Carrot Cake Muffins with Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting


I’m home for a short week before heading to Palm Springs with the girls to relax, have fun and play a few rounds of golf in the warm weather of the great South land.  I’m so humbled by my inability to lose a few pounds and keep them off that I’m fully ready to take a break from baking. Before I take some time off- I would like to offer up a delicious but humble recipe for lightened up carrot cake muffins iced with a modest amount of lemony cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of finely chopped walnuts, they wouldn’t be nearly as pretty without it!I even sliced one open so you could see all the pretty shredded carrots inside, so of course I had to eat it right before I went out to lunch with my daughter and grand daughter.  The rest went in the freezer, just like it never happened.

Now, I have to decide if I’m packing my bathing suit for the trip- who wears a bathing suit in February?  All I can say is how happy I am to have such a cute cover up that I will finally get to wear at the pool.

Hope you enjoy the recipe and look forward to catching up with everyone in a few weeks!

Carrot Cake Muffins with Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 muffins

Adapted from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger.


  • 1 & 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour, King Arthurs Flour brand
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Spice, Penzeys brand
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 & 1/2 cups shredded carrots ( about 4 medium size peeled carrots)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, plus 2 tablespoons extra for garnish
  • For the Frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons grated Meyer lemon zest, from 1 small Meyer lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and baking spice, set aside.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, brown sugar and eggs until combined.
  5. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla and carrots.
  6. Add the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined, gently stir in the walnuts.
  7. Divide the batter between the muffin cups using a standard size ice cream scoop.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, until top springs back when gently touched.
  9. Cool on metal rack.
  10. To Make the Frosting
  11. Using an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon zest and juice until smooth, 2-3 minutes.
  12. Chill frosting for 30 minutes while the muffins cool.
  13. Frost the cooled muffins (1 rounded tablespoon each) and sprinkle with walnuts.
  14. Store the cupcakes in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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  1. Whole wheat! Lemon! I think this qualifies as health food :-)
    Have a good trip!

  2. I’ve had carrot cake muffins on my mind for a while, these look like just what I need to satisfy my craving :). Hope you have a great time in Palm Springs!

  3. Have a great trip! Your cupcakes looks wonderful. I have a tendency to eat one or two, and then put it in the freezer to pretend it never happened as well. Some how the scale always knows though :(

  4. I have a cover up I wear too, I call it clothes. He he. Poor thing, I hear you, I can’t lose either. Hmm, I wonder why? These are modest though and I love the scant amount of icing. Have fun!!!

  5. Carrot cake muffins topped with lemon cream cheese frosting! Patty, you’re a genius! If you have any muffins left in the freeze, I’d be happy to take them off your hands. :D

    Have time in Palm Springs! Bring back a tan for me, Please!

  6. These are not only pretty, also very delicious!
    Enjoy your time in Palm Springs!

  7. OMGosh!! These just look fabulous! Carrot cake is a favorite of mine…and these muffins sound lovely!
    A weekend with the girls sounds wonderful….enjoy! I’m in Florida and it’s been cool and rainy most of the days we’ve been here…hope your weather is bright and sunny!!

  8. Happy Saturday morning, Patty! Love carrot cake, love carrot cake muffins, and adore lemon cream cheese frosting! Such great muffins lightened up! Have a great time in Palm Springs!

  9. How did you know I’ve been craving carrot cake? Love the muffin version here…and did you say you have some in the freezer? Hmmm…

    Enjoy Palm Springs and have lots of fun with your friends!!!

  10. I hope you’re having a great time Patty! There’s nothing quite as humbling as putting on a bathing suit, lol:) I need to loose a few pounds myself. Your carrot muffins look and sound delicious.

  11. Hi, Patty! My, you are quite the jet setter lately. :) I feel the same way as you and have taken a break from some of the baking and probably more for awhile. It is so easy to put on a few punds, but so difficult to take them off it seems. Carrot cupcakes are healthy though, right?! They certainly look fabulous and what a great idea to add some juice from you meyer lemos to the frosting. Have fun in Palm Springs! I envy you wearing a bathing suit in February!

  12. Loving all of your recent adventures! These muffins look and sound divine. I have not had breakfast yet but heading out to lunch soon. You are making my mouth water!!!! Happy Weekend!

  13. I hear ya on trying to loose a few pounds it tough when you like to bake! I like carrot muffins with cream cheese frosting oh yes, a lovely combo. Enjoy the great weather and have fun.

  14. Have a wonderful time, thanks for taking the time to share these before you left, they look fabulous!

  15. I love all the Meyer lemon recipes I see around! I’ve never thought of pairing carrot muffins with meyer lemon frosting, but I know it works like a charm – the sweetness and ‘spiciness’ of carrot muffins with a tangy-sweet cream cheese frosting. Unbelievable!

  16. Beautiful and healthy looking muffins Patty! I LOVE meyer lemons and home my tree gives me a good crop this year. I agree….sometimes you just need a break from the baking. I hope you have a WONDERFUL time on your trip!

  17. These look great, Patty! I hope you enjoy your vacation!

  18. I am a huge fan of carrot cake and I just love your version with the Meyer lemon frosting. I am happy to have a found a carrot cake recipe that is on the lighter side! Palm Springs is a wonderful place to visit. Hope you are having a great time!
    - Lisa

  19. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Whole wheat flour is perfect in a muffin. Love the Meyer lemon frosting. Just delicious! Good for you to getaway and don’t worry about being bikini perfect…just enjoy your time away in the heat!:)xx

  20. I hope you have an amazing trip, Patty. And you shared my very favorite dessert: carrot cake. How beautiful these cupcakes are! Thank you for sharing…and brightening up a cold Wednesday morning. I hope you are having a great week!

  21. Patty, these look amazing! I love a good hit of citrus in a cream cheese frosting.

  22. I’m glad I don’t have to wear a bathing suit in February…but might be in LA end of March. Yikes. I need to hide myself by holding one of kids! I honestly prefer eating all the yummy food than worrying about a swim suit (and not even bikini!). :D Your carrot cake has tiny bits of carrots showing and it’s sooo cute! Meyer lemon cream cheese frosting? Now that makes this 110% delicious.

  23. Hope you’re having a wonderful time. I know what you mean about losing weight and keeping it off – it’s why I’m not posting so much baking these days!

  24. Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday Dear Patty!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Hope you have are making yourself a big cake to eat all by yourself.

  25. I always think about carrot cake when Easter gets close too. This sounds like a wonderful recipe!

    We just returned from Palm Springs/Desert :) And yes, I did wear a bathing suit in February! Hope you had a wonderful time.


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