Carrot Cake Cream Cheese Muffins

Carrot cake is delicious. Cream cheese is delicious. Why not combine the two in a portable muffin? Not too sweet and packed full of nuts, fruit and veg, these muffins are lactose-free, making them a great alternative if milk chocolate is off limits this Easter. Gluten-free and FODMAP-friendly too, they’re light, refreshing, and a dream to make thanks to their simple olive oil base.

Makes 10 muffins

Ingredients

2 medium carrots

100g lactose free cream cheese

25g icing sugar (optional)

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

200g plain gluten-free flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (optional, but helps to bind)

2 eggs

160ml olive oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

80g brown sugar

40g crushed pineapple

30g dried coconut

35g pecans, chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C and line a muffin tin with 10 cases. Peel and grate the carrots and place them on a paper towel to help remove any excess water. Combine the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla and put to one side.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and xanthan gum if using. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract and sugar until thick and creamy. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, followed by the pineapple, coconut and pecans.

Spoon a tablespoon and a half of the cake batter into each muffin case, followed by half a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling. Top with another tablespoon of the cake batter, distributing as evenly as possible across the cases.

Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake skewer inserted into the carrot cake part comes out clean. Store the muffins in the fridge, allowing them to come to room temperature before eating.

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