When I stumbled across this recipe, I was most intrigued with the use of creme fraiche.
Why not sour cream?
The author of the book I was reading explained that she felt creme fraiche added an element of richness that sour cream could not provide.
I played around with her base recipe and then had a go at it myself.
You clever girl.
The creme fraiche had indeed added a level of body. It was even slightly more dense, but without being heavy. When I had made this same recipe with sour cream, it lacked such a richness.
The muffins are moist and tender without being too airy or too heavy. The flavor is slightly buttery with a wisp of cinnamon and spice from the raisins soaked in bourbon.
And did you know you can make your own creme fraiche instead of hunting for it in specialty stores?
These have wonderfully hoisted, round tops beaming with pride over their flavorful journey and are ravishing with a layer of softened cream cheese or butter.
They do not resemble carrot cake in appearance or flavor as the bold orange ribbons are merely present to lend a beautifully bright moistness and sweetness to the muffins.
Fabulous the next day, these are great to make ahead and store securely overnight.
Oh, and there are unending options for improvisation- additional spices or fruit would certainly liven up the party.
Creme Fraiche Raisin Carrot Muffins
Fluffy and rich with a lightness about them, these “perfect for any occasion” muffins taste best with a slather of cream cheese or butter. A sneak of spice from a little bourbon and cinnamon leave you wanting more after your first bite.
Recipe adapted from Flour
- 3 1/4 C flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 1/3 C sugar
- 6 T butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 6 T vegetable oil
- 3/4 C whole milk, room temperature
- 1 C creme fraiche
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/4 C shredded carrots
- 1 C raisins soaked overnight in 1 C water, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 T bourbon
- Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
- Beat together eggs, sugar, butter, oil, milk, creme fraiche and vanilla. Once combined, fold in dry ingredients until they are just combined. Fold in raisins and carrots.
- Cover batter and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Near the end of the hour, line a cupcake tin with liners and preheat oven to 375F.
- Scoop batter into cupcake liners so that the batter comes closer to the top than a cupcake batter, but is not all the way to the top of the tin.
- Place muffins in oven for 20-23 minutes until a toothpick comes out with only damp crumbs on it. Do not over bake!
- Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack and lightly coat the muffin tops with melted butter. Allow to cool and store overnight in an air tight container or in a large Ziploc bag with the muffins standing upright. They will be very moist the next day. Enjoy!