Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling – We’re Gonna Need a Montage

carrot muffin with cream cheese filling



Really now, is there a difference between a cupcake and a muffin? Is not one the same as the other with merely an aspiration of frosting? Is not a cupcake just a prissier muffin, perhaps a slightly finer body made with cake flour, but with no real substance on the inside, only covered with frosting make-up and adorned with flashy chocolate and candy accessories on the outside? Or is is that a muffin is the back asswards, lumpy, bumpy country cousin of the sophisticated city cupcake?

These questions, they are too much. I feel the need…I feel the need for…a montage.

The hour’s approaching to give it your best
And you’ve got to reach your prime
That’s when you need to put yourself to the test
And show us the passage of time
We’re gonna need a montage
Ooh, it takes a montage

carrot muffins with cream cheese filling - chopped walnuts
a montage starts with mise en place

carrot muffins with cream cheese filling - shredded carrots
just the result of shredding

Show a lot of things happening at once
Remind everyone of what’s going on
In every shot, show a little improvement
To show it all would take too long
That’s called a montage
Girl, we want a montage

carrot muffins with cream cheese filling - batter
a muffin has substance

carrot muffins with cream cheese filling - filled muffin tins
no need to show the baking

In anything, if you want to go
From just a beginner to a pro
You need a montage
Even Rocky had a montage

carrot muffins with cream cheese filling - muffin
skip to finished muffin

Always fade out in a montage
If you fade out it seems like more time has passed in a montage…

carrot muffins with cream cheese filling - muffin
background fade for effect now

carrot muffins with cream cheese filling - split
too dainty for a fork

From chopped walnuts, shredded carrots, and raisins plumped in hot water to miniature carrot muffins filled with cream cheese…that’s how Team Sarah does a montage.

Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

I suppose you could also frost these with cream cheese frosting and turn them into cupcakes because if there’s any cake that’s the same as a muffin, it’s carrot cake.

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift together 1½ c. all-purpose flour, 1½ tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp.baking powder, ½ tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. nutmeg, and 1 c. sugar.

In a separate bowl, beat 3 eggs and 2/3 cup vegetable oil until lightened. Stir in 1½ c. shredded carrots, ½ c. chopped walnuts, and ½ c. raisins that have been soaked for 10 minutes in hot water (or warmed rum, if you’d like).

** As a side note, the bestbestbest carrot cake I’ve ever had in my life was at Just Desserts in Berkeley. I used to go to the one on College Avenue, order an enormous piece of carrot cake and an espresso and (pretend to) study until they kicked me out. The carrots in Just Desserts’ carrot cake were not normal shreds, like they were done on a box grater, but long and super fine, like carrot threads. Unfortunately, my little Japanese Benriner cannot make the carrots like that.

In another bowl, cream 4 oz. softened cream cheese with 1 egg yolk, ½ c. sugar, and ½ tsp. vanilla.

Fold the dry ingredients into the egg/oil mixture. Stir until just combined. Fill mini-muffin cups about ¾ full. Plop a generous teaspoon of the cream cheese filling on top of the batter in each muffin cup.

Bake about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean.

** a year ago today, there was no donkey at tia juana’s **

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  • shauna

    hilarious and delicious! you don’t get too many montages like that :)

  • Tokyoastrogirl

    These look like a combination of carrot cake and cheese cake…..which means I have to make them for consumption immediately. Thanks for the photos.

  • peachiee

    I refuse to read the rest of this article because it will only ruin the hilarity of the title!

  • peachiee

    I refuse to read the rest of this article because it will only ruin the hilarity of the title!

  • Colleen Cuisine

    Team America. Nice.
    I have a whole new respect for you

  • Cate

    I am so making these muffins this weekend… thanks for the recipe.

  • onetomato

    no offense to the carrot, but i want to take a spoon and scoop out the cream cheesy innards of all those muffins and shovel them into my mouth. yuuuuummy!

  • Catherine

    Your montage is waaaay too cute! Looks delish, Sarah!

    Nice way to just have a couple of satisfying bites when they’re made into minis.

  • sarah

    shauna: credit for hilarity goes, of course, to team america, which, to this day, i can’t believe i watched. not because it was bad (it was quite funny), but i rarely, almost never, watch movies.

    tokyoastrogirl: now the question is, can we make a carrot cheesecake? i have often thought about doing it, and i have seen one on the menu at the factory place, but just wonder if it would actually taste like carrots…

    peach: nothing to read. nothing to read at all…move along on now.

    colleen cuisine: respect? LOL! do you mean…disrespect?!?! LOL!

    cate: hope they turn out okay! and i think you should just go all out and frost them with cream cheese frosting. i have no idea what i was thinking to leave that off. :)

    onetomato: great. not you gotta go and offend the carrot. hurt its feelings and all!

    cat: just a couple? that’s what i thought too. i swear that’s why they were minis – youknow, tohelp with portion control on this silly diet.

