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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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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.

carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with shredded carrots and pecans on top

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.

carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with shredded carrots and pecans on top

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.

Save the raisins for the cookies and the pineapples for piña colada bars.

Another hotly debated ingredient in cupcakes is butter vs vegetable oil.

carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with shredded carrots and pecans on top

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.

carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with pecans on top

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.

shredded carrots in a food processor

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.

carrot cake cupcake batter in a cupcake pan

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.

cream cheese frosting in a glass bowl

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!

cover photo for mastering the basics of cupcake decorating course

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carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting with shredded carrots and pecans on top
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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Wonderfully moist and flavorful carrot cake cupcakes filled with crunchy chopped nuts and topped with a smooth and creamy cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time25 mins
Bake Time24 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

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
  • 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
  • teaspoon salt

Instructions

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.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. Frosting: I also recommend my maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting for these cupcakes.
  3. Nutritional information: all nutritional values are approximate.
 
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!
Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 3445IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg

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?

carrot cake coconut macaroons on a plate

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5 stars
These are a new favorite! So moist and tender! Most of all delicious!

Carrot cake is my favorite and these cupcakes are perfect for the fall.

5 stars
Love all the warm spices in these carrot cake cupcakes. They are a perfect Fall treat.

You can’t have carrot cake without the cream cheese frosting! These look amazing

5 stars
Girl, you and me — no raisins in my carrot cake or cupcakes! These look fabulous!

My dad loves carrot cake, can’t wait to surprise him with these! #TeamNoRaisins

5 stars
These look so good. You cannot go wrong with carrot cake at any time. YUM!

These are a great fall weather treat! The cream cheese frosting paired with the fall spices and carrot cake flavor is just amazing! So good!

5 stars
Love carrot cake and am drowning in CSA carrots. Can’t wait to try!

These carrot cupcakes sound so good. I’m with you on no pineapple, raisins or coconut.

5 stars
These are amazing. Perfection actually. They should be in a bakery.

Carrot cake is my favorite (We even had it as our wedding cake for a fall wedding). These look scrumptious!!

Carrot cakes are my favorite. These look amazing! I would want to have the entire batch for myself.

5 stars
I think these might be the best cupcakes I have ever made. They turned out fantastic! I really appreciated all your helpful tips!

5 stars
New favorite recipe! They are tender and moist, and I love the spices! These cupcakes are the perfect fall treats! I’ll make them again!

Carrot cake is one of my faves. I cannot wait to try these. They look delish!

5 stars
UNREAL. My new go-to carrot cupcake recipe!!!

5 stars
These cupcakes were so moist and full of flavor! I went with the maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting and while it was super sweet, it was a beautiful complement to all the spices in the cupcakes!

Carrot cake is my husband’s favorite! He’s going to devour these.