Home > Desserts > Carrot Cake Cupcakes Carrot Cake Cupcakes March 24, 2020 | 66 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. These easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes are moist, tender, infused with the perfect amount of spices, and topped with a sweet cinnamon-cream cheese frosting. Add a sprinkle of pecans for the perfect finishing touch! Carrot Cake Cupcakes These Carrot Cake Cupcakes are one of my family’s favorite treats and everyone that tries these goes crazy for them! My dad’s all-time favorite dessert is Carrot Cake and after spending literally years perfecting my carrot cake recipe, I thought I’d tweak it a bit to create some perfectly moist, tender, and flavorful cupcakes. All in the name of “testing,” we’ve made these cupcakes more times than I can count the last couple of months. My toddler alternates asking for these or Carrot Cake every single Sunday when we bake a treat together. As much as I love that cake, these cupcakes are easier to make (especially with four little hands adding ingredients quicker than I can monitor!). Carrot Cake Cupcakes Taste So what can you expect taste-wise from these cupcakes? These classic Carrot Cake Cupcakes are moist, tender, and soft. They’re spiced with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves — none of which are overpowering but work together subtly to create a deep, rich flavor. This cupcake recipe emphasizes brown sugar over white– which further intensifies those deep notes of spice. The brown sugar also contributes to a more moist and tender cupcake. These cupcakes are topped with a luscious and sweet cream cheese frosting that has a hint of cinnamon spice. The slight tang of the frosting helps to balance the sweetness of the cupcakes. How to make Carrot Cake Cupcakes from scratch My top tips for success in making these homemade cupcakes: Start with room-temperature ingredients. It’s important for the final texture of these cupcakes that all of your ingredients are at room temperature. Using room-temperature eggs ensures that the eggs disperse more evenly into the batter; that gives these cupcakes a lighter texture (the eggs trap air). Soaking refrigerated eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes is a quick way to do this. Otherwise, pull the eggs out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before use. (You’ll also want the applesauce and carrots at room temperature.) When you measure the flour, be sure to spoon and level the measuring cups so you aren’t adding in too much or too little flour. Too much flour and you’ll get dense cupcakes and too little flour and these cupcakes will likely sink and be too wet. Stir everything until just combined. If you overmix the ingredients, you’ll end up with dense cupcakes. How to know when these Carrot Cake Cupcakes are done Visual cues for doneness: Cupcakes are slightly domed and the tops are caramelized in appearance. Physical cue for doneness: A toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean or with a couple of moist (not wet) crumbs. If you don’t have a toothpick, press down gently on the top of the cupcake, if the cupcake springs back nicely, they are done. Cream Cheese Frosting This frosting is soft, tangy, and sweet. It’s the perfect pairing for these moist, spiced cupcakes! Below are my top two tips for frosting-making success: Set out the butter and cream cheese about an hour before baking to get them to room temperature. If these ingredients aren’t at room temperature, they won’t combine smoothly, and there will be unpleasant cream cheese chunks in the frosting. Here are some tips for bringing the cream cheese and butter to room temperature quickly. With room-temperature cream cheese and butter, the two ingredients will cream together smoothly, giving your frosting the perfect foundation. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Add more or less powdered sugar, according to your personal taste preferences. More sugar will make the frosting sweeter and firmer, and less sugar will leave the frosting tangier and softer. QUICK TIP There is a lot of frosting for these cupcakes so each one can be generously frosted (as pictured in this post). If you would like less frosting on the cupcakes, make only half the indicated frosting recipe or make the full batch and use leftovers as a fruit dip or spread over sliced strawberries. You could use it to top waffles or pancakes for a cheesecake-type breakfast. Carrot Cake Cupcakes FAQs1How many calories are in Carrot Cake Cupcakes?I’ve included a full nutrition breakdown for these cupcakes below the recipe if you’re interested. The total caloric amount for one unfrosted cupcake is 220 calories. This does not include the frosting as that will change depending on how much frosting you use per cupcake. The frosting recipe below makes enough to add a “sky-high” amount of frosting to each cupcake (exactly what is pictured in these photos). If you want less frosting, cut the frosting recipe in half. 2How long do you bake mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes?If you want to make these cupcakes in a miniature muffin tin instead of a regular muffin tin, you’ll want to make sure to still use paper liners and you’ll bake them around 10-15 minutes. Check the cupcakes around 10 minutes. You can test for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs) they are done and if it comes out wet you can add a few minutes! 