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carrot muffin cut in half with cream cheese frosting

The Best Carrot Muffins

  • Author: Elyse Villa
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x


These carrot muffins are moist, topped with an oat streusel, and filled with cream cheese frosting…because more is more.



For the streusel:

  • 2T all-purpose flour
  • 1/4C rolled oats
  • 1/4C chopped walnuts
  • 2T light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2t granulated sugar
  • 1/8t ground cinnamon
  • 1/8t grated nutmeg
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1oz unsalted butter, cold and cubed

For the muffins:

  • 3/4C canola oil
  • 1C + 1T granulated sugar
  • 3/4t kosher salt
  • 1 1/2t orange zest (from about 1/2 an orange)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2C all-purpose flour
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1 1/2t baking soda
  • 1 1/2t ground cinnmaon
  • 1 3/4C grated carrot (from about 3 carrots), shredded using the big holes of a box grater

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 4oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3C – 1/2C powdered sugar
  • 1/2t pure vanilla extract


  1. Make the streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, walnuts, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the cubed butter and toss it together. Begin pinching the butter between your fingers, breaking up the butter into pea-sized pieces, so you end up with a mixture that has the consistency of wet, crumbly sand. Cover and throw in the fridge until needed. 
  2. Make the muffins: Preheat the oven to 350F. Place muffin liners in your muffin tin and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, salt, zest, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
  5. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the carrots.
  6. Pour into your prepared muffin tins, filling nearly all the way to the top. Crumble your streusel mixture over the top and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
  7. Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a large bowl with an electric mixer) beat the cream cheese on med. high until soft. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the powdered sugar. Start with 1/3C, add the vanilla extract, beat on medium to fully combine, and then taste. If you want it a little sweeter, continue to add powdered sugar until you’re happy with the taste.
  8. Once your muffins are fully cooled, core out the center using a teeny cookie cutter, a paring knife, or the back end of a frosting tip. (Set aside the cored-out bits for a chef’s treat. Or, if you want to be REAL fancy, crumble up these bits, mix them with leftover cream cheese frosting to form balls, and dip them in melted white chocolate for carrot cake [muffin] balls.)
  9. Fill a pastry bag (or Ziploc bag) with frosting and pipe the cream cheese into your newly holed-out muffins. Enjoy! These will keep well tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for 3 days.