Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This is my favorite carrot cake cupcake recipe! These easy cupcakes are made from scratch, deliciously moist in the middle, and are topped with creamy cream cheese frosting.

Watch the Video

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe Video

Our favorite carrot cake recipe inspires these easy carrot cake cupcakes. It’s been made and loved by thousands of bakers! Many of you asked for a cupcake version, and here it is!

These carrot cake cupcakes are simple and use basic pantry ingredients. If you have a couple of bowls and can stir, you can make them!

Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Key Ingredients

  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour, but you can replace some with whole wheat or white whole wheat flour. You can also swap the flour for your favorite gluten-free blend for gluten-free cupcakes.
  • Baking soda: Helps the cupcakes to rise. Check that your baking soda has not been open for longer than 6 months (it loses its potency after that).
  • Spices: Salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla extract make our cupcakes taste amazing.
  • Oil: Keeps our cupcakes moist. Any neutral-flavored oil will work. Melted coconut oil works, but the baked cake will have a light coconut flavor.
  • Sugar: Makes the cake moist, light, and delicious. I love a combination of white and brown sugar. If you only want to use one, choose brown sugar since it has the necessary acid to react with the baking soda.
  • Eggs: Give the cupcakes structure.
  • Carrots: Lots of carrots make these the best carrot cake cupcakes. I like to hand-grate my carrots since I prefer the texture, but you can use your food processor or buy pre-grated carrots from the store.
  • Pecans and raisins are optional! Some people love nuts and raisins in carrot cake, while others cannot stand to add them. These are entirely optional, so go with what you love.

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I love how easy this carrot cake recipe is! You don’t need any special equipment, and the batter bakes up in minutes. I always start with the dry ingredients, giving them a good whisk. Be extra careful when mixing in the baking soda. Any clumps might cause spots of your carrots to turn green (still edible, just not as pretty).

I whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl, then gently fold everything together. Once the batter is blended, it’s time to fold in your carrots and any optional nuts or raisins.

This carrot cake cupcake recipe makes 12 perfect cupcakes. I use a standard cupcake pan and bake them at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes. Let them cool completely before adding my delicious, traditional cream cheese frosting!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Storing Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot cake cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze them, line unfrosted cupcakes up on a baking sheet and freeze until hard. Then, transfer to a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before frosting and serving.

Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and pecans on top

Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

These carrot cake cupcakes are so simple to make. This recipe is forgiving. You can make this with or without the nuts and raisins. We like using granulated and brown sugar in this recipe. If you only want to use one, choose brown sugar since it has the necessary acid to react with the baking soda.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

For Cupcakes

1 ¼ cup (160g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda, important to level the teaspoon, see tips

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, see tips

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 (118ml) canola or other vegetable oil

1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (105g) light or dark brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

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

1/4 cup (35g) coarsely chopped pecans, optional

1/4 cup (35g) raisins, optional

For Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces (115g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature

2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch fine sea salt

1 ½ cups (165g) powdered sugar or confectioners sugar, plus more as needed

Pinch ground cinnamon or ground cardamom, optional

1/4 cup (35g) coarsely chopped pecans, optional

Directions

    1Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.

    2In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and the nutmeg until well blended.

    3In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined.

    4Switch 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.

    5Stir in the carrots, nuts, and raisins.

    6Divide 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.

    7Cool cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack and cool them completely before frosting.

  • Frost Cupcakes
  • 1In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes.

    2For the creamiest frosting, sift the powdered sugar or whisk until most large lumps are gone.

    3Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time, until fluffy. Add an additional 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of powdered sugar for a thicker frosting.

    4To make spiced frosting, beat in a pinch of ground cinnamon or cardamom.

    5Frost the cooled cupcakes and, if you’d like, top with coarsely chopped pecans.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Baking soda: When measuring, dip your spoon into the container, then level it off using the straight edge of one of your other spoons. For the best results, use fresh baking soda (it loses its potency after being opened for 6 months).
  • Salt: I use a rounded 1/4 teaspoon of salt, which means the salt should be slightly domed past the measuring spoon rim instead of leveled off.
  • Piped 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 leftovers, the frosting can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
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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103 comments… Leave a Review
  • Peggy Hrynko April 10, 2024, 4:21 pm

    Hi, can I use a hand mixer to combine wet and dry ingredients. I am not able to mix by hand, due to arthritis.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 1, 2024, 1:55 pm

      Absolutely!

      Reply
  • Mackenzie March 31, 2024, 2:07 pm

    Great recipe! I doubled the frosting recipe since I used a piping bag it worked perfectly. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Joanne May 1, 2024, 1:55 pm

      Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Mackenzie!

      Reply
  • Lisa March 10, 2024, 12:25 pm

    I tried this with half white whole wheat and half all purpose by weight. I also reduced the sugar to 1/4c brown sugar and 2 TBsp white sugar. Cake was very moist but made only 11 cupcakes; it might be because of my minor changes. A great recipe to keep in your toolbox.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 1, 2024, 1:54 pm

      That’s great Lisa. You are correct, by reducing the sugar, there would have been slightly less batter. Glad everything worked out!

      Reply
  • Li February 18, 2024, 4:55 pm

    Was really good! Cut down the sugar in the cupcakes, adding 1/4 maple syrup and 1/4 brown sugar and lessened the white sugar. For the frosting, I used double the cream cheese and a splash of milk until it reached the desired consistency. Also used less sugar in the frosting.

    Reply
    • Joanne May 1, 2024, 1:54 pm

      I am so glad that the maple syrup/brown sugar combo worked for you. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

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