Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe + Video

These carrot cake cupcakes are everything you love about the cake—outstanding spice flavor, super moist crumb, and velvety cream cheese frosting—in a portioned cupcake wrapper! I’ve scaled down my popular carrot cake recipe to convey you a batch of cupcakes that’s simpler and faster, however simply as scrumptious.

I believe we are able to all agree that carrot cake and cream cheese frosting is a taste duo surpassing time—it’s simply by no means going out of favor. I like it as carrot cake loaf, coconut carrot cake cupcakes, and combined up on this carrot Bundt cake. However nothing can examine to unique carrot cake and at the moment’s cupcake model. Simply CLASSIC!

Inform Me About These Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • Taste: These cupcakes are scrumptiously spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. You even have just a little applesauce, pure sweetness from carrots, the brown sugar, and the tangy-sweet cream cheese frosting.
  • Texture: The crumb of those cupcakes is delicate and moist, however under no circumstances greasy. (A troublesome steadiness to realize, however this recipe nails it!)
  • Ease: Newbie bakers can undoubtedly deal with this recipe. You’ll be able to combine the cupcake batter by hand, although I like to recommend utilizing a mixer to make the cream cheese frosting.
  • Time: The batch of cupcakes takes about 2 hours begin to end, and that features cooling. Cupcakes prepare dinner sooner than cake layers, however they nonetheless want to chill utterly earlier than frosting.
carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Key Elements You Want & Why

You can also make carrot cake cupcakes with a handful of staple kitchen components and these are a very powerful:

shredded carrots, brown sugar, spices, vegetable oil, and applesauce shown in bowls and measuring cups
  1. Brown Sugar: Brown sugar not solely sweetens the cupcakes, it lends extra taste and moisture than white sugar. Like when making maple brown sugar cookies, I really like utilizing darkish brown sugar on this recipe.
  2. Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger add heat and depth of taste with out overpowering the rest. I often add some floor cloves to carrot cake recipes, however it’s fairly potent and I don’t prefer it as a lot in carrot cake cupcakes.
  3. Vegetable Oil: When making ready cupcakes with out robust flavors, like vanilla cupcakes, I choose to make use of butter because the fats, as a result of it provides taste. However once I’m making a cupcake recipe with flavorful components like these spiced cupcakes, I discover utilizing flavorless oil lets all these spice flavors shine. (Additionally, oil retains the cupcakes SO VERY moist!)
  4. Carrots: Clearly, you want carrots. However truly, this recipe can be tasty for those who substituted shredded apple or zucchini as an alternative!
  5. Unsweetened applesauce: Applesauce provides much more moisture to those cupcakes, with out making them oily. I really like the delicate taste that it provides, however you can additionally use bitter cream or plain yogurt. One other widespread swap for the applesauce is crushed canned pineapple, an addition many bakers love in pineapple carrot cake!

You could be stunned to see there’s only one and 1/4 cups of flour, which isn’t a lot contemplating the entire moist components. Understand that shredded carrots, whereas not essentially a dry ingredient, bulk up the batter. Any extra flour created a denser muffin-like texture. Belief this recipe as a result of it really works for cupcakes!

Success Tip: Shredding the Carrots

The luggage of pre-shredded carrots you’ll find on the grocery retailer should not price the additional couple of minutes it saves you to peel and shred entire carrots your self. Retailer-bought carrot shreds are dry and difficult, and that can translate to your carrot cake cupcakes. Seize entire carrots, a peeler, and a box grater, and flex your grating muscle tissues!

And past that: After you’ve completed shredding, give the carrots a tough chop, so the items are finer and might distribute evenly in every cupcake, like this:

two piles of shredded carrots on wooden cutting board

On this picture, you’ll be able to see the distinction. You need extra carrots (moisture! taste!) in every chew, so chop these shreds:

two carrot cake cupcakes showing different amounts of shredded carrots inside

Video & Photographs: Find out how to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

The total printable recipe is under, however let’s see just a few images of the method.

Count on a semi-thick cupcake batter:

carrot batter in glass bowl and divided in muffin pan
carrot cupcakes and cream cheese frosting on spatula

We’re utilizing my favourite cool and creamy cream cheese frosting recipe, which flawlessly pairs with warmly spiced desserts like carrot cake, spice cake, and pumpkin cake. One query we often see with cream cheese frosting:

How Can I Preserve My Cream Cheese Frosting Thick?

Cream cheese frosting is thinner than buttercream. Placing the frosting within the fridge for a bit—when you’re ready for the cupcakes to chill—helps thicken it. This implies your silky cream cheese frosting will maintain its form higher when piped. Persist with primary piping ideas and nothing intricate; even when chilled, the frosting is not going to maintain form in addition to a sturdy buttercream. I take advantage of Ateco 808 piping tip.

