If carrots are good for your eyes, than carrot cake must be even better . . . right!?!
These little Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Center, from The Curvy Carrot, make a yummy breakfast, lunch time treat, or afternoon snack. They were super quick to put together this morning, and with carrots, raisins, and walnuts, they have to at least be a little bit healthy for you (just ignore all the sugar).
Carrots have been used in sweet cakes since medieval times when sweeteners were scarce and expensive. Carrots, which contain more sugar than any other vegetable besides the sugar beet, were much easier to find and less expensive. Similarly, during World War II, the popularity of carrot cake was revived in Britain because of rationing. Carrot cakes first became commonly available as a novelty item in restaurants and cafeterias in the United States in the early 1960s. People liked them so much, that soon carrot cake became a standard desert in restaurants.
Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Center
for the filling:
- one 8-ounce or 250g package cream cheese
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla
for the muffins:
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed (about 2 medium carrots)
- 2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 2/3 cup raisins, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Line a cupcake pan with paper liners or brush with melted butter.
For the filling: In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the cream cheese on low power until softened, about 40 seconds. Add the granulated sugar and almond extract to the cream cheese mixture, mixing well, and set aside.
For the muffins: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, and oil. Using a rubber spatula, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just
combined. Then, fold in the grated carrots, walnuts, and raisins.
Drop about 2 tablespoons of the muffin batter into each muffin cup, making sure to completely cover the bottom.
Using another tablespoon, drop 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto the center of each muffin cup.
To complete the muffins, cover each dollop of cream cheese completely with the remaining muffin batter. It is helpful to wet your fingertips a little bit to spread the batter evenly and thoroughly over the tops of each muffin.
Bake the muffins until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool.