Sunday, April 17, 2011

Carrot Cake Muffins with Vegan Cream Cheese Top Filling

Here's a little tip of the hat to one of the recipes I'm most known for among friends -- my carrot cake oatmeal cookies. I'll get around to posting those little lovelies someday, but for now here's a little something more "suitable" for breakfast, or if you're like me, this is somewhat of a "wholesome" dessert. They're really more like cupcakes than muffins, but since they're not loaded with frosting, I'm not quite sure they can win it in the cupcake category. Either way, they are sweet and delicious, especially for the carrot cake aficionados like me. These are sure to please. Happy baking!

makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup organic/vegan sugar
3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax seeds whisked with 6 tbsp water)
2/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup almond milk
1 1/2 cup (packed) shredded carrots, from about 3 large carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Cream cheese filling:

4 oz Vegan cream cheese, softened -- just let it sit out at room temperature (Try: Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese or Galaxy Foods Vegan Cream Cheese)
1 Ener-G egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup organic/vegan sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line 12  standard sized muffin tins with cupcake liners. Spray lightly with canola oil and set aside.

Soak the raisins in warm water for 10 minutes and then drain them and set them aside. This will soften them up. Shred the carrots in a food processor fitted with a shredding blade, or with a hand grater. Use your hands to squeeze all the juice from the carrots. You want them to be as dry as possible so you don't add more liquid to the recipe. Don't throw away the carrot juice, drink it! Or give it to your dog!

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flax eggs, oil, and almond milk. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Fold in the carrots, walnuts, and raisins.

Incorporate the flax/oil/milk mixture into the flour mix slowly and mix well until a batter forms. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients for the cream cheese filling and beat with a rubber spatula until smooth, but thick and creamy.

Spoon the muffin batter into the muffin cups and fill each cup about 3/4 of the way full. Drop a heaping teaspoon of the cream cheese filling on top of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cake part of the muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in muffin tray for about 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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