Brown Butter Carrot Cake Muffins

Prep time
20 min
Cook time
30 min

The magic in these muffins is triple brown butter. With brown butter swirled into the muffins, the streusel, and the icing, these muffins boast a trifecta of rich, caramelly goodness. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves add flavor and warmth, and they perfectly balance the earthy carrots. The pecan-based streusel is crunchy yet delicate, and the icing adds sweetness and joy. Try them for a birthday breakfast, a baby or wedding shower, or a laid-back morning with your family. Then promptly hide any leftovers in the furthest corners of your kitchen to prevent them from disappearing immediately.


  1. To brown the butter, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, stirring occasionally, until it foams and turns golden brown, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Immediately transfer the butter to a liquid measuring cup. Divide the butter into 3 ¼-cup portions, setting two aside at room temperature and one in the freezer to chill. The brown butter will be used in the muffins, streusel, and glaze.
  3. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, ¼ cup of the room temperature brown butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Using a large spoon, fold in the carrots, raisins, and pecans.
  6. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Transfer the batter to the muffin pans, filling the wells ⅔ full.
  7. To make the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine ¼ cup of the chilled brown butter, the flour, pecans, sugar, and salt. Mix with the back of a fork until well combined. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the muffins.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin center comes out clean.
  9. To make the icing, in a heat-proof bowl, combine the cream cheese and remaining ¼ cup of room-temperature brown butter. Warm in the microwave for 15 seconds, or until the cream cheese is just softened. Whisk in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt.
  10. Use a piping bag to drizzle or a butter knife to spread the icing over the warm muffins. Enjoy!
  11. Leftover muffins can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe adapted from: America’s Test Kitchen

Made with love + simple ingredients