Which Different Frostings Might I Use? These carrot cake cupcakes would additionally style nice with whipped frosting, Swiss meringue buttercream, or just unfrosted as carrot cake muffins—or attempt these morning glory muffins.

What A couple of Dairy-Free Frosting Choice?

At the moment’s cupcakes are dairy free when made with applesauce, so for those who’re in search of a dairy free frosting, do that creamy marshmallow meringue.

carrot cake cupcakes with white chocolate carrot garnish on top

I topped this batch of cream cheese-frosted cupcakes with chopped nuts and a white chocolate carrot topper, however each are utterly elective. See Notes for directions on making the white chocolate topper!

Extra Cupcakes You’ll Love


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These carrot cake cupcakes are a scaled down model of my widespread carrot cake recipe. You’ll be able to combine this simple cupcake batter by hand, although I like to recommend utilizing a mixer to make the cream cheese frosting. The white chocolate carrot topper is elective!

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon floor cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon floor ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon floor nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (200g) packed mild or darkish brown sugar
  • 2 giant eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80g) unsweetened applesauce, bitter cream, or plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (200g) peeled and shredded carrots* (about 3 giant carrots)
  • elective add-in: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans; raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • elective garnish: white chocolate carrot topper (see Notes) and/or finely chopped walnuts or pecans

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg collectively in a big bowl. Put aside. Whisk the oil, brown sugar, eggs, applesauce, and vanilla extract collectively till mixed, after which whisk within the carrots. Pour the moist components into the dry components and fold or whisk collectively till utterly mixed. Batter might be barely thick.
  3. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners, filling solely about 3/4 full to keep away from spilling over the perimeters. Bake for 20–22 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted within the heart comes out clear. For round 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 12–13 minutes, identical oven temperature. Enable the cupcakes to chill utterly earlier than frosting.
  4. In the meantime, make the frosting: In a big bowl utilizing a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter collectively on excessive pace till easy and creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract,  and salt. Beat on low pace for 30 seconds after which change to excessive pace and beat for two minutes. Cowl and refrigerate the frosting because the cupcakes end cooling—that is useful for those who plan to pipe the frosting with a piping bag + tip. Chilly cream cheese frosting holds its form higher.
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes and prime with elective garnish, if desired. I used an Ateco 808 piping tip after which swirled the middle with a small icing spatula (you’ll be able to see me try this within the video– completely elective means of adorning). Cowl and retailer leftover cupcakes within the fridge for as much as 5 days.


  1. Make Forward & Freezing Directions: Plain cupcakes will be made forward 1 day upfront, coated, and saved at room temperature or within the fridge. Frosting will also be made 1 day upfront, coated, and saved within the fridge. If frosting is thick/stiff after refrigerating, beat it together with your mixer for a minute to assist loosen it up. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes will be frozen as much as 2–3 months. Thaw in a single day within the fridge.
  2. Particular Instruments: Hand Mixer, Box Grater, Cupcake Pan, Disposable Piping Bags or these Reusable Piping BagsAteco #808 Piping Tip
  3. Applesauce/Bitter Cream/Yogurt: You should utilize any of those choices, however applesauce is my favourite as a result of it provides just a little further taste. Or you can use the identical quantity of canned crushed pineapple as an alternative (no want to empty).
  4. Carrot: Don’t use pre-shredded carrots discovered within the produce aisle as a result of they’re fairly dry. Somewhat, freshly shred giant carrots to yield roughly 1 and 1/2 cups (200g) of moist carrot shreds. Earlier than measuring, give the shreds a tough chop so the items are finer and distributed properly in every cupcake. And as an alternative of carrots, you can even use shredded apple or zucchini.
  5. Find out how to Make White Chocolate Carrots Garnish: In a microwave-safe bowl, soften 4 ounces (113g, often 1 bar) of white chocolate in 20-second increments, stirring after every till completely easy. Separate into two bowls (don’t fear about making them completely equal). Tint one bowl with orange gel meals coloring, and the opposite with inexperienced gel meals coloring. (Use gel meals coloring as a result of liquid meals coloring can change the consistency. I just like the model AmeriColor—you’ll find their gel colours within the baking aisle of craft shops or give it a fast search on-line. I take advantage of and suggest this set of 6 colors or this set of 12 colors.) Pour into two squeeze bottles. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, wax paper, or a silicone mat, drizzle the orange melted chocolate right into a carrot form, then drizzle the inexperienced melted chocolate onto the tops to make the carrot stems. Refrigerate the pan till the chocolate carrots are set, no less than quarter-hour. The white chocolate carrots do soften up once they come again to room temperature, so if making these cupcakes upfront, be sure that to maintain them within the fridge till it’s almost time to serve them. 

Key phrases: carrot cake cupcakes

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