Recipe: Lightened Up Carrot Cake Muffins With Cream Cheese Glaze

(Photo: Skinny Mom /

When you think about cream cheese icing, usually a decadent, calorie- and fat-laden dessert comes to mind. However, we've created a lightened up carrot cake and cream cheese icing recipe so you don't have to feel guilty about indulging! We used applesauce and whole-wheat flour to slim this down, resulting in a 142-calorie muffin (including the icing!). Reduced-fat cream cheese and skim milk help save you calories in the icing department. Plus, you can't really say no to a dessert with a vegetable in it, can you?

Pro tip: Grate the carrots on the smallest side of your box grater to get the finest grate; that way, your muffins have a better texture!

  • 1¼ cups whole-wheat white flour

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup grated carrot

  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes

  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce

  • ½ cup raisins

  • 2 tablespoons pecans, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • ¾ cup skim milk

  • 4 ounces ⅓ less fat cream cheese

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons skim milk

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners, or spray the unlined tin generously with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt.

  3. In another medium mixing bowl, stir together the rest of the muffin ingredients.

  4. Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, to moisten. Then add the remaining wet ingredients and stir together until combined.

  5. Evenly pour the batter in the prepared muffin tin.

  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Take them out to cool on a cooling rack and make the glaze.

  7. To make the Cream Cheese Glaze: Soften the cream cheese by microwaving it in a microwave safe bowl for 20-30 seconds, until it is almost pourable.

  8. Whisk in the powdered sugar, skim milk and vanilla.

  9. When the muffins are completely cool, dip the tops in the glaze and allow the excess to drip off.

Nutrition Information
Per Serving: (2 muffins)
Calories: 284
Calories from fat: 85
Fat: 9g
Saturated Fat: 5g
Cholesterol: 43mg
Sodium: 340mg
Carbohydrates: 45g
Fiber: 5g
Sugar 21g
Protein: 7g
WWP+: 7
SmartPoints: 12

*Pictured with ½ teaspoon grated carrot, and ¼ teaspoon chopped pecans. Not included in nutritional calculations.