These moist, irresistible carrot cake cupcakes are topped with fluffy cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts. They look beautiful and taste even better!
Carrot cake cupcakes are one of my favorite ways to sneak some extra veggies into my diet. The delicate, moist crumb of the carrot cupcakes comes from the 3 whole carrots used in the recipe. With all those carrots, you surprisingly don’t even taste them! Instead, you get the warm spice from the cinnamon and the sweet tang from the cream cheese frosting.
How to make carrot cupcakes
The base of these carrot cupcakes comes from my favorite carrot muffin recipe. Don’t just take my word for it – click through to read some of the reviews from people who enjoyed the recipe for themselves. This incredibly moist, delicate cake is made with oil instead of butter to give it a tender, light crumb.
Make the cupcakes
- Sift all the dry ingredients together.
- In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment or using a hand-held mixer, beat together eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- On low speed and with the mixer running, add oil slowly and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla extract until combined, then turn off mixer.
- Fold in the shredded carrots by hand until combined, followed by the flour mixture.
- Fill each liner ¾ full with batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool completely on a wire rack.
Note: If you want to dress your cupcakes up and add more flavor, you can add chopped nuts or raisins to the batter.
Top the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
These cupcakes are topped with my favorite smooth and fluffy cream cheese frosting. It’s easy to make and takes about 5 minutes. You can make the frosting while the cupcakes are baking, but make sure to let the cupcakes cool completely before topping them. Otherwise, the frosting will melt.
To get a nice, bakery-style swirl, use a piping bag and a star tip to top your cupcakes. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can substitute with a large, Ziploc. Cut a hole in the corner and place your tip through the hole. Fill the bag with frosting and use as a makeshift piping bag!
You can also use a spoon or knife to spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes.
Tips for making carrot cake cupcakes
- Don’t overmix your cupcake batter once you add the dry ingredients. This can make the cupcakes dense instead of light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. This will take about 3-4 minutes. The eggs will turn a pale yellow color and look almost frosting-like.
- For added flavor and texture, feel free to add chopped walnuts or raisins to the cupcake batter before baking.
- Use block style, full-fat cream cheese for the frosting. The cream cheese that comes in plastic containers won’t work for this frosting because it lacks the structure it needs to hold its shape.
More of my favorite cupcake recipes
- Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes: Rich, moist chocolate cake topped with creamy chocolate frosting.
- Amazing Red Velvet Cupcakes: Delicate and fluffy with smooth cream cheese frosting.
- Banoffee Cupcakes: Banana and caramel together is irresistible.
- Tiramisu Cupcakes: All the flavors of classic tiramisu in cupcake form.
Moist and fluffy carrot cake cupcakes topped with smooth and fluffy cream cheese frosting!
- 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) light or dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) canola oil (or vegetable, safflower)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 180 g (about 2 large or 3 medium carrots, or 1 1/2 cups) grated carrots
- Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners.
In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, or using a hand-held mixer, beat together eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed and with the mixer running, add oil slowly and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla extract until combined, then turn off mixer. Fold in carrots by hand until combined. Fold in flour mixture just until combined. Don’t overmix.
Fill each liner ¾ full with batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool completely on a wire rack.
Frost cupcakes with frosting once they've cooled.
Frosted cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Bring them to room temperature before serving.
WJJune 7, 2019 at 4:15 am
Hi Shiran, love your recipes! I see that a lot of your recipes require a standing mixer with a paddle attachment. I only have a hand mixer at home. Would you be able to suggest me an alternative whenever the recipe requires a standing mixer with paddle attachment? Thanks!
ShiranJuly 23, 2019 at 9:05 am
In most recipe you can use your hand mixer with the whisk attachment.
LizJune 22, 2019 at 6:36 pm
Hi. Unless I missed it somewhere, I don’t see how many cupcakes this recipe makes. Is it 12 or 24, or another number?
ShiranJuly 1, 2019 at 4:22 am
It makes 12 cupcakes, or a bit more depending on the size of the cupcake tins.
StephanieJuly 9, 2019 at 10:43 pm
This is my first time making carrot cake and I love your recipe. The cupcakes came out light and they taste absolutely delicious! Thank you!
EllieOctober 30, 2019 at 12:34 pm
Hello, I was wondering what piping nozzle you have used for piping the frosting on the carrot cake cupcakes, they look perfect!
ShiranOctober 31, 2019 at 5:19 am
Hi Ellie, I used the Wilton 1M.
KarenNovember 14, 2019 at 8:48 am
Can I avoid baking soda in the recipe?
VivMay 24, 2020 at 5:54 am
My picky husband loved these cupcakes! I love that you included the weight in the measurements, it makes preparation much easier. This is my new favourite go-to recipe for carrot cupcakes. If it were not for the quarantine I wouldn’t have rediscovered my love for baking (and eating!) carrot cupcakes. Thank you!
LizJuly 6, 2020 at 12:14 am
Today I did this recipe for my daughter’s birthday and are amazing, I only will add some crumbled pecans next time, with this recipe I just fall in love with carrot cupcakes since they weren’t my thing before and that frosting oh my!!!
Robin campbellJuly 30, 2020 at 12:27 pm
Absolutely the best! I’ve tried another recipe after this one for Blueberry muffins on yet another blog and it came precariously close to being over cooked and rubbery because of the wrong timing and liquid oats being used which was hard to mix in without almost overmixing! No Thanks Ill just keep using this one!! Moist , Perfectly sweet!! So Good!! Thank you Shiran!
GabriellaApril 3, 2021 at 7:29 pm
Hello! I wanted to make this as a cake. Would this recipe yield one 8 in cake ?
ShiranApril 20, 2021 at 2:09 pm
Hi Gabriella, I would recommend using either my carrot cake or carrot layer cake recipe for this.
AneesaNovember 5, 2021 at 1:15 pm
The ratio of flour to sugar does not make sense. 1 cup of sugar (brown+ granulated) for 1 cup of flour??? Either the sugar is too much or the flour is too little. I tried this recipe twice and both times the cupcakes were a flop.
Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.November 7, 2021 at 10:33 am
Hi Aneesa, sorry to hear the cupcakes didn’t turn out for you. I have tried this recipe many times, both during recipe testing and making them for myself once the recipe was finalized, and I assure you the measurements are accurate. If you look at other carrot cake recipes you’ll see the ratio of flour to sugar is around 1:1 (give or take). I’d love to learn more about your process and see if I can help you achieve optimal results! 🙂
BecNovember 14, 2021 at 7:53 pm
The best cupcakes, super moist and delicious. Easy to follow instructions. I found the tricks you suggested is what makes them perfect.