Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This is our favorite recipe for carrot cake cupcakes! They are 100% made from scratch, easy to make, versatile and utterly delicious. These cupcakes are also inspired by one of our most popular recipes! Jump to the Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and pecans on top

A few years ago, we shared our absolute favorite recipe for carrot cake. Since sharing it, so many of you have reviewed it and shared it with your family and friends. We’ve also been asked about turning it into cupcakes and while we do provide a few quick tips in the cake recipe, we thought it was about time that we shared our go-to recipe for carrot cake cupcakes.

These cupcakes are very simple to make and you don’t need any fancy equipment to make the batter. Let me walk you through the basic process, the full recipe with all ingredient amounts is below.

6 carrot cake cupcakes with creamy cream cheese frosting

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Making these cupcakes is just as simple as making carrot cake. If you have a couple of bowls and can stir ingredients together then you can absolutely make these cupcakes! Here’s how I like to do it:

  1. Mix the Dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another: I like to whisk my dry ingredients together in one bowl until they are well blended. Then I whisk all the wet ingredients together in another bowl.
  2. Fold the dry and wet ingredients together: For this step, I switch to a rubber spatula or large spoon and fold the two — wet and dry ingredients — together until I don’t see any large streaks of flour. (We use the same method when making blueberry muffins and this buttery blueberry cake. Both recipes are so good!)
  3. Add lots of grated carrots, and if you’re adding them, nuts and raisins: When I’ve got the batter ready, I fold in the carrots and if I have them on hand, some raisins and chopped pecans.

Baking the Cupcakes

We’ve developed this recipe so that it makes about 12 nicely sized cupcakes. I use a standard cupcake pan. They bake in the oven for 22 to 27 minutes.

After baking, it is important to let the cupcakes cool before frosting with your favorite frosting (we’ve provided a simple cream cheese frosting in the recipe below).

If you’d like to make a full-sized cake, take a look at our Easy Carrot Cake Recipe.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store the cupcakes? Technically, because there is a cream cheese frosting on the cupcakes, they should be kept in the fridge, but most bakers (even professional ones) are okay with leaving frosted cupcakes on the counter for a few hours (as long as your kitchen isn’t hot). When refrigerated, the cupcakes will last about 5 days.

Can I use applesauce instead of oil in the cupcakes? This is something we have never tried ourselves, so you may need to do some experimenting on your own. That said, you should be able to swap some of the oil for applesauce without too many issues.

Can I add pineapple to the carrot cake cupcakes? Yes, absolutely. It will add even more moisture to the cupcakes so use fresh pineapple or if you are using canned, drain it first before adding to the cake. We do not recommend adding more than 1/2 cup.

More Cupcake Recipes

Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

These carrot cake cupcakes are so simple to make. For the carrots, we prefer to hand grate for the finest carrot pieces that melt into the cupcake batter, but you can also use a food processor. It makes quick work of grating carrots, but the pieces will be slightly larger. Some grocery stores sell bags of grated carrots, as well.

This recipe is forgiving. You can make this with or without the nuts and raisins. We like using both granulated and brown sugar in this, but using one or the other is an option.

Makes 12 Cupcakes

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

1 ¼ cup (160 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional

1/2 cup (118 ml) canola or other vegetable oil

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (95 grams) lightly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 ½ cups (150 grams) grated peeled carrots, 2 to 3 medium carrots

1/4 cup (32 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, optional

1/4 cup (32 grams) raisins, optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces (113 grams) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature

2 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch fine sea salt

1 ½ cups (180 grams) powdered sugar or confectioners sugar, plus more as needed

Pinch ground cinnamon or ground cardamom, optional

1/4 cup (32 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, optional

Directions

  • Make Batter
  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.

    In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and the nutmeg until well blended.

    In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined.

    Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, gently stirring until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts, and raisins.

    • Bake Cupcakes
    • Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake until the tops of the cupcakes are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

      Cool cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

      • Make Frosting
      • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt with a handheld mixer on medium speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes.

        For the creamiest frosting, sift the powdered sugar or whisk until most large lumps are gone.

        Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time until fluffy. For a thicker frosting, add an additional 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

        To make spiced frosting, beat in a pinch of ground cinnamon or cardamom.

        • To Finish
        • Frost cooled cupcakes and if you’d like top with coarsely chopped pecans.

          Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Optional spices: In our original carrot cake recipe, we only call for ground cinnamon. We love it this way (as do many of our readers), but I also love a slightly spicier version. The optional ground ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg don’t overpower the cupcakes, but add a lovely warm spice.
  • Frosting: If you plan to pipe a lot of frosting onto each cupcake, you may need to double the frosting recipe above. If you have any leftover, the frosting can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.
  • Recipe inspired and adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Recipe for Carrot Cake Cupcakes.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 frosted cupcake / Calories 336 / Total Fat 17.1g / Saturated Fat 5.2g / Cholesterol 50.7mg / Sodium 220.7mg / Carbohydrate 43.5g / Dietary Fiber 0.8g / Total Sugars 32.2g / Protein 3.8g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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52 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Brian August 17, 2022, 6:49 am

    I’ve made these twice now and they are the absolute best carrot cakes I’ve had. I didn’t have pecans so I used walnuts instead and they were delicious. The family is split as some don’t like the raisins and others do enjoy it so I may need to make 2 batches at a time to suit every one in future.

    Reply
  • Sue Shaw July 3, 2022, 2:19 am

    I have enjoyed any of your recipes that I have tried. I have to adjust them for gluten free & they seem easy to alter. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Pixie June 25, 2022, 6:29 am

    Cam I add lemon juice to the icing to make it more tart?

    Reply
    • Joanne June 27, 2022, 12:39 pm

      Of course!

      Reply
  • Staci June 15, 2022, 4:16 pm

    I have been making your carrot cake recipe for years. It is the absolute best and always receives rave reviews from guests. My question regarding the cupcakes concerns the frosting. The cake recipe uses cream cheese and heavy cream. The cupcake recipe uses cream cheese and butter. Why the change and does it matter? Also, most of the ingredients are halved when going from cake to cupcakes. The granulated sugar is kept the same though. Is that just for extra sweet cupcakes? Thank you so much for your help. I am making the cupcakes for Father’s Day so I hope I receive an answer before then.

    Reply
    • Joanne July 1, 2022, 2:16 pm

      Hi Staci, These are based on our original cake recipe, but have a few alterations (the sugar, spices, and frosting). You can always turn the original recipe into cupcakes (we provide instructions to do so in the recipe). These cupcakes have a bit more spice and the batter is adjusted so that we get 12 perfect cupcakes. Both recipes are delicious! Happy baking.

      Reply
  • Shazz May 22, 2022, 5:21 am

    Thank you an awesome recipe this looks to be my now go to for carrot cake cupcakes. Blessings Sharon

    Reply
    • Shazz May 22, 2022, 5:22 am

      5+ Stars

      Reply
  • Simone May 3, 2022, 6:03 am

    My son loves theses! Thank you. A great way to use up all the carrots I have. I cheated with the mixing step and chucked all the ingredients in my bread maker, flour and baking soda on top. Then just set it to the cake setting and let it do its thing, scraping down the sides 5 minutes in. Then I took it off before it reached the baking soda age.

    Reply
  • DD February 27, 2022, 9:49 pm

    Made them exactly as written except altering for altitude. They were great! Bookmarked and will make again.

    Reply

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