Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These spiced Carrot Cake Cupcakes are soft, moist, and topped with an easy cream cheese frosting. Perfect for Easter or any time of year!
Easter is just a little over a month away and one of my favorite things to make is my homemade carrot cake recipe. Over the last few months, I’ve had requests for carrot cake cupcakes so I decided it was time to create a recipe!
These carrot cake cupcakes are incredibly soft, light, super moist, and jam-packed with freshly grated carrots. I topped these off with a homemade cream cheese frosting, but you could easily use a vanilla buttercream frosting too.
I’ve also included everything you need to know for prepping these cupcakes ahead of time and how to add nuts or raisins!
How To Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes
To make these carrot cake cupcakes, you’ll start by whisking together your dry ingredients:
- All-Purpose Flour: When measuring your flour for these cupcakes, make sure to spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda: Do you remember my post on the difference between baking soda and baking powder? There’s a combination of the two in this recipe and it provides the perfect amount of lift for these cupcakes.
- Spices & Salt: You can’t have a good carrot cake cupcake without a good blend of spices. I use a mix of ground cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, plus a little salt in these cupcakes.
Then, you’ll whisk together the wet ingredients:
- Oil: You can use canola, vegetable, or melted coconut oil in these cupcakes.
- Sugar: I use a mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar in these cupcakes. The brown sugar not only adds flavor, but it also adds moisture.
- Applesauce: This is my secret ingredient when it comes to these cupcakes. The applesauce adds more moisture to the cupcakes and keeps them from being too greasy from extra oil. If you don’t have any applesauce on hand, you can use plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
- Eggs & Vanilla Extract: You’ll be using a couple of eggs plus some pure vanilla extract.
- Grated Carrots: There are 1 and 1/2 cups of freshly grated carrots in these cupcakes, we’re not skimping on the carrots here!
Once you’ve mixed up the dry and wet ingredients, you’ll mix the two together until just combined. At this point, you can also stir in some chopped nuts and raisins if you prefer. I’ve included notes in the recipe for how to add these to your cupcakes.
Then, evenly divide the batter between 14 cupcake liners. I typically just use two 12-count muffin pans and bake them in separate batches.
Another thing to note is that you don’t want to overfill the liners. Overfilling the liners can cause the cupcakes to overflow and turn out more like muffins. You only want to fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full like the picture above.
The cupcakes will take about 16-20 minutes in the oven, you’ll know they’re finished when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Once they’re done, make sure to carefully remove them from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool while you make the frosting. For the frosting on these cupcakes, I used my homemade cream cheese frosting recipe. If you want to use a regular buttercream frosting on these cupcakes you can use my homemade vanilla buttercream frosting.
How To Prep These Cupcakes Ahead Of Time
The frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up for up 4 days. I suggest placing them on the counter about an hour before you plan to serve them so they can come to room temperature.
You may also freeze the cupcakes for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature before frosting.
The frosting will also freeze well for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and mix well before frosting the cupcakes.
- When measuring your flour for these cupcakes, make sure to spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off with the back of a knife.
- Don’t have any applesauce? You can replace the applesauce with 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
- I used the Wilton 8B piping tip for these cupcakes. I also have a full tutorial for how to frost cupcakes here.
- Want to add nuts and raisins? You can add 1/3 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts and 1/3 cup of raisins to these cupcakes. If you use both, I suggest making 15 cupcakes instead of 14.
- For the frosting, make sure to use a block of cream cheese and not the cream cheese spread in a tub.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
For the carrot cake cupcakes:
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour spooned & leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) canola or vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) light or dark brown sugar lightly packed
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (65 grams) unsweetened applesauce or plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (150 grams) freshly grated carrots lightly packed
- 1/3 cup (40 grams) chopped pecans or walnuts optional
- 1/3 cup (55 grams) raisins optional
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 (8-ounce) package brick-style cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the carrot cake cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two standard 12-count muffin pans with 14 cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract until fully combined. Stir in the grated carrots.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Then stir in the chopped nuts and raisins.
- Evenly distribute the batter between all 14 cupcake liners, only filling each liner about 2/3 of the way full. Bake in separate batches at 350°F (177°C) for 16-20 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Carefully remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool slightly for 2-3 minutes in the pans. Then, carefully remove the cupcakes from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together for about 1-2 minutes or until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost as desired, serve, and enjoy!
Amo sus recetas gracias por compartir, saludos desde Guatemala, I Love bake!!?
These look yummy (I’ve made your carrot cake, which was awesome!). I want to make mini cupcakes, would you change the bake time?
Thank you, Lisa! I would guess the baking time to be about 9-13 minutes for mini cupcakes.
12 minutes! They came out perfect. Thank you again for the great recipe!
This recipe is fantastic! The cupcakes were perfect!!
The carrot cupcakes recipe was a hit!! everybody loved them,Thank you for the recipe!But i am struggling to find some good eggless carrot cupcake recipes, could you please help me with it ??
So glad to hear that! I haven’t tried or experimented with an eggless recipe, but you may be able to use flax eggs in place of the eggs.
Hi! Greetings from Peru! I looove all your recipes but this one is sooo good!! I have one question… would you recommend some options as a substitute for both granulated sugar and brown sugar?
Thank you in advance !!
Hi, Jenny! Unfortunately, I’ve never tried substituting either one with something else in these cupcakes. Something like coconut sugar may work in place of them.
