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Wonderfully moist and flavorful carrot cake cupcakes filled with crunchy chopped nuts and topped with a smooth and creamy cream cheese frosting.
Welcome to #FallFlavors where more than 25 food bloggers are sharing recipes with favorite fall flavors. Our sponsors (Millican Pecan, Dixie Crystals, Melissa’s Produce, Taylor & Colledge, Nairn’s, and Republic of Tea) have furnished participating bloggers with complimentary product to use in their recipe creations that they will be sharing this week. Be sure to follow our Fall Flavors Pinterest account for more inspiration.
Just as my homemade carrot cake recipe had been a very long time coming by the time I posted it, so have these classic carrot cake cupcakes.
Prior to starting my blog, I made custom cakes and cupcakes for people– birthdays, showers, weddings, parties. And since I was still working a full time job outside of the house back then (still a dream I get to do THIS as a full time job these days!), I made a lot of cupcakes for coworkers and lunch events.
Whenever I made that moist carrot cake or these carrot cake cupcakes, people went nuts. And since that cake has been on my blog, it’s been a pretty popular post, so it only seemed right to share the actual carrot cake cupcake recipe as opposed to just a note at the bottom of my favorite carrot cake recipe.
There are a lot of feelings around what should or shouldn’t be in carrot cake cupcakes, and here, you’ll find my personal preference. If this is not the way you like your carrot cake cupcakes, that’s perfectly fine. I know this can get as heated as some political issues.
WHAT IS IN THESE CARROT CUPCAKES?
I prefer and have always made carrot cake with nuts (specifically walnuts or pecans), without raisins, and without coconut nor pineapple. To me, those last items are borderline sacrilegious, and while I do love me some raisins in my cookies, they do not belong in carrot cake cupcakes.
Another hotly debated ingredient in cupcakes is butter vs vegetable oil.
It is true that many times, cupcakes made with butter tend to be drier than cupcakes made with vegetable oil, so I usually prefer it in cupcakes that aren’t meant to have a buttery flavor, such as my vanilla bean cupcakes or my mini cookies and cream cupcakes.
Those cupcakes are all about the buttery flavor, so butter is the go-to there.
Since my carrot cake cupcakes are all about the spice and the carrots (yes, it is about the carrots– we’re getting there), vegetable oil is totally acceptable here.
While using vegetable oil will bring a lot of moisture to the cupcakes, the real moist maker (hello, Ross) here is the carrots, and we’re getting very specific with the carrots in this carrot cupcake recipe.
First of all, we’re using a half of a pound of carrots for one dozen cupcakes. It might seem like a lot, and it is, but these aren’t just sort of carrot cupcakes. These are full blown carrot cupcakes with nuts and the carrots really are the star of the show. The nuts are the secondary star.
HOW TO PREPARE THE CARROTS
The secret to preparing the carrots is to not just shred them, but also finely process them.
My pro tip for preparing the carrots for carrot cake:
Shred the carrots in a food processor, switch out the shredder for the blade, and pulse a few times.
This will insure that you have some very small and fine carrot bits that will get themselves into every nook and cranny of your carrot cake cupcakes.
The batter will be very orange, and you might start to question “half a pound” of carrots. It is not a typo. I promise, this is where it gets amazing.
The same idea applies to the nuts– chop them very fine so that they distribute through the cupcakes nicely. There is also no need to toast them prior to putting them into the batter. They will toast all on their own while in the oven.
TOP WITH MY FAVORITE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
And of course, last but not least, the cream cheese frosting that goes on top is one you’ve seen before.
I first shared this frosting with my red velvet cupcakes, and it has since been on top of many cakes and cupcakes since. It’s very simple and straightforward and that tang and creaminess makes an excellent complement to all that spice and texture.
There is truly a piece of my heart here on my blog with these easy carrot cake cupcakes.
I hope that you will invite this recipe for carrot cupcakes into your kitchen and love it as much as we and so many others have. I am confident enough to say that these are the best carrot cake cupcakes you’ll ever find… And I can’t wait for you to taste them!
JOIN MY ONLINE COURSE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CUPCAKE DECORATING TECHNIQUES
If you love making cupcakes, but aren’t quite sure where to start when it comes to decorating them, join my e-course so you can learn right alongside me. I’ll be instructing you the entire journey from start to finish!
More #FallFlavors Recipes
Appetizers, Cocktails, and Snacks
- Apple Cider Old-Fashioned from Books n’ Cooks
- Fall Charcuterie Board from The Spiffy Cookie
- Sweet And Spicy Pecans from Simple and Savory
Breakfast and Baked Goods
- Apple Cider Pecan Granola from Family Around The Table
- Apple Cinnamon Bread from Life Love and Good Food
- Apple Pecan Scones from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Gluten-Free Apple Cider Doughnuts from Frugal & Fit
- Pecan Cinnamon Sugar Baked Apple Donuts from Jen Around the World
Soups and Salads
- Balsamic Glazed Cipollini Onions from West Via Midwest
- Roasted Cipollini Onions With Sherry Vinegar And Thyme from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Vegan Butternut Squash And Chestnut Kebabs from Magical Ingredients
- Cider Brined Baked Chicken from Palatable Pastime
- Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad from Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Air Fryer Apple Fritters from Devour Dinner
- Apple Cider Tea Madeleines from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
- Apple Crumb Bars from SueBee Homemaker
- Apple Nachos from Take Two Tapas
- Butterscotch Blondies from That Recipe
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes from Fresh April Flours
- Fall Fruit Galette from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Giant Butterscotch Cookies from An Affair from the Heart
- Gluten-Free Apple Pie from The Fresh Cooky
- Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake from Art of Natural Living
- Pear & Butternut Squash Crisp from Savory Moments
- Pecan Pound Cake from Soulfully Made
- Sour Cream Apple Pie from House of Nash Eats
- Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe from Lemon Blossoms
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES
- ¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (112g) vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- ½ pound (226g) carrots peeled and shredded/finely processed1
- 2 ounces walnuts or pecans finely chopped
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 8 ounces (225g) full fat block cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 3 and ½ cups (420g) powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line the wells of a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and vegetable oil until completely combined. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until everything is incorporated.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir with a spatula until batter starts to come together. Add the carrots and the walnuts and continue to mix until everything is evenly combined.
- Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ to ¾ of the way full with batter. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy.
- With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt, then increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.
- For more buttercream troubleshooting tips, see my book, The Home Baker's Guide to Basic Buttercream.
- Frost the cupcakes2 using a piping bag or a large zip top bag with the corner snipped off. Cupcakes will stay fresh covered at room temperature up to 3 days. Store in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Cupcakes freeze well, frosted or unfrosted, up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
- Carrots: I like to use a food processor to shred the carrots, then replace the shredder with the blade and pulse a few times to turn some of the shreds into finely processed carrots. This brings the best moisture and texture to the cupcakes.
- Frosting: I also recommend my maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting for these cupcakes.
Disclaimer: These posts and recipes are part of the week long event (#FallFlavors). All opinions are my own. Thank you to our amazing sponsors for providing the prize packs for our giveaways and also products to the #FallFlavors bloggers to use in their recipes.
If you’re a carrot cake lover like me, can I recommend my carrot cake coconut macaroons?