Sweet carrot muffins are made with raisins and nuts and a sweet and tart candied kumquat for a delicious citrus surprise inside of a traditional carrot cake muffin.
Last year was the first time I've ever had a kumquat. I've seen them at the market before but I never really knew what to do with them so I just never picked them up.
After I learned that they add a tasty sweet and tart flavor to baked goods whenever they are candied I was super excited to start baking with them. They don't have to be peeled so they are easy to use.
While I love traditional carrot cake muffins I thought a citrus twist would be a nice spring surprise inside. So I picked up a contained of kumquats from my local market and I got to baking!
- brown sugar
- baking soda
To make the candied kumquats: Thinly slice the kumquats and remove the seeds. Melt the butter in a skillet along with the brown sugar. Add the kumquats and simmer for 5-6 minutes, turning once or twice.
To make the muffins: In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla and eggs. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add the carrots, raisins, and walnuts and mix until combined.
To bake the muffins: Spoon a teaspoon of kumquat mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup. Fill with batter ¾ of the way full. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
The first thing I did was candy the kumquats. They are super tart so putting them in a butter and brown sugar mixture makes them sweet and tart but lets the citrus flavor shine through.
Then I mixed up a carrot cake muffin. I like my carrot cake loaded so I added in raisins and pecans. You can use a variety of nuts but I'm partial to pecans when I can get them for a decent price.
What is a kumquat?
A kumquat is a small, edible, orange like fruit. It is a citrus fruit that looks like a tiny orange and is only the size of an olive. It is native to Southeast Asia. You can eat the peel and the seeds of this fruit. Often times the seeds are removed but they don't have to be. The inside is tart and sour while the peel is the sweetest part.
I can't find kumquats, can I still make these?
Sure! If you can't find kumquats you can peel and cut an orange into 1 inch sections. Put it in with the butter and brown sugar.
Do I have to add raisins to this recipe?
No you don't. You can either leave them out or you can substitute dried cranberries or chopped, pitted prunes.
Can I make this into a kumquat carrot cake bread instead?
You can definitely turn this into a bread recipe. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Put all of the kumquat mixture at the bottom of the pan. Pour the muffin batter over top of the kumquats. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then turn the loaf onto a plate or cooling rack. Spoon any kumquats left in the pan on top of the loaf. Note: This bread will be a little sticky but it's delicious!
The kumquats go on the bottom of the muffin cups. Make sure you use paper liners for the muffins or else you won't be able to get them out of the pan.
The carrot cake mixture goes on top and they are baked until they turn golden. Make sure to cool them completely so that the wrapper comes off easily.
More Carrot Cake Recipes:
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Orange Frosting
- Carrot Cake Bird's Nest Cookies
- Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Carrot Cake Muffins
The carrot cake muffins are moist and perfectly spiced. The spices contrast so well with the sweet and tart candied kumquats. It's really a surprising burst of citrus in the middle of an earthy muffin.
If you’ve tried my Kumquat Carrot Muffins or any other recipe on Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you! You can FOLLOW ME on:
- 2 c. kumquats, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- ¼ c. brown sugar
- 12 Tablespoons butter
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 c. flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 c. carrots, grated
- 1 c. raisins
- ½ c. walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place cupcake liners in all 12 cups of a muffin tin.
- Melt the butter and brown sugar in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the kumquats and simmer for 5-6 minutes, turning once or twice. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add in
the vanilla and eggs and mix well.
- In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda,
cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix
until just combined.
- Stir in the carrots, raisins, and walnuts and mix
until just combined.
- Spoon a teaspoon of kumquat mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup.
- Fill with batter ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for 30 minute or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
Recipe adapted from Jess Tom
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