So I just checked out your recipe for carrot cake cupcakes and they look delicious ! Do you really think sour cream in substitution for applesauce will really work ? I just dont wanna chance it and it not turn out great.
Yes, I’ve used sour cream too and it works just fine.
I wanted to let you know I tried your recipe tonight and it’s definitely a keeper. The cupcakes came out so moist and yummy. Thank you for a great recipe!
Thank you, Irina! So glad you enjoyed the cupcakes!
Thanks for posting.
Only one question: can I double up this recipe?
Yes, that would be fine!
Your Carrot Cake Cupcake recipes is beyond words. I made them yesterday with your cream cheese frosting and OMG, they rock. My husband loved them. I can’t wait to make the cake. I gave you 5 stars, but this recipe deserves 10 stars. Without a doubt the best Carrot Cake Cupcakes I’ve ever had. Thanks for sharing your recipes with the world.
Thank you, Jan! So happy you loved the cupcakes!
I made these for my boyfriend for his birthday and he absolutely loved them!! I made cupcakes and 4 layer mini cake for him with this recipe and everything was super delicious!!
The buttercream frosting was such a great addition! Wish I could post pictures to show!
Thank you so much for this recipe, will definitely be making again! 🙂
So glad you loved the cupcakes, Melanie!
Made these for my boyfriend’s birthday. I have to say… This is hands down the most delicious carrot cake I have EVER had. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more moist cupcake. The frosting was initially super thin, but I was still able to ice them…. then I stuck them in the fridge to harden up the icing — now a perfect consistency. Have already shared the recipe!
So glad you enjoyed the cupcakes, Jordan!
Turned out really really delish!! Cupcakes were super moist. 1.5cups instead of 2cups Confectionery Sugar were more than enough sweetness for our level. Followed everything else exact. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but I will soon. But I wanted to make a comment about measuring dry ingredients, especially flour. You have a little slack in measurements for cooking, but baking is more of a science. Precision is a value. If you spoon flour into a measuring cup and level it off with a knife five times, you’ll get five different amounts of flour. And that can affect the density of the finished product. Also, a cup of AP flour doesn’t weight the same as a cup of bread flour which doesn’t weigh the same as whole wheat flour, and so on. Truly serious bakers weigh their ingredients with a kitchen scale to ensure proper and repeatable results. You can get a decent kitchen scale for around $20.
Hi, when I made these they didn’t turn out good at all. They sunk in, were very very moist and oily. The recipe looks amazing, it just doesn’t work?
Sorry you had trouble with the recipe, Aly. Did you double check the measurements for all of the ingredients that you used? And did you happen to make any adjustments to the recipe? If they were moist and sunk, it’s likely that they were just under baked and needed to bake longer.
If I do not have nutmeg and ginger, can I skip it? Or had another 1/2 tsp of cinnamon? Thank you!
You can, but I would still add the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to make up for it.
I’m not a Baker at all and yet these turned out delicious absolutely effortlessly.
These cupcakes are SOOOOO- delicious! The cake is moist and all of the flavors blend nicely. OUTSTANDING recipe! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for sharing this! It’s definitely a keeper! 🙂
The cupcakes and frosting turned out amazing! The cupcakes were nice, moist, flavorful, and packed with shredded carrots. The frosting was also good, but I had a lots of it leftover.
I have made these twice now and both times I have received huge compliments. Thankyou so much for this recipe.
Could these be baked in jumbo cupcake tins and liners?
I think that would be fine! You will need to increase the baking time though.
Texture is good but frosting & cake together are too overly sweet. I would tone down on the sugar next time
I tried this recipe using sour cream, no brown sugar and no frosting but still my cupcakes turned out so incredibly moist and delicious! Definitely saving this recipe for a next time! Thank you for sharing! Greetings from El Salvador ❤
Very good cupcakes!! I wanted a cupcake that was a little healthier than what I am use to making and this fit perfectly. Very moist, taste excellent, pulls away from cupcake liner perfectly. I will certainly make them again. This is my new “go to” carrot cake cupcake. For sure 5 star! I wish I could have left a picture.
Could I make this recipe for my grandson who has celiac using cup for cup flour? Would I need to change anything else?
Hi, Susan! I’ve never tried these with gluten-free flour. If you’ve had success using that brand of flour 1:1 for all-purpose flour, then it may be okay to use in this recipe.
Hi there! When mixing the ingredients am I able to use a handheld mixer or should I be mixing my hand? Thank you!
For the cupcake batter, you can use either an electric mixer or whisk. I do recommend using an electric mixer for the frosting though.
Best carrot cake recipe! Cupcakes were very moist and super flavorful! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
only made 10 smaller guys but super delicious and moist. wow. i halved the frosting too and still had extra. so delish. (i left out the raisins and nuts – also used greek yogurt and freshly grated ginger. yum.)
I just pulled these out of the oven, my kitchen smells divine. I am having trouble saving these until I frost them.
I tweaked the recipe just a tad, I bought pre-shreded carrots, that were slightly dry (old bag). I soaked these carrots overnight in some spiced rum. Oh man that was a good idea!
The cupcakes look so good. I am going to make this over the weekend but I had a question. Instead of the raisins would I be able to use sweetened coconut flakes?
Yes, that would be fine! I would just replace the raisins with 1/3 cup of coconut.
These are great! We made two different recipes to try and this one took the (cup)cake! Applesauce is a great add and makes the texture soft and super moist. 5 stars!