These Carrot Cake Muffins are moist, fluffy, and they are topped with a crunchy brown sugar cinnamon streusel. They are very easy to make. You don’t even need an electric mixer. You need just 15 minutes of hands-on preparation time and 10 ingredients. Detailed step-by-step instructions including lots of process shots and video.
In this recipe you will learn:
- make Carrot Cake Muffins
- make a small batch or mini muffins
- substitute single ingredients
- store and freeze them
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST CARROT CAKE MUFFINS
You need just two bowls. One for the muffins and one for the streusel.
Let’s start with the muffins. Therefore, combine eggs, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk and stir just until combined.
Then add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine.
Add shredded carrots and stir to combine. The batter is thick enough that you can easily spoon it with an ice cream scoop or tablespoon into the muffin liners.
The muffins are made with oil which makes the muffins extra soft and moist. There is no milk in the muffins because the muffins have already enough moisture that there is no need for extra milk.
Don’t use an electric mixer for making muffins. Use a whisk and stir at every step just as long as the ingredients are combined. Muffins dry out when you overmix them. With mixing as little as possible, you make sure that your Carrot Cake Muffins are super soft and moist.
In the second bowl, make the streusel topping. Combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter with your fingers until it has a crumbly structure. This works best when the butter is very cold and cubed when combining it. Sprinkle on top of the batter evenly.
Then spoon the batter into 18-19 muffin liners. Use one or two 12 muffin pans. If you make mini muffins, spoon the batter into 50-52 mini muffin liners. Detailed baking instructions below.
Fill the liners between 3/4 to almost full and top with streusel.
Bake muffins at 425°F (220°C) for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lower the temperature to 350°F (175°C) and bake additional 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Baking the carrot muffins for 5 minutes at high temperature lets them rise beautifully high right from the beginning. With the lower baking temperature, they still rise. But the higher temperature, in the beginning, is the booster.
HOW TO MAKE MINI CARROT CAKE MUFFINS
Make the muffins and the streusel as described. Fill the batter into about 50-52 mini muffin liners. Adjust the baking time as follows: Preheat oven to 350°F (175°) and bake for 6-8 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Be careful. Mini muffins overbake quickly because of their small size. Because of the short baking time, the baking temperature stays constant at 350°F from the beginning till the end. There is no high-temperature phase in the beginning. It would be too risky to overbake them, and then they dry out.
HOW TO MAKE A SMALL BATCH OF CARROT CAKE MUFFINS?
Just divide the recipe in half. You will get about 9-10 muffins instead of 18-19. Dividing the recipe by half leads to about 25-26 mini muffins.
If you are looking for healthier or gluten-free Carrot Cake Muffins, I got you covered.
- canola/vegetable oil for healthier oil, like coconut 1:1 (opt in for a mild flavored oil)
- all-purpose flour for Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour 1:1
- eggs for flax eggs 1:1
If you go for a healthier version, you might want to skip the crunchy sugar topping. Therefore, you could top the muffins with some chopped nuts for extra crunch.
HOW TO STORE CARROT CAKE MUFFINS?
You can store them in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. If stored in the fridge, they stay fresh up to 1 week. However, they are best eaten at room temperature and in the first two days.
CAN I FREEZE CARROT CAKE MUFFINS?
As said, muffins are always best eaten fresh. However, if you plan to freeze the muffins, let them cool completely. Then wrap each muffin tightly in plastic wrap, one by one. Place the wrapped muffins in freezer bags and remove as much air as possible. They freeze well up to 3 months.
To thaw, unwrap the muffins and place them on the kitchen counter. They need about 1-2 hours to come to room temperature.
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These Carrot Cake Muffins are moist, fluffy, and they are topped with a crunchy brown sugar cinnamon streusel. They are very easy to make. You don't even need an electric mixer. You need just 15 minutes of hands-on preparation time and 10 ingredients. Detailed step-by-step instructions including lots of process shots and video.
- 2 large eggs
- 1+1/4 cups canola or vegetable oil (mild in taste) (300ml)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (150g)
- 2 vanilla beans* (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spoon and level (240g)
- 2+1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups shredded carrots (240g)
- 3/8 cup all-purpose flour (45g)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (50g)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp cold butter, cubed (43g)
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line two 12 muffin pans with about 18-19 muffin liners. Set aside.
Make the muffins: In a large mixing bowl, using a whisk, stir eggs, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla* just until combined. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine. Stir in carrots just until combined. Set aside.
Make the streusel: In a medium bowl combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter and mix with your fingers until you have a crumbly mixture.
Assemble: Divide batter into muffin liners and sprinkle with streusel. Fill liners between 3/4 and almost full. Look at the step-by-step photos above. You will get about 18-19 muffins.
Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 5 minutes then lower the temperature to 350°F (175°C) and bake additional 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake or your muffins will end up dry. Let cool for about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days. Serve with cream cheese frosting if desired.
*First, cut off the straight end of the vanilla bean. Then place the tip of your sharp knife below the curled end and cut the vanilla bean through the middle of the bean lengthwise. Although you don't need to cut it all the way through, it's ok when you do so. Then open the vanilla bean and scrape out the flavorful seeds with the back of your knife. Just use the seeds.
MINI CARROT CAKE MUFFINS:
If you want to make mini muffins, line three 24 mini muffin pans with about 50-52 mini muffin liners. Bake mini muffins for about 6-8 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Be careful, they overbake very quickly because of their small size.
You could consider the following substitutions:
- vegetable/canola oil with healthier oil like coconut 1:1 (opt in for a mild flavored oil - will affect the taste)
- all-purpose flour with Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour 1:1
- eggs with flax eggs 1:1
For small batch version, divide the recipe in half.
- Read the blog post for additional information on how to make, store, and freeze carrot cake muffins.
- Watch step-by-step photos to see the required consistency in every step.
- Watch the 53-seconds video to see the whole process of making the muffins.