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 or read on to see our tips for making them.

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 20 to 25 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

You Will Need

Cupcakes

1 1/4 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 (100 grams) lightly packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

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

1/4 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped pecans, optional

1/4 cup (32 grams) raisins, optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces (226 grams) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch fine sea salt

3 cups (360 grams) powdered sugar (confectioners sugar), plus more as needed

Pinch ground cinnamon or ground cardamom, optional

1/4 cup (50 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: Unless you plan to pipe a lot of frosting onto each cupcake, you will likely have some frosting 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. Estimates assume that all the frosting is used (which is a lot).

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 465 / Total Fat 24.2g / Saturated Fat 9.6g / Cholesterol 70.4mg / Sodium 251.5mg / Carbohydrate 59.8g / Dietary Fiber 0.8g / Total Sugars 48.1g / Protein 3.8g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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23 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Jayati Basu August 28, 2021, 2:43 pm

    Thanks for this amazing recipe. I made the cupcakes for a party minus the icing, made cinnamon frosting & added black raisins on top instrad and they were a huge hit. They taste heavenly. Not too sweet and the texture is so soft. It was my first time making carrot cake and my guests loved them. They acyially asked to take home some! This will be my go to recipe for carrot cake.

    Reply
  • Zarina Samodien July 19, 2021, 8:45 am

    Hi, I must say I’m so impressed with this recipe! I’m not a baker. Dnt know when last I tried baking anything. I made the carrot cake first and it was divine! The cake came a bit oily though so not sure where I went wrong but it was still delicious. Cupcakes came out perfect! So many requests to make more.

    Reply
  • L. Ford May 10, 2021, 10:35 pm

    First time I’ve ever made carrot cake. Couldn’t find my cake pans so had to go with cupcakes. Awesome recipe. Frankly, best carrot cake I’ve ever had. Baked these for my daughter who requested carrot cake for her birthday. She loves them! And, she’s picky. Thank you ever so much for this recipe. Will have to buy a new set of cake pans so I can try the actual cake size recipe. Many many thanks!

    Reply
  • Niharika Gadkari April 13, 2021, 9:42 am

    This is a great recipe for carrot cake virgins like me 😅 I halved the amount of sugar in the cake(used only 1/2cup brown) and added roughly 2 cups of grated carrots…it made a moist bouncy cupcake with a balanced flavour. I used Philadelphia cream cheese and halved the sugar in the frosting as well, which made the frosting a bit on the softer side. Thanks for posting this amazing recipe! Looking forward to trying your other recipes as well

    Reply
  • Beverly Ezekiel March 3, 2021, 3:40 pm

    Made these for the first time and LOVE them. Added some apple sauce with the oil,egg and sugar and cloves instead of cardamon (as its what I had in the cupboard) Serving them to 19 ladies in Afternoon tea boxes for a 50th (lockdown) birthday celebration and very excited!

    Reply

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