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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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These Carrot Cake Cupcakes are moist, perfectly spiced, and with just enough sweetness to balance out the tangy, fluffy cream cheese frosting. They are everything you want in carrot cake in a perfectly-portioned cupcake.

carrot cake cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting and a glazed pecan

Why We Love These Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I love carrot cake. Moist, lightly spiced, and piled high with tangy cream cheese frosting. And since I am getting some veggies in the mix, I can happily dig into that second (or third..) helping. But I’ve also had my fair share of underwhelming carrot cake. Dry, flavorless, oily, or (gulp) packed with raisins.

Enter these Carrot Cake Cupcakes. After a bit of testing and reworking, we ended up with a cupcake that was moist but not dense and greasy, with plenty of delicious spice flavor, and perfectly light and fluffy. And the not-overly-sweet cupcake is perfectly balanced by the tangy, super creamy cream cheese frosting. I left out the nuts and raisins because I’m a purist like that. But you do you. I promise that either way, these cupcakes will be one of the best carrot cake experiences of your life.

carrot cake cupcake with a bite taken out

Ingredients for Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Cupcakes:

  • Carrots
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Pecans

How To Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, oil, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl.
  3. Add the grated carrots and stir to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir just until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased or paper lined muffin tin.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  7. Beat softened cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy.
  8. Top with pecans if desired. Enjoy!
process shots for how to make carrot cake cupcakes

Tips & Suggestions

Can I use this recipe to make carrot cake?

Yep! Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 baking pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You can also bake the batter in 2 round baking pans for a layered cake.

Why are my carrot cake cupcakes dry?

This is a moist and pretty forgiving recipe! If your cupcakes are coming out dry, make sure you aren’t overbaking your cupcakes. Pull them out of the oven as soon as they are set.

How do you make glazed pecans?

We topped our cupcakes with maple glazed pecans- they are delicious, easy, and make such a pretty presentation!

To make glazed pecans, add 1 cup of pecans to a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Toast the pecans for 2-3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Add two tablespoons maple syrup and a pinch of salt and mix well to coat. Transfer the pecans to a sheet of parchment paper and separate to avoid sticking. Allow to cool completely.

overhead shot of carrot cake cupcakes
a carrot cake topped with a cream cheese frosting swirl

More Delicious Cake Recipes:

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3.8 from 45 votes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

These Carrot Cake Cupcakes are moist, perfectly spiced, and with just enough sweetness to balance out the tangy, fluffy cream cheese frosting. They are everything you want in carrot cake in a perfectly-portioned cupcake.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 260kcal

Ingredients

Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin, or butter each tin and dust with flour, shaking off the extra.
  • In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the oil, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Stir in carrots until everything is incorporated together well.
  • Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Scoop into muffin tin, with muffin liners or by spraying a muffin tin. Fill about 2/3 of the way full.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cupcakes are done when the tops bounce back when lightly touched, or a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream together softened cream cheese and butter. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and beat again. Stir in chopped pecans if using.
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, spread each one with frosting. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 233mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 2843IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword : Carrot Muffins

www.superhealthykids.com

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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34 Comments

We’re on a muffin kick around here, so I’ll give these a try! I think that I might call them cupcakes and serve them as dessert since they have a bit of frosting on them. I don’t want to mess with the pumpkin muffin vibe we’ve got going on around here!

Cathy, we actually did call them cupcakes too.
Christy, wait till your carrots are shriveled and your about to toss them. 🙂
Michelle, its because muffins are like cake!
Liz, I’m inspired every time I visit your blog.
Vanessa, I thought about trying it with the master muffin, but didn’t. I promise if I do, I’ll let you know.

What a great idea! I’m always tossing old carrots it seems. And I’ve also tried shredding them and gotten bloody knuckles. This sounds SO good. I’m definitely trying it! Thanks!

Mary Kathryn. Thanks for the link. You are right, they are very similar. In fact, If I made these again, I would probably leave out the baking powder, she didn’t use any, and I did kind of taste it in the muffin. Thanks again.
Gina, I hated shredding those little guys too. If I had a food processor that shredded them for me though, I might consider it.

Perfect!! I have been searching and contemplating on different recipes for a healthy dessert to serve at my baby girl’s first birthday celebration this weekend. Still undecided, I sat down @ the computer to look again and came across yours. They sound easy and delicious! I cannot wait to make them! Thank you, thank you!

Hi Krisy-Ann- I bet if you packed it in well, you should be able to also use a cup of shredded carrots.
Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂

These are delicious. Thank you for the recipe. We may not even get around to frosting them before they’re gone!

Hi! I made these muffins today but made a few substitutions. Looking over the recipe, it didn’t strike me as overly “healthy” but more like a carrot cake posing as a muffin. A half cup of oil and 3 eggs is a lot, add that to 3/4 cup of brown sugar in addition to the icing – oof, seems heavy! Do you know the calorie count on this? I’m just curious.

Anyway, I decided to omit the oil and do a 1:1 sub with applesauce. I didn’t cook my carrots first but I did puree the raw carrots in my food processor with a medium banana (this was to replace 1 egg) which did give me a nice puree. I used 1 cup of white whole wheat flour in place of the regular white flour it calls for (I did also use 1 cup of regular whole wheat flour that is does call for) . I, of course, mixed the dry ingredients and wet separately and then mixed together. I then added a small handful of raisins and a smaller handful of chopped walnuts. I made them in mini muffin tins (yield 30 muffins). They turned out delicious.

For the icing I used regular cream cheese. Honestly, if you compare the ingredients of light or fat free versions of anything to the regular full fat version (especially dairy) you won’t want to use anything but the regular. It is the difference between 5 ingredients and 12 or so (reducing or removing fat always means adding in all sorts of additives to get it to be a palatable consistency, taste, etc. – you are better off with the real stuff). I did a bit less than 1/3 cup of powdered sugar. Tastes yummy.

Please don’t think this comment means I don’t love your site because I do! I just thought this recipe could be made even healthier.

Such a Devine and simple recipe! I added some oats
,grated pear, walnuts, almonds, honey, ground flax and sesame seeds to “health” it up a little more .. Yum

These look delicious! I’m always looking for quick, healthy breakfast ideas. I just stumbled upon a Spinach Muffin that my kids absolutely love! Can’t wait to add these to the mix!

Microwaved veggies are NOT healthy!!!!!When you microwave anything never mind baby carrots all the nutritional value is gone!!!!! Not a good recipe for a SUPER HEALTHY KIDS site! And do some research on those baby carrots in bags….they are soaking in bleach added to the water.

Sorry, but these old wives tales about microwaves & baby carrots have been debunked …… there is a lot of recent research that discredits these myths!

Great recipe am going to try it today. I have an extremely picky 3 year old son and I’m hoping that he’ll eat these. Because he literally refuses everything, it’s a battle of wills here most days and he usually wins….Thanks again for the recipe

I had a different carrot muffin recipe from your blog pinned on pinterest and now the link does not work. It was a pureed carrot muffin with cream cheese frosting. We loved it so much as a muffin without the frosting. Is this the same basic recipe? I don’t recall coconut sugar and grapeseed oil in the other one I’m trying to find. Thanks!