You didn’t think I would share a cream cheese frosting recipe without sharing a carrot cake-type recipe to go with it, did you?
(Correct Answer: No.)
You know those crazy-early morning – I’m talking 4:45 am – that you wake up, bleary-eyed, looking for a quick but delicious breakfast before having to throw on (like, literally throw on) some clothes, brave the cold, and head to work in the pitch-dark “morning” (read: middle of the night)?
Ha, probably not. I imagine most of you (sane) people out there work 9-5 jobs. Oh, how I envy.
Yeah… that’s the hospitality business for ya.
Honestly, I can’t complain. Hospitality is tough, as in working on 2.5 hours of sleep tough. But I like it, and that’s why I choose to keep having these ridiculously early mornings. I like the teamwork between the kitchen and the front-of-the-house, the way that no two days are alike, and, I’ll admit, the chance to people watc- errr, I mean, “observe”… people. (Sir, are you sure you should be telling those strangers how to feed their kids? I mean, I know your intentions are good, but…) Yeah. It’s never a dull moment. Well, usually.
On occasion, when work is a little dull, I sneak down to the kitchen to chat with one of the line cooks. (Depending on the time of day, I’ll get to taste different dishes being prepared… one of the perks of working in this business. No shortage of food. Whatsoever. ) Sometimes, I’ll also get “caught” by one of my bosses and get the “get back to your station” look. Oops. It happens.
Not that any of this relates to muffins!
So here we go, let’s chat about these guys. These muffins are simple but totally delicious. They have a wonderful warmth from the cinnamon and a subtle nuttiness from the walnuts. The carrots add beautiful color and lend to the tender but substantial chew of the muffin. The cream cheese frosting is totally optional, as these muffins are so yummy all on their own, but I particularly like the tangy, acidic accent of the frosting.
Rustic, homey, and 100% charming. That’s what these muffins are.
Carrot Cake Muffins
- 2 C. all-purpose flour
- ¾ C. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 C. buttermilk
- ¼ C. canola oil
- 1tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 C. carrots, finely grated
- 1 C. walnuts, toasted and chopped
- cream cheese frosting for serving, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper baking cups. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Take about 2 Tbsp. of mixture and reserve.
In a separate bowl, beat together egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Once combined, pour wet mixture into dry ingredients. Mix until just barely combined. Gently stir in grated carrots. Take reserved 2 Tbsp. of flour mixture and toss with chopped walnuts. Add walnuts into muffin batter and stir until just incorporated.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan, until batter just about reaches the top (I like to use an ice cream scoop for this). Bake on the middle oven rack for about 17-20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in muffin pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack and let cool the rest of the way.
Serve with cream cheese frosting if desired.
Yields 12 Muffins