Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This carrot cake cupcakes recipe is a smash hit! The moist, spiced cakes are topped with mounds of tangy cream…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This carrot cake cupcakes recipe is a smash hit! The moist, spiced cakes are topped with mounds of tangy cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Here’s a festive recipe that’s a simpler form of the popular classic cake: Carrot Cake Cupcakes! These little cakes are fun, easy to put together, and overwhelmingly satisfying. The moist, carrot-studded cakes have just the right warm spiced interior. Piled high with tangy cream cheese frosting, the flavor combination is out of this world good. We tested these out on a few friends and neighbors and they all came back with 5 star reviews! They’re ideal for spring, Easter, or anytime you’re craving an impressive treat.

Ingredients in carrot cake cupcakes

Carrot cake cupcakes are much simpler than making a big layered cake. No need to make several round pans, worry about a toppling cake or best practices for icing. Just throw the batter in a muffin tin, and you’re done! Icing is quick and simple with a pastry bag. Here’s what you’ll need for the cake portion of these carrot cake cupcakes:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Spices: cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Neutral oil
  • Unsweetened applesauce: applesauce is the secret ingredient that makes these cupcakes extremely moist!
  • Carrots: we like to use the large grater holes for substantial chunks of carrots
Carrot cake cupcakes

Tips the cream cheese frosting

The most challenging part of these carrot cake cupcakes? Icing them! There are just a few tips we’ve learned for making the best cream cheese frosting that holds up on a cupcake. Here’s what to know:

  • Let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature (1 hour). Sure, it’s annoying to remember. But it’s absolutely crucial for the right texture, here. We’ve messed it up with butter that’s too cold. Place them on the counter and it should take 1 hour for both to come to room temperature.
  • Sift the powdered sugar. To ensure the best icing quality, sift the powdered sugar through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl before using it. This removes any lumps.
  • Pipe with a pastry bag. Pastry bags may seem daunting at first, but they’re very easy to use. Choose a fun icing tip and apply the icing in a circular pattern across the top of the cakes.
Carrot cake cupcakes

Presentation ideas for carrot cake cupcakes

These carrot cake cupcakes look lovely with a sprinkle of finely chopped pistachios on top. But you can step them up in a few ways! Here are some ideas:

  • Top with any chopped nuts like pistachios, pecans, or walnuts
  • Add a sprinkle of shredded coconut
  • Add carrot candies to the tops, or make a decorative carrot using icing

Storage and make-ahead info

What are best ways to store carrot cake cupcakes? Can you make them ahead? Here are a few tips:

  • Cupcakes are best fresh. But you can make them ahead! See below.
  • Un-iced cupcakes store at room temperature in a sealed container for 2 days, or up to 5 days refrigerated.
  • Leftover iced cupcakes store for up to 4 days refrigerated.
  • If making in advance, store the cupcakes without frosting. Refrigerate up to 2 days. Add icing as close to serving as possible.
  • Or, freeze un-frosted cupcakes for up to 2 months before serving. Again, we recommend making them closer to serving for best results. You can also freeze leftover cream cheese frosting for up to 1 month. Make sure to bring it to room temperature and stir it before using.
Carrot cake cupcakes

More carrot recipes

Carrots are always in season (though of course we love to celebrate them in the spring!). Here are a few more carrot recipes you’ll love:

This carrot cake cupcakes recipe is…

Vegetarian. For dairy free, use a dairy free frosting.

Print
Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes

Description

This carrot cake cupcakes recipe is a smash hit! The moist, spiced cakes are topped with mounds of tangy cream cheese frosting.


Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup neutral oil
  • 2/3 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 ½ cups lightly packed peeled and grated carrots

For the frosting

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • For the garnish: finely chopped pistachios, pecans or walnuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place muffin liners into a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, and kosher salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and applesauce. Stir in the grated carrots.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring only until just combined (but making sure no pockets of dry ingredients remain).
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups (about ¼ cup in each).
  5. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to fully cool, at least 1 hour. (Set out the butter and cream cheese at room temperature for 1 hour while the cupcakes cool.)
  6. When the cupcakes are cool, make the cream cheese frosting: Make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature. Use a fine mesh sieve to sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Beat the butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until completely smooth, scraping once. Reduce the speed to low, then add the vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it comes together into a thick icing.
  7. Use a pastry bag to pipe the icing onto the cupcakes, or refrigerate the icing up to 1 week until frosting. (You can use the entire quantity of frosting or less if desired for a lighter cupcake.) Top with finely chopped pistachios.
  8. Storage info: Leftover cupcakes can be stored refrigerated for up to 4 days, but are best served as fresh as possible (bring to room temperature before serving). If making in advance, store the cupcakes refrigerated without frosting; add icing as close to serving as possible. Freeze the un-frosted cupcakes for up to 2 months, but again: we recommend making them closer to serving for best results. You can also freeze cream cheese frosting for up to 1 month. Make sure to bring it to room temperature and stir it before using.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Carrot cake cupcakes

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

41 Spring-tastic Easter Cake Recipe Ideas

After a satisfying Easter brunch or dinner packed with lamb and ham (and all your favorite sides), the kids will likely steal away to a corner of the house, peeling open piece after piece of candy. But what about the adults? As with any good holiday me…

After a satisfying Easter brunch or dinner packed with lamb and ham (and all your favorite sides), the kids will likely steal away to a corner of the house, peeling open piece after piece of candy. But what about the adults? As with any good holiday meal, it’s important to end Easter on a sweet, special note. Our 41 favorite Easter cake recipes featuring beautiful pastels and family-favorite springtime flavors will draw everyone back to the table.

