Carrot Cake Cupcakes – Unforgettably Moist | Cupcake Project

Carrot Cake Cupcakes – Unforgettably Moist

The carrot flavor shines in these unforgettably moist carrot cake cupcakes – but the coconut, pineapple, currants, and a surprising cardamom finish makes this classic American dessert taste just a bit exotic. These carrot cake cupcakes are the best carrot cake cupcakes (or carrot cake) that I’ve ever had and I hope you’ll feel the same way.

The Back Story

Two readers (Stephanie and Erin) recently asked me if I had a good carrot cake cupcake recipe.  I didn’t!  I made carrot cupcakes with orange a long time ago (3 years!) and while I liked them, the orange was far more dominant than the carrot. I set out to find a killer carrot cake cupcake.

To find the best carrot cake cupcake out there, I first turned to my Twitter friends – and they came through!  The carrot cake cupcake recipe that most appealed to me was from Laureen at Eat and Be Happy (if you read her description of it, you’ll want it immediately, too!).  I based my carrot cake cupcakes on hers, but (of course) I made some changes; I used coconut oil to kick up the coconut flavor, currants instead of raisins, and added cardamom to both the cake and the frosting.  Here’s my adaptation of her recipe:

Carrot Cake Cupcake Recipe


Carrot Cupcakes – Unforgettably Moist

Yield: 12 Cupcakes

Carrot Cupcakes – Unforgettably Moist


    Cupcake Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup finely chopped carrot (about 1 large carrot) - It's easiest to do this in a food processor. If you use organic carrots and scrub them well, you don't even have to peel them first.
  • 1 cup (200 g) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 3 handfuls of currants (You could use raisins instead if you prefer. You could also add a half cup of any kind of nut.)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Cupcake Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine everything but flour, eggs, oil, and butter.
  2. Add oil and butter and stir vigorously to combine.
  3. Add eggs in one at a time, combining well after each addition.
  4. Add flour in 2 batches, mixing until just combined.
  5. Divide evenly among cupcake liners.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
  7. Cardamom Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions
  8. Mix cream cheese and butter until creamy and light.
  9. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. You can add more or less to get your desired consistency.
  10. Mix in cardamom and vanilla until fully integrated.
  11. Pipe or slather onto your cupcakes.


Candied Carrot Toppers

Check out my post on candied carrot toppers to learn how to make the topper for these cupcakes. Wait until just before serving to add the toppers – otherwise, they will get soggy.

Alternate Recipe

For an alternate carrot cupcake recipe, my Twitter friend Garrick suggests a carrot cake cupcake recipe using baby food.  I haven’t tried it, but you may want to check it out.

UPDATE: My bloggy friend, Little Ivy, left me a comment saying that she had made carrot cupcakes with candied carrot curls on top. I went to leave her a comment (something to the effect of how I couldn’t believe I had missed that post) and I saw that I had already left a comment in 2007!  So, it looks like my subconscious might have stolen her idea and not given her due credit.  Go check out her carrot cupcake post and all of her other wonderful creations.  

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41 Responses to Carrot Cake Cupcakes – Unforgettably Moist

  1. Ivy April 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful Stef!
    I did something similiar a couple years ago…

    Hope you’re doing well! :)

  2. thecoffeesnob April 14, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    It looks amazing- adding cardamons such a fantastic idea! I’m thrilled you liked it!

  3. Ivy April 14, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    No, Yours are way more refined. PLEASSSE don’t link to me!
    I didn’t even notice that you commented before-that’s so funny!

  4. Polly April 15, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    Where did you find coconut oil? I’ve been looking for it for ages!

  5. Memória April 15, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    The cupcakes are too cute!!

  6. Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen April 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm #

    These are lovely! I love the carrot strip on the top of the icing.

  7. Pen Pen April 16, 2010 at 2:15 am #

    Carrot Cake is my dad’s favorite, and I was looking for a moist recipe to make him for his May birthday! I’m excited to try ur recipe!!! :)

  8. Stef April 16, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    Polly – I found it at Whole Foods.

  9. Sheila November 10, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    What a great recipe! I was wondering if anyone knows where to find pistastio oil?


