Go Back Email Link
+ servings

FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content.


Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 286kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $6.96


  • Standard size muffin tin
  • Muffin tin liners


  • 1 and 1/3 cups (170g) 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 (131g) light-brown brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup (63g) white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (55g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or use 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) vegetable (or canola) oil
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) finely shredded carrots (~3 medium carrots) Note 1

Cream Cheese Frosting (Note 2)

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 package (8 oz.; 226g) 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 (345g) powdered sugar
  • Optional: 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans


  • PREP: 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.



Note 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.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.5g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 17.7g | Cholesterol: 51.3mg | Sodium: 27.8mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 18.9g