    HA! i ate like…six? seven?


  • Catherine

    seven’s a good number, sarah. ;)

  • Anonymous

    is it 1 1/2 carrots or 1 1/2 cups carrots?

  • Anonymous

    anon: aaaah! it’s 1 1/2 CUPS of shredded carrots. thanks for catching that. :) – sarah

  • joy

    Dang, now I know what keeps going wrong with my desserts: no montage in the middle! That’s why they keep ending up as still a pile of uncooked ingredients, even after the whole CD has finished playing and I’m already through two glasses of wine.

    Knew I was missing something. Need more montage.

    Okay, got it now.

    On the other hand, forget it, I’ll just eat the pile of carrots and wash it down with cream cheese. :-)

  • Anonymous

    joy: funny, sometimes that happens to me, too. all the ingredients are there, in fact they even make it out of the refrigerator onto the countertop. but somehow, they can never pull themselves together into a final product.

    *shakes head*

    lazy ass ingredients.

    ~ sarah

  • hermz

    Aww man, I’m so disappointed. As I started reading the lyrics, I was hoping… no, dying for the final image to be blurred and faded. You know, to seem like more time had passed.


  • sarah

    actually, i was going to fade it out, but it didn’t work out so well because i had an even number of pictures. so it has to pair with the one on the left. then the fade out wouldn’t be that dramatic. you know?

  • kellypea

    Oh jeez, I have to make these. I’ve been trawling for the perfect muffin and this. may. just. be. it.

  • kellypea

    Oh jeez, I have to make these. I’ve been trawling for the perfect muffin and this. may. just. be. it.

  • Anonymous

    was trolling for a good carrot muffin.. this had such potential.

    But i’m thinkin’ that the baking soda has to be more like 1/2 tsp. I have to throw the first batch out.

    However, I may have to suck the cream cheese filling out before i toss them.

    • Gracie

      Why do you throw it out if it has too much baking soda? Is it bad for the baking process or the taste or the batter? Im new to baking so thanks for your help!

  • Anonymous


    I just made these, and the only negative was that I couldn’t be alone with them.

  • Sarah

    I am going to make this for my bible study brunch tomorrow! Yummy!

    • Sarah J. Gim

      you’ll have to let us all know how they turn out!

  • Lisa

    I think I’m going to have to make these tonight, they look irresistible. As far as you know, the proportions are all accurate? I saw one commenter said there was too much baking soda…

    • Sarah J. Gim

      hm, well i made the muffins exactly as the recipe states, and they were okay. unfortunately, i don’t know enough science of baking to know what too much or too little baking soda will do to something as hearty/strong as carrot cake. i’d think that it would just taste a little too salty?

      • Lisa

        Haha I don’t know either! Maybe I’ll split the difference…I’ll report back either way. Thanks!

      • Lisa

        Turned out great, I used 1 tsp baking soda. Though mine were not as photogenic/montage-worthy as yours. But tasty!

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  • cakster


  • Sarah J. Gim

    Cakster: glad you like! now wipe that drool off your keyboard.. ;)

  • miriam

    hmm… my cream cheese filling fell right to the bottom when i tried this. any ideas on what i could have done wrong? despite the appearance though, they were delicious!

  • Anonymous

    even rocky had a montage

  • Anonymous

    Fun little muffin-cupcake thing. Made them yesterday afternoon and got about 21 muffins (only fill normal tins ~1/2 way). I should’ve made more of the cream cheese part though but I have an over-developed sweet tooth so that probably isn’t good for anyone else.

  • Diet Solution Online

    That’s magic! It’s just as if I could smell your photos!!!

  • Paul Dreyer

    Made these for my wife’s birthday in November, now my dad wants them for his 60th today. Yipes! They’re really excellent.

  • Amycat

    OMFG I made these last night and they were AMAZING. My boyfriend ate 4 of them at like 12 am before bed. And it was so easy to make too!
    Magical things.

  • Amanda

    My cream cheese fell to the bottom as well, and it didn’t look nearly as thick as yours. I did use reduced fat cream cheese, so that might be it.

  • Jenn

    I would use 2tsp baking soda, instead of both baking soda and powder.

