oven and yes, it sounds like the muffins need to stay a bit longer. Or we take it out the oven quickly without ensuring the middle is fully baked.
Just make sure the inside is cooked thoroughly using a toothpick and you can place foil over the pan for at least 15 mins when it's out to keep the top of the muffin moist.
just sharing what works for me..Happy Baking
Quick question: I am dying to make the Carrot Cheesecake Muffins; however, I do not have Anise Powder in my cupboard and I cannot even remember baking anything with anise powder ever in my lifetime. I am an old lady who used to have a bakery business and I bake all the time. Could I eliminate that altogether from the recipe or is that absolutely necessary? Thanks for your help. Kind of expensive for just a 1/2 teaspoon.
Feel free to substitute cinnamon or all spice in place of the anise. It's really not that expensive...maybe 3-4 dollars at the grocery store or Walmart. I like the flavor with apple, carrot, or zucchini recipes, so I always keep it on hand.
I made these today but the cheesecake filling has all disappeared and I am left with muffins with a hole in the centre. They taste amazing but what can I do to rectify next time?
Ok, so I'm completely baffled on that. I have made them so many times and never had the cheesecake disappear. Was your cheesecake filling thick when you squeezed it into the muffin batter? And did you add the filling to the muffins twice? I always squeeze half into the center of the batter, then the other half on top of the center of the batter.
No it wasn’t very thick at all. I squeezed some into the muffin and then some on top. Was suggested that I should put an egg into it to bind it more. I will definitely try again hopefully it will be better next time
How soft was your cream cheese? If it was too warm, it would not be very thick. Mine is always thick enough to squeeze from the bag. Actually adding an egg would make the filling even runnier. I've never done that with these muffins and always had a creamy pocket of cheesecake in the center of the baked muffins. I even used it in these chocolate zucchini muffins and had them bake the same. https://insidebrucrewlife.com/chocolate-zucchini-cheesecake-muffins/
Can I use regular milk?
You can, but I recommend buttermilk. It gives baked goods a better texture and taste.
These look great! Would there be any reason I can’t use fresh orange juice or zest instead of extract?
Orange extract is very concentrated, so it gives a stronger flavor to the muffins. You could use orange juice and zest, but it might not be as strong. Let me know if you make them that way.
LOVE these muffins! And the kids did too!
I really loved these muffins! Perfect day starter!
Delicious! We loved these!
This is a brilliant idea! It's like carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for breakfast!
These muffins are incredible! I could eat them EVERY DAY!
These did not turn out for me. Terrible. But it could just be me.
I am so sorry to hear that these didn't work for you. Every oven is different...I wonder if that had something to do with it.
great twist on the original recipe!
cinnamon toast crunsh is my favorite cereal. Love how the milk gets all cinnamony and sweet.
Great looking muffins!
Can I add raisins and crushed pineapple to the muffin batter?
That's a great idea, but I do think the added moisture of the pineapple will affect the bake time. Since I haven't made this particular recipe with pineapple, I can't give you an exact time. Definitely keep me posted if you try it this way.
read the title outloud to co-workers and they are demanding that I bring them in by the end of the week! Great SRC pick 🙂
Yummy that looks amazing!! I love carrots and cheesecake!!