3How do you store Carrot Cake Cupcakes?Truly, these cupcakes (and the frosting) are even better the second day! The flavors from the spices have intensified by day 2, so don’t stress about having to make these the same day as an event! For any cupcakes that don’t get eaten, store them in an airtight container (or cupcake holder) in the fridge. These cupcakes are best within 3-4 days of being made. The finished and frosted cupcakes do not freeze and thaw well. 4Can I freeze Carrot Cake Cupcakes?The unfrosted cupcakes freeze beautifully! Freeze cooled cupcakes on a sheet pan for 1 hour and then transfer to an airtight container or bag for up to a month. Thaw at room temperature or overnight in the fridge before frosting. Unfortunately, cream cheese frosting doesn’t freeze and thaw well, but you can prepare it a day in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the fridge and set it out to room temperature about 30-45 minutes before you want to frost the cupcakes. QUICK TIP Number 1 Tip For Success: Grate the carrots by hand! I know, it can be a pain, but this is how we ensure ultra-moist and delicious cupcakes. Pre-shredded carrots in the grocery store are much too large and dry for these cupcakes, and results won’t be the same. More tasty desserts Lemon Blueberry Sweet Rolls with a sweet glaze Coconut Macaroons dipped in chocolate Magic Cookie Bars with a graham cracker crust Easter Cookies with Cadbury egg candies Creamy Lemon Pie with a graham cracker crust FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Carrot Cake Cupcakes 4.88 from 16 votes - Review this recipe These easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes are moist, tender, infused with the perfect amount of spices, and topped with a sweet cinnamon-cream cheese frosting. Add a dusting of pecans for the perfect finishing touch! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Carrot Cake Cupcakes 4.88 from 16 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe These easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes are moist, tender, infused with the perfect amount of spices, and topped with a sweet cinnamon-cream cheese frosting. Add a dusting of pecans for the perfect finishing touch! Course Dessert Cuisine American, Vegetarian Keyword carrot cake cupcakes Prep Time 40 minutes minutes Cook Time 20 minutes minutes Total Time 1 hour hour Servings 12 cupcakes Calories 286kcal Author Chelsea Cost $6.96 EquipmentStandard size muffin tinMuffin tin liners Ingredients▢ 1 and 1/3 cups white, all-purpose flour (spoon and level)▢ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda▢ 1/2 teaspoon baking powder▢ 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt▢ 1 and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon▢ 1/4 teaspoon EACH: ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves▢ 2/3 cup light-brown brown sugar, packed▢ 1/3 cup white granulated sugar▢ 2 large eggs▢ 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce▢ 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or use 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)▢ 1/2 cup vegetable (or canola) oil▢ 1 and 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (~3 medium carrots) Note 1Cream Cheese Frosting (Note 2)▢ 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature▢ 1 package (8 oz.) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature (do not use low fat)▢ 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)▢ 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt▢ 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon▢ 3 cups powdered sugar▢ Optional: 1/2 cup finely chopped pecansUS - Metric USMetric InstructionsPREP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cavity muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside. Set out the cream cheese and butter to get to room temperature.DRY INGREDIENTS: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.WET INGREDIENTS: In a separate large mixing bowl, use a mixer to beat together the brown sugar, white sugar, and eggs until combined. Mix in applesauce and vanilla extract. With the mixer running at low speed, slowly pour in vegetable oil and mix until combined. Finely shred the carrots (on the small side of your grater) and measure to ensure you have 1 and 1/2 cups. Add the dry ingredients right on top of the wet ingredients and the shredded carrots right on top of that. Stir until JUST combined, being careful to not overmix.BAKE: Pour batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. You should use all of the batter between the 12 cavities. Bake in preheated oven for about 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin for several minutes; transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.For the frosting:FROSTING: Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Using a hand mixer, cream together the room temperature butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until completely smooth. Mix in vanilla extract, sea salt and cinnamon. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. If you'd like a thicker frosting, add a bit more powdered sugar. Chill the frosting while the cupcakes finish cooling.DECORATE CUPCAKES: Frost completely cooled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and if desired, sprinkle crushed pecans on top.STORAGE: Store cupcakes in the fridge, tightly wrapped with plastic wrap, or in a cupcake holder for up to 4 days. The finished and frosted cupcakes don't freeze and thaw well, but you can freeze unfrosted cupcakes. Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Carrots: Grating carrots by hand can be a pain, but you’ll be amazed at how much moisture results from shredding the carrots. Pre-shredded carrots in the grocery store are much too large and dry for these cupcakes and results won't be the same. Note 2: Frosting: This makes a lot of frosting (enough for each cupcake to have as much frosting as pictured in these photos). If you'd like less frosting, you can halve the recipe. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.5g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 17.7g | Cholesterol: 51.3mg | Sodium: 27.8mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 18.9g We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.