The best Carrot Cake Cupcakes ever! Learn how to make soft and fluffy carrot cupcakes topped with buttery cream cheese frosting and a scattering of toasted walnuts.
Perfect Carrot Cake Cupcakes 🧡
I’ve had these little morsels on my to-do list forever and I’m so excited to share my recipe with you. Today, we’re going to make soft and fluffy carrot cake cupcakes topped with swirls of cream cheese frosting.
They taste like bakery-style carrot cake, but they’re oh-so-easy to make!
So many of you have told me how much you love my Carrot Cake recipe, so I’ve been wanting to share a Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe with you for a while now. It has all the same characteristics as it’s big brother – soft and tender texture, perfectly spiced, and plenty of melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese frosting.
But these individual-style cakes are perfect for parties, Easter celebrations or for when a layered cake is just not on your agenda.
So when I was developing this recipe, I took my Carrot Cake recipe and my favourite Vanilla Cupcake recipe and sort of merged the two. I already knew that using oil in carrot cake helped to produce a lovely moist cake, and thankfully, you don’t miss the flavour of butter because of all the carrot and spices hiding inside.
And I also knew that the only way to finish a piece of a good carrot cake, was with equally good cream cheese frosting. Yes please!
I added a few walnuts to my Carrot Cake Cupcakes and used them to decorate the cakes, but if you have a nut allergy or just prefer without, you can easily skip the nuts. Or you could try pecans or another nut if you prefer!
HOW TO MAKE CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES FROM SCRATCH
- This is a really easy Carrot Cake recipe. You don’t even need an electric mixer to make the cakes – only for the frosting.
- Start by adding all your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. We use a mix of caster sugar and brown sugar – if you don’t have any caster sugar, you can use regular granulated sugar. Read more about caster sugar here. We also use cinnamon and nutmeg for an extra flavour punch!
- Then you will add your carrot. I use just 1 cup of carrot for this recipe, which is approximately 2 small to medium carrots. You don’t need to peel the carrots before grating them. You can also add some nuts here, I use a handful of walnuts (or just leave them out if you prefer).
- Then we combine our wet ingredients. We use vegetable oil in this recipe as it keeps the cake lovely and moist and has little flavour. Briefly mix and then add to your dry ingredients. Mix until combined – your batter will be quite runny – this is ok!
- You can fill your cupcake liners up about 2/3 full, as these cupcakes don’t rise very much – which makes it easier to frost them!
- Bake the cupcakes for approximately 20 minutes or until they spring back lightly to the touch. Leave to cool before topping with your cream cheese frosting!
CAN I FREEZE CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES?
Yes you can! However, I recommend freezing them without the frosting. Individually wrap each cake with plastic wrap and freeze. When it comes to serving, simply defrost and then cover with a fresh batch of frosting for maximum taste! It’ll also ensure your Carrot Cake Cupcakes look as good as they taste.
How do I store Carrot Cake Cupcakes?
Carrot Cake Cupcakes themselves keep well in an airtight container at room temperature or you can wrap the cakes (without any frosting) individually to freeze them. Once you add the cream cheese frosting, you can store the cupcakes in the fridge.
I usually try to avoid keeping cake in the fridge for a long period of time, simply because it can dry out. So I prefer to make and store the cupcakes at room temperature and then frost them just before serving. Then just store any leftover (if you’re lucky) in the fridge in an airtight container.
Delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cake cupcakes
- 175 grams (1 and 1/4 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 90 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup grated carrot*
- 30 grams (1/3 cup) walnuts, chopped
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) full fat or whole milk
Cream cheese frosting
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter, softened
- 250 grams (1 and 1/4 cup) full fat cream cheese, softened, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 375 grams (3 cups) icing sugar or powdered sugar
- A handful of walnuts, roughly chopped, lightly toasted*
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add grated carrot and walnuts and mix briefly.
- In a separate bowl, add oil, vanilla, egg and milk and whisk gently, just to break up the egg yolks.
- Add to dry ingredients, and mix gently until combined. Batter will be quite runny – that’s fine.
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling each one around 2/3 full. Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the cream cheese frosting, add butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla. Add sugar, 1 cup at a time, and continue to beat until smooth.
- Transfer frosting to piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Decorate with chopped walnuts.
*Carrots: Approximately 2 small to medium carrots. You can leave the skin on the carrots and just grate the whole thing.
*Walnuts: You can use raw walnuts or to toast them, spread out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in a moderate oven for 5-10 minutes or until they begin to smell toasty. Remove, roughly chop and use to decorate once cooled.