    Also, thought the cream cheese was a hair too sweet (and I am a sugar crazy person). . .

  • Sarah J. Gim

    jenn: thanks for the tip – next time i do this, will try with all baking soda…

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  • http://Puttingonmybakinghat.wordpress.Com Cherine

    These muffins look insanely delicious! How many muffins does this recipe yield? Thank you! :-)

    • Sarah J. Gim

      Cherine: the recipe made about 2 trays of micro mini muffins, so about 48!


    WOW! Team America AND cream cheese! I’m in!

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  • Lynn

    How many servings is this for?

  • Shoshanna Lee

    Awesome, mouth watering. Like Cherine and Lynn, I also want to know the servings we can get.

  • Rita Reyes

    Thanks for the great blog! I love it.

    Gourmet Cookies

  • anonymous

    These look great! But wouldn’t adding some yogurt/buttermilk make them more moist? Just a thought.

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  • Seedplanter Designs

    Stop it. You’re making me hungry!
    Your recipe is wonderful, and the photos are so delicious I could just stare.
    Looks like I have another favorite food blog to add to my list.

  • Amelia

    This is by far my FAVOURITE recipe for carrot cakes/ muffins/cupcakes etc. They are AWESOME!

  • melissa

    These are fabulous! I’ve been making them for friends where I live in a small fishing village in mexico and they are a huge hit with the locals!

  • Lauren

    What a lovely recipe. And, kudos for the Team America sing along.

  • http://n/a melissa

    Does anybody else find that their cream cheese filling doesn’t sink in enough and it just cooks atop the muffins? Maybe this is because I am making larger sized muffins with this recipe. However, I found a solution; I am inserting the cream cheese into large irrigation syringes and injecting the muffins with delicious cream cheese goodness!

    PS: blog writer: if you are ever in mexico I know a village who would love to thank you for sharing your recipe.

    • Smcupp0902

      Mine did not sink. 

  • Joanna

    There are some delights in life that are not easily put into words. Yes, they truly do require a montage. You use words so beautifully! I am inspired to make these muffins immediately!
    Delicious, intriguing recipes combined with a beautiful turn-of-phrase; I’ve found my recipe blog heaven!

  • Anonymous

    melissa I’d love to know what your doing to get it to stay on top ! mine fell through to the bottom and left a hole in the top.
    tried a second batch and put a layer of batter I held back over the top of the cream cheese and it seems to have worked

  • Nick

    Last week I made these and they came out perfect (and delicious). Tonight, with same ingredients and procedure, they puffed up A LOT and the cream cheese frosting fell through to the bottom of each muffing. Has this ever happened to anyone else?

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  • Jessie

    I have a Pampered Chef julienne peeler, and it makes those long, very thin shreds. Maybe I will try those in these “muffins”!

  • Rachelrvn

    I can NOT wait to make these! 

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  • Kat

    THANK YOU! I didn’t have any carrots, and I don’t like raisins, so I used banana instead(: I am so proud of myself right now. Love it!

  • Eggton

    Awesome, thanks! I am obsessed with carrot cake.  In case it’s of interest, here is the link to an amazing sweet potato nut cake with amaretto frosting.  It made me never want to go back to carrot cake again! 

    It’s at

    Thanks again!

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  • Cynthia

    I tried the recipe and instead of using oil I used apple sauce to make the cake more moist. I also only used 1/2 a cup of sugar in the recipe and added about a cup of freshly cut pineapple and a cup of chocolate chips instead of the nuts and raisins to make it a more kid friendly dessert :) Just thought it might help.

  • Diane

    I’m sorry to say that my cream cheese also sank to the bottom of my muffins.  They tasted good, but weren’t nearly as pretty as the ones in the photos above.

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  • Anissa Gooch

    THese look fabulous! I’m totally bummed that I can’t pin this recipe so I won’t be able to easily find it again (though I understand why you’d want to protect your photos from Pinterest pinners).

    • Sarah J. Gim

      Hey Anissa – that’s so weird that you can’t pin the muffins! I don’t have any sort of protection on it…but it looks like it’s been pinned before, so maybe you can just re-pin this?

      also, once you make the muffins, if you remember, you’ll have to let me know how they turn out! some peeps have commented here that the cream cheese part sinks in too much….

  • Cindy

    have you ever tried freezing these muffins? these are a crowd favorite for a bake sale – would love to make several batches ahead of time.

  • Stacy Rose

    Hi Sarah! this cupcakes looks amazing! i would love to save your recipe on pinterest but you don’t have one… Thanks for great recipe

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