These crumb-top carrot cake muffins are highly rated by Frosting & Fettuccine readers, and it’s easy to see why! Incredibly moist and tender, they’re also quick to bake — just 35 minutes. The cinnamon-sugar crumb topping delivers a great crunch with every bite. Finish with a silky, homemade cream cheese glaze (optional). Recipe yields 18 muffins.
These carrot cake muffins are bursting with different textures and flavors. The cake is soft and moist, even with the addition of shredded carrots. Then we have the crunchy, sweet topping. Finally, to take it over the top, these carrot muffins are drizzled with a homemade tangy cream cheese glaze.
This recipe has a 5 star rating and its easy to see why! Readers love that these muffins are moist and not too much on the sweet side. As a trained pastry chef, its important for me to make recipes that are well balanced so that you love them as much as I do!
Muffins are one of my favorite sweets to bake because the mixing method is simple and always the same no matter what flavor you are making.
All you have to do is combine the wet ingredients in one bowl, and the dry ingredients into the other. Then pour the wet into the dry and mix until its just combined. Tada! All thats left is to pour the batter and bake. So easy!
Why you should make these
- They are easy to make, even with kids!
- The flavor is perfectly balanced.
- Enjoy these moist muffins for breakfast or brunch.
For the crumb topping:
- Flour– Flour is the base of the topping.
- Brown sugar– The molasses in the sugar helps to bind the crumbs.
- Granulated sugar– Adds sweetness.
- Cinnamon– Adds warm flavor and spice.
- Cold Unsalted Butter – You must use cold butter. Cold butter helps bind the crumb topping and creates crispy chunks.
For the muffins:
- 3 medium or 2 large carrots- You’ll need to shred the carrots. Don’t buy pre-shredded they are still too chunky.
- Flour– A base for the muffins.
- Brown Sugar– Adds a deep flavor.
- Baking Powder– Helps the muffins rise.
- Baking Soda– Reacts with the brown sugar to rise.
- Cinnamon– Adds spice.
- Kosher Salt– Enhances the flavor of the muffin.
- Eggs– Eggs are a binding agent and help build structure.
- Vegetable Oil– This type of fat in muffins creates a tender crumb.
- Milk – Helps with keeping the muffins moist.
Pre shredded carrots
I don’t recommend using pre shredded carrots for this recipe because they are still too thick to “melt” into the batter they way shredding your own carrots do. The best way to do it is by using a food processor or shredding my hand.
If you do decide to use them just remember that the texture could be different because you will get the bite from the carrots.
How to make carrot crumb muffins
Make the crumb topping- In a small bowl combine the flour, sugars, and cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter or pinch the butter into the mixture with your fingers gently until medium clumps form. Put in the fridge until you are ready to use.
Prepare for baking– Preheat your oven to 400° F and line a muffin tray with muffin liners and set aside. In a food processor, process the shredded carrots until they are in tiny pieces. Set aside.
Combine the dry ingredients- In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine.
Combine the wet ingredients- In another medium sized bowl combine the eggs and oil, and whisk to combine. Add in the milk, and then the shredded carrots, mixing well.
Mix– Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix ONLY until it is just combined. Do not overmix or your muffins will come out tough. The batter will be lumpy, thats ok.
Fill and Bake- Fill each muffin liner about 3/4 of the way full and top with the crumb topping mixture- sprinkle as much on as you like! Bake the muffins for 5 minutes on 400° and then without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350° and bake for another 18 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown in color.
Glaze– When the muffins are cool make the cream cheese glaze in a small bowl.
How to get domed Bakery style muffins
The way to get a domed top on muffins and make them seem like they just came from a bakery is to bake them at a high temperature first for a few minutes, and then reduce it to a lower temperature for the rest of the baking time.
The high heat helps cook the outside of the muffins first creating that domed top and then bakes from the inside with the lower temperature.
This recipes makes 18 regular sized muffins. You can also make 8-10 jumbo muffins but you will have to adjust the baking time for another 10 -12 minutes.
- Mix the batter only until it’s combined, its ok if there are lumps. If you over mix then the muffins can get tough.
- Add in spices like nutmeg and cloves if you like the flavor. I dont so I skip them.
- Make sure to glaze the muffins when they are cool. Otherwise the glaze can melt.
Storage and freezing
Storing- Store the muffins in an airtight container or a zip top back for 5 days for maximum freshness. They do not need to be stored in the fridge. free
Freezing- To freeze, line cooled muffins in a zip top freezer safe bag and squeeze out all the air. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Carrot Cake Crumb Muffins (Soft & Moist!)
For the crumb topping
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼-½ teaspoon cinnamon depending on preference
- ½ cup cold butter diced small
For the carrot cake muffins:
- 2 cups shredded carrots 3 medium or 2 large carrots
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup milk
- Make the crumb topping first- In a small bowl combine the 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter or pinch the butter into the mixture with your fingers gently until medium clumps form. Put in the fridge until you are ready to use.
- Preheat your oven to 400° F and line a muffin tray with muffin liners and set aside.
- In a food processor, process the shredded carrots until they are in tiny pieces enough to make 2 cups.
- In a medium sized bowl combine the 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir to combine.
- In another medium sized bowl combine the 4 eggs and 1 cup oil, and whisk to combine.
- Add in the 1/4 cup milk, and then the shredded carrots, mixing well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix ONLY until it is just combined. Do not overmix or your muffins will come out tough. The batter will be lumpy, thats ok.
- Fill each muffin liner about 3/4 of the way full and top with the crumb topping mixture- sprinkle as much on as you like!
- Bake the muffins for 5 minutes on 400° and then without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350° and bake for another 18 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown in color.
- While the muffins are cooling make the cream cheese glaze in a small bowl.
- Drizzle over each muffin and enjoy!