Make the BEST Carrot Cake Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting at home with this easy recipe! These moist, tender cupcakes are made from scratch and make the perfect dessert for Easter… or any time really!
Spring is in the air and with it comes my desire to eat all things that remind me of the season! When it comes to desserts, the thing that I absolutely MUST make in the springtime is carrot cake. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy carrot cake all year long but there is something about spring that makes it my go-to for any special function including Easter…or any Friday night. And when that carrot cake is made mini, in the form of cupcakes, they’re even better.
I mean who doesn’t love a cupcake that’s loaded with veggies? Its almost a salad. And while it is not exactly healthy with all the sugar and oil, my version is a smidge healthier as I use Greek yogurt and apple sauce to replace some of the fat. But then I generously ice them with cream cheese frosting and undo the good. Ha! Balance, right?
As a huge carrot cake lover, I have made my fair share of this dessert. The recipe I am sharing with you today is my tried and true favourite! It’s perfectly (and lightly) spiced, tender and moist (sorry to use the M word on ya, but it is just that)! It is sweet, but not too sweet. Because the icing is rich and sweet, the cake itself isn’t overly sweetened. The result is perfect, in my opinion.
Tips for making the BEST carrot cake cupcakes
Carrot cake cupcakes are pretty easy to make. Essentially, I grate the carrots, mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients and then combine everything together. Bake them up, ice them generously and then proceed to gobble them up!
Honestly, the hardest part (aside from holding yourself back from eating too many) is grating the carrots. I don’t know about you but grating anything is my least favourite task no matter the recipe. So how to simplify this annoying task? You have two options here:
- Use your food processor! This is my go-to whenever I have to grate anything. The food processor and the glorious shredding attachment it comes with is my favourite kitchen appliance! It simplifies the task and your carrots are shredded in no time at all.
- Another option I have used before is to use matchstick carrots. I just chop them up a bit cause they can be a bit long but this is also another time-saving option.
Now that the hard part is done, you can proceed with the easier steps in the recipe.
Storing Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Since I make these cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, I store them in the fridge to keep the icing from going bad. They can be kept in the fridge for several days. If you don’t like eating it cold, you can take your cupcakes and let them come to room temperature before serving.
I have also found that these cupcakes freeze well too. Not that there are many occasions that we have leftover cupcakes that we don’t eat, but if you find yourself in such a situation, you can freeze the cupcakes, iced and all. I let it thaw in the fridge, so be sure to take them out in advance to allow time for this.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you give it a try and love it as much as I do, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
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Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups carrots shredded (about 1/2 lb carrots)
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple drained
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 250 g cream cheese softened (8oz or 1 brick)
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar or confectioners sugar)
- 3 tablespoons milk or as much as needed
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12 cup cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
- Grate carrots in a food processor or with a box grater. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
- Place all of the wet ingredients except for the carrots and pineapple in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Blend well until everything is well combined and creamy. Add the dry ingredients and blend to form the batter. Add the grated carrots and pineapple and blend until combined.
- Spoon batter into the cupcake liners, filling the 3/4 full.
- Bake in the oven for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let it cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, make the frosting by adding the cream cheese, butter, and icing sugar to a food processor with the paddle attachment. Blend on medium speed until it is light and fluffy Slowly add a little milk (1 tablespoon at a time) and blend. If needed, add a little more milk to reach the desired consistency. Pipe the icing on the cupcakes and top with chopped pecans.