Y’all remember this time last year when I excitedly bought a can of pumpkin only to realize it had expired 2 years before?

I feel like I never really got over that. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely beating down Starbucks’ door the day the PSLs were released but I just haven’t been excited to bake with pumpkin this year. But I’m still craving those fall flavors, you know?

So I was catching up on my DVR’d shows this past weekend and saw the Pioneer Woman making a carrot cake and, ding ding ding, immediately knew how to get my fall flavor fix! Carrot cake muffins! With sweetened cream cheese in the center!

You can’t go wrong with a muffin like this. The only way these could be better is if they had a ton of pecans in them! These were very moist and I didn’t even have to adjust them for the altitude! The carrots aren’t super¬†obvious – you could probably get away with adding more than a cup. And like I said, pecans would be an excellent addition! And raisins! Mmm!

Carrot Cream Cheese Muffins

about 16 muffins

Ingredients

For the filling:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese (low-fat is fine)
1/4 cup sugar
dash of vanilla
For the muffins:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated carrots, lightly packed; about 2 large carrots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line or grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. To make the filling, microwave the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl for about 40 seconds on low. Stir in sugar an vanilla. Set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, water, and vegetable oil until light. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and beat until just moistened. Add carrots and beat just a couple seconds until the carrots are dispersed.
  5. Put about 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. Add a heaping tablespoon into the center of each cup. Top with another couple tablespoons of batter, making sure the cream cheese is completely covered.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center (of the actual muffin, not cream cheese) comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. Repeat with remaining batter (or use a second muffin tin if you have it.)
http://fakeginger.com/carrot-cream-cheese-muffins/

Carrot Cream Cheese Muffins - carrot muffins filled with a sweetened cream cheese mixture! These are a great alternative to pumpkin in the fall!

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