Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting and lemon zest with a pecan on top
The Vivacious Gourmet shares delicious healthy recipes

Hi, I'm Rachelle

The Vivacious Gourmet

I cook delicious healthy recipes that are simple to make, with wholesome fresh ingredients.

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I love making these muffins around Easter time but honestly they are so delish that you can enjoy them anytime of the year. These muffins are gluten free and contain very little sugar. Personally, I do not like a lot of sugar, but this frosting is the bomb and seriously addictive. The cream cheese frosting is an added sweet treat, but you have the option to leave out if you want to keep them even healthier. These make for a great breakfast or snack! Your kids will love eating their vegetables with this recipe.

Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting and lemon zest with a pecan on top

Carrot Cake Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

Rachelle Newbigging
3.72 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour gluten free
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups carrots grated approx 3-4 carrots
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans toasted
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 cup cream cheese room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup 18 whole pecans for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roast pecans in oven for 6-7 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and chop 1/2 cup. Save the remaining whole pecans for topping.
  • In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt and chopped pecans. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, applesauce, and maple syrup. Whisk in the eggs, milk, and vanilla. Add the carrots and flour mixture. Fold and stir very gently by hand. Do not over mix your batter.
  • Add paper liners to a 12-cup muffin pan. Only fill them to about 3/4 full of batter. (If you have some extra batter, do not overfill the muffins make new batch)
  • Bake the muffins for 15-17 mins or until the muffins are light golden on top. Insert toothpick into the middle of each muffin until it comes out clean.
  • Place the pan on a cooling rack and cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • For the cream cheese frosting, whisk the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Beat until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled muffins with cream cheese and top with whole pecans. Eat and Enjoy!


Optional to add in 1/3 cup of raisins if you like. 

Rachelle's signature


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