Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

by Chrissy

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting_LYK2

If you didn’t already catch the details from the baby shower that I threw for my lovely sister, here’s the recap.

I am so excited to share these little carrot cake morsels of love with you, since they are now my favorites!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting_LYK1

My family has always loved carrot cake, but it’s not often that we grew up celebrating with it. Somehow chocolate cake trumped all others, but I suppose that just made carrot cake even more special when we did have it.

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Although other carrot cake additions are often a tasty surprise, sometimes it’s just nice to enjoy a more simplified version. Like this one.

When researching various recipes, some were loaded with chopped walnuts, coconut, pineapple, raisins, etc…

Even though, those are very yummy ingredients, indeed, they tend to take away from the emphasis on the sweet carrots, fragrant spices and light cakey texture.

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Another great thing about simple carrot cake cupcakes, is that you won’t have to worry about people with nut allergies. I can’t imagine anything worse than hosting a party and having it end abruptly with:

a) a trip to the emergency room, b) either administer or witness someone administer an Epi-pen as it is jammed into a thigh, or c) get complaints from people who turn their noses up to nuts baked into desserts.

No thanks.

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If you noticed little Kona lurking on the filled cupcake stand, then you will probably see his forlorn face and sad disposition.

He didn’t get to eat one. He’s not impressed.

But the guests did and they loved them. Sorry pup, better luck next time swooping a perfect little carrot cake cupcake.


PS. does this pic not remind you of the flying dog-looking dragon from The Neverending Story?? Come onnnnn.

*Note about the recipe: the cupcake batter is primarily made using a food processor, to shred carrots and incorporate the wet ingredients and sugars, for a more fluffy cake. You can also make batter the usual way by using a stand mixer to incorporate the wet ingredients and then gradually adding the dry ingredients. I encourage you to try it this way, as it worked wonderfully!


Simple Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Print Recipe!

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, inspired by Gimme Some Oven

Makes 24 regular or ~100 mini-sized cupcakes




2½ cups all-purpose flour

1¼ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish

1 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. salt

3 cups (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled

1½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1½ cups canola oil


Cream Cheese Frosting:

16 oz. cream cheese (semi-softened) (two 8oz. packages)

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

small pinch of salt

grated or ground nutmeg, for garnish



Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; mix together and set aside.

In a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, shred the carrots, which should yield about 3 cups. Add the shredded carrots to the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside. Rinse or wipe out the bowl of the food processor and fit with the metal blade. Process the sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Continue to process until the mixture is lighter in color and well emulsified, about 20 more seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl or in the stand mixer. Add the carrots and dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.

Scoop evenly into the prepared cupcake liners, so that each is about 2/3 full. Bake for about 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, for mini-cupcakes bake for 15-18 minutes, adjusting time as needed. Let cool in the pan at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, before frosting.

Cream the butter and cream cheese, both softened at room temperature, beating for about 1 minute on medium high speed. Slowly add the sifted powdered sugar, beating on a slow speed until incorporated. Add vanilla extract and a small pinch of salt and beat on medium-high speed until fully mixed and slightly fluffy and smooth. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, before frosting the completely cooled cupcakes. Pipe or smooth on with a knife and add a dash of grated or ground nutmeg and desired decorations. If making them ahead of time, keep in the fridge, and pull them out an hour before serving.


From the Little Yellow Kitchen,


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6 Comments to “Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. I totally agree about carrot cake – I think you should definitely let the cake shine! These look just perfect for a baby shower : )

  2. I looove carrot cake and I’m glad you left out the raisins 😉 I add pineapple to mine!

  3. I’m making these

  4. Chrissy

    Do it!!! I used pretty much the same cream cheese frosting as the chocolate cupcakes from Lauren and Chris’ engagement party :)

  5. Chrissy

    Let the cake shine, I love it! It was such a perfect addition for a springtime shower. And it was nice to have a lighter cake, so guests could indulge in the other desserts, as well.

  6. Chrissy

    The next time I make a whole carrot cake, I’ll probably add pineapple and coconut. I feel like they would be great additions in a cake versus mini cupcakes. and I do love pineapple :)!