  10. Stef November 17, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Shelia – You can find it on Amazon.

  11. Jersey June 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    i made these yesterday and they were AWESOME! thanks for the great recipe!

  12. ariel September 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    I made these today with whole wheat flour, they were still so moist and delicious!

  13. Niyousha November 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Is it possible to use the store bought shredded coconut instead? I won’t have time to do the process myself. Thanks

  14. Stef November 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Niyousha – Yes, that’s no problem at all.

  15. Anonymous November 17, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    Is the coconut oil solid or liquid form for 1/4 of cup? thanks! Looks great

  16. Anonymous January 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I didn’t see an answer – So is the coconut oil in solid or liquid form when you combine? You said stir – So I’m assuming the butter and coconut oil is in liquid form? Thanks in advance

  17. Stef January 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Anon – Oops, sorry for not getting back to you. It’s in liquid form.

    • jenny June 16, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      what can i substitute coconut oil with? thanks in advance.

  18. Anonymous January 17, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Can I ask a silly question – I’ve just found you through google and want to make these for miss 4’s first day at Kindergarten. What does the T stand for? Teaspoon or Tablespoon!?! (I’m in Australia so maybe you only use one of these measurements lol but its enough to have me scratching my head!)

  19. Stef January 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    Anon – Sorry for the confusion. t is for teaspoon and T is for tablespoon.

  20. Lianna January 23, 2012 at 8:42 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  21. Lianna January 23, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    I made these yesterday, and they are a huge hit! I had to make the carrot toppers three times before I got it right: the best baking time for the first baking was only 7 minutes. I Saved this recipe to ZipList, but I’ve tried many of your recipes, and they are always eagerly devoured by friends and family. You are so creative. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Avaalon February 2, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    I love carrot cupcakes, and have made quite a few. I posted my absolute favorite:

  23. the typing head April 29, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    For a dairy free version, do you think you could just double the coconut oil?

  24. Framed printing October 30, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    You had me at ‘unforgettably moist’. Printing off the recipe to try at home now!

  25. Anonymous December 10, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    C stands for cup?I got confused :-)

  26. Anonymous January 18, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    I made these the other day (with my own little tweaks)and they are AH-MAZING. I had 3 people tell me it was the best carrot cake they’ve ever had, and I pretty much had to agree :)

  27. Kimberlee Schory January 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Made these tonight for my husbands birthday, I left out the cardamom because I didn’t have any and a jar at the grocery store was $12 bucks. The way it is mixed together is unusual, but man were these good! This will be my go to carrot cake cupcake recipe! Easy and really, really good.

  28. Elena Cruz March 8, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    I made these last night to bring to work today (cause I’m nice like that) and people are RAVING! I cut down on the cardamom, which I personally love, just in case people weren’t fans, and cut some of the sugar in the frosting. Did I mention people are raving? The only other thing I did differently was I mixed all of the dry ingredients together first (other than the sugar), and then added them at the end when the recipe indicated to add the flour. I’m wondering how the recipe differs by adding the other dry ingredients (baking soda, etc.) at the beginning? Thanks for your tips and a wonderful recipe that I will be using again and again!

  29. Jenny June 20, 2013 at 12:33 am #

    Made these delicious cupcakes yesterday and brought them to work. They were a big hit! Thanks for recipe!

  30. Dawn H June 25, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    You can find a ginormous jar of coconut oil @ Costco and online at vitacost (dot com). I use the nutivia brand and perfer extra virgin the most due to the flavor and essence of the odor! It’s delish! I use it on my body, in my hair, and for cooking! You can fry the BEST tilapia that’s crusted in milk, butter, and herbed cornmeal in coconut oil! I’ll give these cupcakes a try but not sure if I’ll find the currants :(

  31. Liliana January 1, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    I would like to make this as a cake for my husband, do you think two batches of this cupcake recipe will suffice for two 8-inch rounds? Also, how long should i bake it for? Love your posts by the way!


  32. Amy M May 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    Sweetened or unsweetened dessicated coconut?

  33. larisa May 20, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

    I am a pretty experienced baker & have made these many times & they are best carrot cake cupakes I’ve ever made or eaten. Seriously. I cannot tell you how many family & friends request these for every occasion. Thank you! Amazing!


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