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Perfect Carrot Cake Cupcakes

These carrot cake cupcakes are simply a smaller version of incredibly moist carrot cake! A topping of decadently rich cream cheese frosting rounds off this made-from-scratch cupcake recipe. These cupcakes are simply irresistible!

One carrot cake cupcake with a bite taken out of it

This scratch cupcake recipe is an all time favorite. While boxed cake mixes are definitely convenient, I like to make carrot cake from scratch for special occasions like Easter.

Special ingredients for this cupcake recipe:

Most of the ingredients I use in this carrot cake cupcake recipe are common in other cake and cupcake recipes.

However, because I like extra moist carrot cake cupcakes, I add a special ingredient. So, here a few notes about the ingredients.

  • Sugar – white granulated cane sugar is what I use. For a healthier carrot cake recipe, swap out the granulated sugar and use any sugar alternative that measures cup for cup.
  • Spices – I use cardamom, but if you don’t like the taste, it’s fine to leave it out. For a variation, you can also use other spices, like ginger or nutmeg.
  • Canned crushed pineapple – You’ll learn why I use this in a minute. For now, I just want to note that it’s important to drain excess liquid from the can. It’s okay if you can’t remove it all.
  • Carrots – You want very finely chopped carrots (about the size of a grain of rice). The easiest way to chop carrots is in a food processor. If you don’t have one, use a box grater to make grated carrots instead.
  • Oil – I use unrefined coconut oil, as I like the mild coconut flavor. However, you can substitute any mild tasting oil of your choice. Avocado oil and vegetable oil are both good choices.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • Cream cheese – Be sure to use blocks of full fat cream cheese and not the spreadable variety that comes in a tub.
  • Vanilla extract – If you prefer, you can use a different flavor, such as almond extract.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes topped with chopped pecans

How Do You Make Moist Carrot Cake?

My secret to making moist carrot cake is just one special ingredient. I make carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple in the batter! I do this because crushed pineapple adds moisture, but without making the cupcakes taste like pineapple.

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

The first step in making this easy carrot cake cupcake recipe is to pull out the following baking equipment:

  • muffin pans (either one 12-cup pan or two 6-cup pans)
  • paper liners or silicone muffin cups
  • toothpicks or a cake tester
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring cups and measuring spoons

After your equipment is ready, it’s time to make the carrot cake cupcakes!

  1. Combine the dry ingredients.

Start by combining the following ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer:

  • sugar
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • cardamom

Adding spices to carrot cake batter

  1. Add finely chopped carrots or grated carrots and mix to combine.

Carrots being adding to carrot cake batter

  1. Next, add the drained crushed pineapple and mix to combine.

Adding pineapple to carrot cake batter

  1. Add shredded coconut and mix on medium-high speed to combine. (Skip this step if you are leaving the coconut out.)

Shredded coconut being added to carrot cake batter

  1. After those ingredients are mixed together, add the oil and butter.

I like to use a combination of oil and butter in cupcakes (a lesson I learned after gobs of testing for my vanilla cupcakes). The oil makes cupcakes extra moist, and the butter provides an irreplaceable flavor.
Adding coconut oil to carrot cake batter

  1. Lastly, mix in eggs and all-purpose flour.
  1. Divide the batter evenly between twelve cupcake liners. You want to fill each one about 3/4 full. Now, it’s time to bake!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes about to go in the oven

How Long Does it Take to Bake Cupcakes?

At 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the carrot cake cupcakes will take about 25 minutes to bake.

Using the Toothpick Test

To know for sure if the cupcakes have finished baking, use the toothpick test.

When a toothpick inserted into the center of one cupcake comes out dry, or with a few moist crumbs, they are ready.

Make sure to allow enough time for the cupcakes to cool completely before decorating.

Cream cheese frosting

How to Decorate Carrot Cake Cupcakes

There are a number of ways you can decorate the cupcakes. That being said, where carrot cake is concerned, adding cream cheese frosting is a must!

Top each cupcake with a hefty swirl of cream cheese frosting.

To apply the frosting, I like to use a large star tip, like the Ateco 827. After the frosting is on, feel free to sprinkle some chopped pecans on top.

Another option is to top the cupcakes with candied carrot curls. See my post on candied carrot curls for all of the details on how to make them.

Carrot cake cupcakes topped with candied carrot curls
You can also break up the curls to make little carrot sprinkles – super cute!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Or, for a more traditional option, top your carrot cake cupcakes with a sugar carrot decoration like Handle the Heat does.

Cupcakes topped with three different types of sugar candy carrots

Image from Handle the Heat

Other Carrot Dessert Recipes to Make

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One carrot cake cupcake with a bite taken out of it
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4.7 from 10 votes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

These incredibly moist from-scratch carrot cake cupcakes are perfect mini carrot cakes! They are topped with decadent cream cheese frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword carrot cupcakes, cream cheese frosting
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 464kcal
Author Stef

Ingredients

Carrot Cupcakes 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 carrots about 2 large carrots, food processed until the size of couscous
  • 1 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup shredded coconut optional
  • 1/2 cup raisins optional
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans optional
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Cupcake Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a large bowl, combine everything but oil, butter, eggs, and flour.
  • Add oil and butter and stir vigorously to combine.
  • Add eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition.
  • Add flour in 2 batches, mixing until just combined.
  • Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners and divide batter evenly between them. It should come almost all of the way to the top.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.
  • Remove cupcakes from tin immediately and set on a cooling rack to cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting Instructions

  • Use an electric mixer to mix cream cheese and butter until creamy and light, about three minutes on high speed.
  • Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. You can add more or less to get your desired consistency.
  • Mix in vanilla until fully integrated.
  • Spread or pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.
  • Leave at room temperature for up to three days or refrigerate for up to one week.

Notes

 
  • Leave off any of the optional ingredients.
  • Swap out a different kind of oil if you don't like coconut oil.
  • Make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature when making the cream cheese frosting.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 464 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 17g85%
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 250mg10%
Potassium 284mg8%
Carbohydrates 52g17%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 2335IU47%
Vitamin C 5.5mg7%
Calcium 59mg6%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Have you tried this recipe?Click here to leave a comment and rating!
These carrot cake cupcakes are soft, fluffy and moist! You’ll find spices, shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and raisins throughout each cupcake. Everyone will beg for this carrot cake cupcake recipe!
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16 comments on “Perfect Carrot Cake Cupcakes”

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

  2. The cupcakes are too cute!!

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

  4. Pen Pensays:

    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!!! :)

  5. Jerseysays:

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

  6. arielsays:

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

  7. Liannasays:

    5 stars
    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!

  8. Anonymoussays:

    5 stars
    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 :)

  9. 5 stars
    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.

  10. 5 stars
    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!

  11. Jennysays:

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

  12. larisasays:

    5 stars
    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!

  13. Gansays:

    Can this recipe be doubled or should they be made in single batches?

  14. these look scrummy! i love carrot cake

  15. Marcisays:

    Thank you so very much for sharing.

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