Carrot cake is a classic favourite, but that doesn't mean you can't make it even better. How do I propose you do that? STUFF IT WITH CHEESECAKE! These cheesecake stuffed carrot muffins have a moist, spiced carrot base and are packed full with tangy cheesecake which is actually baked inside the muffins - and the whole thing is topped off with a sweet and crunchy cinnamon crumble topping. After how much you guys loved my Nutella Stuffed Banana Muffins, I knew I couldn't wait too long to give you another stuffed muffin!
Because these muffins aren't overly sweet, they make a great breakfast muffin or a treat for those with less of a sweet tooth. Just because they aren't super sweet though does not mean they are lacking in flavour! Oh no, these are rich and complex with so many different flavours and textures dancing together - the carrot, the cinnamon, the spice of the ginger and the luxurious creaminess of the baked cheesecake inside. You can get soft sponge, silky cheesecake and crunchy topping all in one bite.
Make the Cheesecake Filling and Crumble Topping First
There are three main components here, the muffin batter, the cheesecake filling and the crumble topping. It's best to make the crumble topping and the cheesecake filling before you start the muffin batter. This is because the muffin batter has raising agents in it (baking soda and baking powder) that will start to work once the batter is made, and you want to save all that magic for the oven so you get a lovely rise! If you start making the crumble and filling when your batter is already prepared, the muffins won't rise as much and will be a little dense. Unlike a lot of 'stuffed' muffins and cupcakes, this filling is actually baked inside the muffin which gives it a wonderful flavour and texture - and it's especially good when you eat them slightly warm!
Assembling your Cheesecake Stuffed Carrot Muffins
It's best to put a small amount of batter in the muffin liner to form a base, I use about half an ice cream scoop for this stage - or about one heaped tablespoon of batter. Then scoop a generous tablespoonful of cheesecake filling into it - try not to let the cheesecake go out to the edges. Top with another scoop of batter (or about two tablespoons). Then coat the tops of the muffins with a generous handful of crumble topping - try to cover the entire surface area of muffin as it will spread as it rises and the crumble will be m ore spaced out.
Ingredients for Cheesecake Stuffed Carrot Muffins
These muffins are HEFTY, so this recipe makes just 6 of them! But you can easily make more by double or tripling the recipe.
Flour: Make sure your flour is sifted as this is a dense recipe and sifting the flour will give the muffins their lightness. If you are using Self Raising flour instead of All-purpose flour, just leave the baking powder and salt out of the ingredients list.
Sugar: We use both regular white sugar and golden (light brown) sugar for these muffins, this gives them a bit more depth of flavour
Spices: You don't want to overdo it because the carrots are still the star of the show here, but a hint of cinnamon and ginger really show off the carrot and contrast the cheesecake flavour
Eggs: Use large eggs and let them come to room temperature to avoid curdling the batter
Vegetable Oil: This helps to make sure the muffins stay nice and moist, and also makes the batter easier to work with, which will help when trying to put in the filling!
Carrots: Obviously you need carrots for carrot muffins! Use any kind you like and peel and grate them before starting to mix your batter together.
Cream Cheese: Use whatever kind of cream cheese you like but make sure it's room temperature before you start so you can beat it together smoothly without lumps
Cheesecake Stuffed Carrot Muffins
For the Carrot Muffin Batter
- 2 ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
- ½ cup White Sugar
- ¼ cup Golden Sugar (light brown sugar)
- 1 ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon Ground Ginger
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 2 Eggs
- ¾ cup Water
- ⅓ cup Vegetable Oil
- 1 ½ cups Carrots grated
For the Cheesecake Filling
- 1 ½ cups Cream Cheese
- ¼ cup White Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla
For the Crumble Topping
- ½ cup All-purpose Flour
- ⅓ cup White Sugar
- ¼ cup Butter melted
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F / 200°C and line a muffin pan with muffin liners
Make the Crumble Topping
- Melt the butter in the microwave
- Put all crumble ingredients in a bowl and stir with a fork until combined and crumbly. There should be varying sizes of crumble in here
Make the Cheesecake Filling
- Beat the cream cheese, vanilla and sugar until smooth, set aside
Make the Muffin Batter
- Whisk together eggs, water and oil
- Add dry muffin ingredients and mix together
- Mix in the grated carrots
- Drop about 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin liner to cover the bottom, then place a large heaping tablespoon of cheesecake filling in the middle, try not to let it reach the edges
- Cover with more muffin batter so the cases are about ¾ full
- Top generously with crumble topping and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean (avoid the cheesecake part when testing)