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Perfect Carrot Cake Cupcakes

These incredibly moist carrot cake cupcakes are perfect handheld versions of carrot cake! They are so good that you could eat them plain and still be happy – not that you would want to skip the decadent cream cheese frosting.

One carrot cake cupcake with a bite taken out of it

While carrot is the predominant flavor in these cupcakes, I like to load my cupcakes up with complementary ingredients. You’ll find spices, shredded coconut, chopped pecans, and raisins throughout each cupcake. (If you don’t like any of those, they can easily be left out.)

The cupcakes are also made with crushed pineapple. That is more about moisture than flavor, though. The secret to making moist carrot cake cupcakes is using crushed pineapple. The pineapple adds so much moisture to the cupcakes without making them taste like pineapple.

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes topped with chopped pecans

To make carrot cake cupcakes, start by mixing together sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.

I love the taste of cardamom, but it’s fine to leave it off if you don’t. For a variation, you can also add other spices like ginger or nutmeg.

Adding spices to carrot cake batter

Mix in VERY finely chopped carrots. The easiest way to chop the carrots is by using the food processor. Process them until they are the size of couscous.

Carrots being adding to carrot cake batter

Before adding the pineapple, make sure that you’ve drained out the liquid from the can. You won’t be able to remove all of the liquid and that’s OK – just be sure to remove the extra liquid that the pineapple is sitting in.

Adding pineapple to carrot cake batter

I use unsweetened shredded coconut in this recipe, but sweetened coconut or coconut flakes would also work well. Again, if you don’t like coconut, just leave it off!

Shredded coconut being added to carrot cake batter

Once all of those ingredients are mixed together, add the oil and butter. I like to use a mix of oil and butter in cupcakes (a lesson I learned after gobs of testing for my vanilla cupcakes). The oil makes them extra moist and the butter gives an irreplaceable flavor.

In this recipe, I use unrefined coconut oil as I like the mild coconut flavor. However, you can substitute for any oil of your choice.

Adding coconut oil to carrot cake batter

Lastly, mix in eggs and all-purpose flour. The eggs also assist in making the cupcakes nice and moist.

Divide the batter evenly between twelve cupcake liners. It will come up almost all the way to the top of the liners.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes about to go in the oven

How to Decorate Carrot Cupcakes

Top cream cheese cupcakes with a hefty swirl of cream cheese frosting.

I like to use a large star tip like the Ateco 827.

Cream cheese frosting

You can then sprinkle some chopped pecans on top as shown earlier in this post. Or, top 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.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Or, if you want to go the more traditional route, top the cupcakes with a sugar carrot decoration like Handle the Heat does.

Cupcakes topped with three different types of carrots

Image from Handle the Heat

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One carrot cake cupcake with a bite taken out of it
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5 from 9 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

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*
Total Fat 27g 42%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 250mg 10%
Potassium 284mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 52g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 36g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 46.7%
Vitamin C 6.7%
Calcium 5.9%
Iron 7.8%
* 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:


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

  7. Liannasays:


    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:


    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. 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. 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:


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

  12. larisasays:


    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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