Food & Drink

Darius King’s Carrot Cake Muffins

The Garden & Gun Club sous chef gives this springtime favorite the bite-size treatment

photo: COURTESY OF DARIUS KING


When developing recipes for the Garden & Gun Club at the Battery Atlanta, sous chef Darius King puts his pastry background to good use. A Charleston, South Carolina, native, King got his start in the Piggly Wiggly cake-decorating department, and then went on to work in a number of Lowcountry restaurants before moving to Atlanta in 2018. “I’ve always felt a special connection to the pastry side of things,” he says. “At the Club, I try to focus on putting my own spin on the classic Southern desserts you tend to see everywhere.” Similar to his pecan chewies and red velvet cake, King’s recipe for carrot cake muffins diverges slightly from the traditional preparation—and is very home-cook friendly. 

photo: SUSAN B. RENFRO
Darius King.

“This recipe is a good base that you can take in any direction you like,” King says. “Sometimes I’ll soak some raisins in bourbon for an hour or so and add them to the batter. The bourbon rehydrates the raisins so they don’t burn as they bake, and it creates a much deeper flavor profile.” To amp up the sweetness, King recommends mixing in some crushed pineapple, adding a layer of cream cheese icing (his fail-safe recipe can be found here), or topping the muffins with a brown sugar crumble. King’s favorite thing about the muffins? Their snackability. “This way, you can basically have cake anytime you want,” he says.  


Ingredients

  • Carrot Cake Muffins (Yield: 12 muffins)

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour

    • 1½ tsp. baking powder

    • ¼ tsp. baking soda

    • 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

    • ¾ tsp. ground ginger

    • ¾ tsp. salt

    • ½ cup granulated sugar

    • ¼ cup light brown sugar

    • 2 eggs

    • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

    • ⅔ cup water

    • 2 cups shredded carrots


Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.

  3. In another medium bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil until well incorporated, then add the vanilla extract.

  4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the water to the egg mixture, ending with the water. Mix to combine, then stir in the shredded carrots until incorporated.

  5. Fill the cups of a lined 12-cup muffin tin two-thirds of the way full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

  6. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish.


  7. The Garden & Gun Club at the Battery Atlanta is open for lunch and dinner and accepts walk-in diners and reservations. Online ordering for pick-up is also available. Visit the Club’s website for more information.


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