| Recipes |

Carrot-Cheese Muffins

Prop Styling and Photography: Chay Berger
Food Prep: Leah Hamaoui

This is an adaptation of my mother’s carrot cake with an added touch of warm spice to enhance the flavor, a cream cheese filling, and a crumb topping. I also used melted butter instead of oil because IMHO, butter always tastes better than oil.


  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 4-oz (110-g) carrot baby food jars
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 full tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp cloves
  • ⅛ tsp nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp ginger
  • full ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes to soften and then drained well
  • 1½ cups flour (I used 80% whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 1 cup J&J Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
  • 1–2 tsp vanilla sugar
Crumb Topping
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup flour (I used 80% whole wheat)

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light colored, about 1 minute. Add the carrot jars, butter, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt and mix. Fold in the walnuts and raisins. (If the raisins are very large, cut them into smaller pieces first.)

Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the applesauce and mix minimally.

To prepare the cheese filling, mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

To prepare the crumb topping, mix the butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the flour and mix to form small crumbs.

Fill muffin tins halfway. Add a rounded teaspoonful of the cheese mixture in the center. Cover with some more carrot batter. Sprinkle the tops evenly with crumbs.

Bake for 25 minutes or until done.

These muffins can be frozen.


You can use dried cranberries instead of raisins, or you can omit them altogether and just use 12 cup of walnuts. Also, you can use low-fat cream cheese for the filling.


These muffins have just a hint of spice to them, serving as the background notes. If you’d like a more prominently spicy muffin, add a bit more of each spice.

If carrot baby jars are not available, use 1 cup very finely blended cooked carrots.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 895)

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