Scuffins are neither a muffin or a scone; they live somewhere between the two on a sweetness and texture scale. Since posting my first scuffin recipes for Peach or Nectarine Scuffins and Apple-Oat Scuffins, this simple method has become my go-to whenever I want to make an easy treat for breakfast, brunch, or afternoon tea.
Like traditional carrot cake, these Carrot Cake Scuffins are frosted with traditional cream cheese frosting. The result is delectable mini carrot cakes.
An easy, no fuss batter. These scuffins are quick to throw together without some of the fussing required when making traditional scones or muffins.
- No need to work quickly to keep butter cold and cut it into the dry ingredients as in a traditional scone recipe; I used melted butter that easily mixes right in.
- No need to form the dough and cut it into shapes, or pour it into muffin pans; this quick batter is plopped in rustic mounds on a baking sheet. That's it--easy!
- No need to get up early to make these; this scuffin recipe takes 30 minutes, start to finish, including baking time.
Nutritional Information: Although this recipe uses wholesome whole wheat flour, fresh carrots (1 scuffin provides 56% of daily recommended Vitamin A), maple syrup, and yogurt, it isn't a low-cal or low-carb recipe. As with any good scone, there's butter involved; it adds flavor that is hard to replicate with substitutes. The cream cheese frosting adds more fat and calories; try them unfrosted for a lower calories option. Here's the nutritional breakdown:
- One frosted scuffin: 307 calories, 14.9g fat, 9.1g sat. fat, 53mg cholesterol,324mg sodium, 155mg potassium, 39.6g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 19.1g sugars, 4.3g protein. Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 14
- One unfrosted scuffin: 210 calories, 8.7g fat, 5.2g sat. fat, 35mg cholesterol, 275mg sodium, 143mg potassium, 29.4g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 10.0g sugars, 3.6g protein. Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 9
Step-by-step photos for making
Carrot Cake Scuffins
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients. For the batter, you need:
- all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
- whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
- pumpkin pie spice mix (buy it, or make your own with my recipe); a perfect blend of sweet spices
- vanilla extract
- applesauce (this adds moisture and sweetness)
- maple syrup
- 2% or full-fat yogurt or sour cream (I use Greek yogurt)
view on Amazon: organic whole wheat pastry flour, organic maple syrup; pumpkin pie spice
Of course, you need fresh carrots for carrot cake. I recommend grating your own instead of buying the bags of shredded carrots. Those pre-shredded carrots are very dry and don't soften as well in the short cooking time of these scuffins.
No nuts or raisins in my recipe, but feel free to add 1/2 cup of each along with the carrots, if you like. I'm not a fan of raisins in baked goods, so I leave them out. Although I personally like nuts, not everyone does. That's why I add nuts on top of half of the frosted scuffins, so everyone is happy.
For the frosting, you need:
- powdered (confectioners) sugar
- vanilla extract
- cream cheese
- chopped pecans (optional)
Step 2. Cut the butter into pieces and heat it in the microwave just until it melts. Set aside to cool. The butter should be liquified, but not hot, when it is added to the wet batter ingredients later. (If you accidentally overheat the butter, put it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool it down.)
Step 3. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
Step 4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the wet ingredients until smooth. The butter should be melted, but not hot.
Step 5. Use the back of a spoon or rubber spatula to form a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir just until combined with no visible dry flour. Don't over-mix. (Expect a thick batter.) Fold in the shredded carrots.
Step 6. Drop 12 equal portions of batter in roundish mounds on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. A large cookie scoop makes it easy to form even mounds of batter.
Step 7. Bake for approx. 15 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave the scuffins on the pan for 5 minutes.
Step 8. Transfer scuffins to a wire rack and cool completely.
- view on Amazon: wire cooling rack (rated #1 by Cooks Illustrated's Home Test Kitchen; also fits inside baking sheet to create a cooking rack)
Step 9. While the scuffins cool, make the frosting in a small bowl. Combine the softened butter and cream cheese. Use an electric mixer on low speed to mix until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, continue mixing until smooth.
Step 10. Frost the cooled scuffins. You can sprinkle on chopped pecans, although they're optional. I usually add nuts to half of mine and leave half nut-free. That way the no-nut people are happy.
Me? I like mine with nuts.
TO STORE: Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days. Uncover and bring to room temperature before serving. TO FREEZE: Cover and freeze frosted for unfrosted scuffins for up to 2 weeks. Uncover, allow to thaw, and bring to room temperature before serving.
These have such a great flavor and texture. They're like mini carrot cakes, yet made in such a simple, easy way. Serve them any time--for breakfast or brunch (perfect for Easter brunch!), with afternoon tea, or an evening dessert.
Make it a Yummy day!
Scuffins | Carrot Cake
Servings: makes 12
- FOR BATTER:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice mix (recipe at www.theyummylife.com/Pumpkin_Pie_Spice_Mix)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)
- 1/2 cup 2% or full fat yogurt (or sour cream)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
- FOR CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Cut stick of butter into 4-5 pieces. In microwave safe bowl, heat butter just until melted. Set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place parchment paper or silicone mat on large baking sheet; set aside.
In large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Set aside.
In separate medium bowl, combine wet ingredients: melted (and cooled) butter, yogurt, applesauce, egg, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
Use the back of a spoon to form a well in the dry mixture. Pour wet mixture to into dry mixture well. Stir lightly with wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until uniformly mixed and no dry flour is visible; do not over mix. Batter will be thick. Fold in grated carrots just until uniformly mixed in.
Use a large cookie scoop or spoon to drop 12 evenly portioned mounds of batter onto baking sheet.
Bake approx. 15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Cool completely.
MAKE FROSTING: In a small bowl, use electric mixer on low speed to combine cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, continue mixing until smooth. Spread frosting over tops of cooled scuffins. Sprinkle with pecans, if desired.
TO STORE: Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days. Uncover and bring to room temperature before serving. TO FREEZE: Cover and freeze frosted or unfrosted scuffins for up to 2 weeks. Uncover, allow to thaw, and bring to room temperature before serving.
One FROSTED scuffin: 307 calories, 14.9g fat, 9.1g sat. fat, 53mg cholesterol,324mg sodium, 155mg potassium, 39.6g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 19.1g sugars, 4.3g protein.
Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 14
One UNFROSTED scuffin: 210 calories, 8.7g fat, 5.2g sat. fat, 35mg cholesterol, 275mg sodium, 143mg potassium, 29.4g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 10.0g sugars, 3.6g protein.
Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 9
You might also enjoy my other scuffin recipes:
Peach or Nectarine Scuffins
Apple Oat Scuffins
Whole Grain, Carrot Cake Scuffins are a cross between a scone and a muffin. Sweetened with maple syrup and loaded with fresh carrots, the quick, yogurt batter is dropped in mounds on a baking sheet and ready in 30 minutes, start to finish. From TheYummyLife.com