1. Caroline's Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is a popular choice for Easter thanks to the Easter bunny connection, but it’s also a flat-out delicious dessert that should be served year-round. This multi-layer version is everything a cake should be without too much fuss.

Read More >>

The Fudgy Snacking Cake That Won Your Hearts (& Our Recipe Contest)

Our latest recipe contest, Your Best Snacking Cake, invited a huge wave of absolutely delicious-looking recipes from our community of talented cake bakers. With so many delicious entries, we really had our work cut out for us. We tested, tasted, tasted…

Our latest recipe contest, Your Best Snacking Cake, invited a huge wave of absolutely delicious-looking recipes from our community of talented cake bakers. With so many delicious entries, we really had our work cut out for us. We tested, tasted, tasted a little more (it's cake!) whittled it down, and finally decided on two finalists: Clintonhillbilly's Cinnamon-Anise Snack Cake and Jessie Sheehan's Chocolate-Carrot Snacking Cake.

How did we pick a winner? Staring down these two outstanding confections was no solution at all, but thankfully we received an huge volume of votes. It was a very close race, but a winner has been chosen. Cue the drumroll...

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Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

One thing I’ve been working on this year, which may be remembered in the future as “the year we all stayed home,” is updating blog posts. Quite a few of them that were written, say ten…or fifteen years ago, benefitted from being reformatted and tightened up. Blogging was a lot more casual way back when, and as I make (and remake) recipes, I often tweak…

One thing I’ve been working on this year, which may be remembered in the future as “the year we all stayed home,” is updating blog posts. Quite a few of them that were written, say ten…or fifteen years ago, benefitted from being reformatted and tightened up. Blogging was a lot more casual way back when, and as I make (and remake) recipes, I often tweak and refine them. So I used my time during confinement to go through some classics and give them a fresher look.

It’s been a tough year and with Thanksgiving not necessarily happening, it’s good to have memories of friends. When my first book, Room for Dessert came out (which morphed into Ready for Dessert), a lot of people said, “I’ll bet everyone is going to make you a Coconut Cake for your birthday now?” That was because one of the first recipes in the book was for a Coconut Cake I made for Alice Waters’ father for his birthday, and I mentioned before the recipe that I wish someone would make me a Coconut Cake for my birthday. It took a long, long time for me to get that Coconut Cake, but it finally happened in, of all places, Paris.

Continue Reading Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting...

Carrot Cake Pancakes

These carrot cake pancakes are moist and spiced, a healthy spin that’s just sweet enough! The maple Greek yogurt topping takes them over the top. Looking for tasty pancakes that won’t leave you with a sugar crash? Try these Carrot Cake Pancakes! Most carrot cake pancakes make you feel like you just ate dessert. But these are perfect: sweet enough with a healthy spin! They’re lightly sweetened with maple syrup, tender and moist from the carrots, and perfectly spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Even better, top them with maple Greek yogurt and the sweet tang is magic. It’s like eating a piece of carrot cake…that’s suitable for breakfast. What’s in these carrot cake pancakes? These carrot cake pancakes are full of ingredients that were already in Alex and my pantry and fridge: we didn’t have to make a special trip to make them! We hope the same will be true for you, assuming you stock carrots, Greek yogurt, and maple syrup like we do. This recipe is a spin on our Greek Yogurt Pancakes recipe: the perfect spring breakfast or Easter brunch (we created these for our son Larson for Easter!). Here’s what you’ll need: Flour: you can use […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

These carrot cake pancakes are moist and spiced, a healthy spin that’s just sweet enough! The maple Greek yogurt topping takes them over the top.

Carrot cake pancakes

Looking for tasty pancakes that won’t leave you with a sugar crash? Try these Carrot Cake Pancakes! Most carrot cake pancakes make you feel like you just ate dessert. But these are perfect: sweet enough with a healthy spin! They’re lightly sweetened with maple syrup, tender and moist from the carrots, and perfectly spiced with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Even better, top them with maple Greek yogurt and the sweet tang is magic. It’s like eating a piece of carrot cake…that’s suitable for breakfast.

What’s in these carrot cake pancakes?

These carrot cake pancakes are full of ingredients that were already in Alex and my pantry and fridge: we didn’t have to make a special trip to make them! We hope the same will be true for you, assuming you stock carrots, Greek yogurt, and maple syrup like we do. This recipe is a spin on our Greek Yogurt Pancakes recipe: the perfect spring breakfast or Easter brunch (we created these for our son Larson for Easter!). Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Flour: you can use 100% all purpose, or a mix of all purpose and whole wheat or oat flour
  • Spices: you’ll use cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg for that carrot cake vibe
  • Greek yogurt: we like using yogurt in our pancakes to make them perfectly moist
  • Maple syrup: for a subtle sweetness: no refined sugar!
  • Milk, egg, baking powder, and oil: to round out the standard pancake ingredients
  • Carrots: finely grated with a shredder — this is what takes the most time!
Carrot cake pancakes

Maple Greek yogurt: a healthy spin on cream cheese frosting!

The maple Greek yogurt topping is what puts these carrot cake pancakes over the top! Alex and I don’t usually buy cream cheese, and it can make a rich-tasting topping. For a healthy spin, we used Greek yogurt to create a sort of cream cheese frosting! The tang of the yogurt is exactly what you need to accessorize the spice of the pancakes. Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Let the Greek yogurt sit in a strainer to thicken while you make the pancakes. This gets it to more of a cream cheese consistency. You can skip this step if you’d like, but the topping will be a little more runny, because you’ll be adding…
  • Add maple syrup & vanilla. Once the Greek yogurt is thickened a little, add the maple syrup and vanilla. Taste, and you’ve got instant healthy cream cheese “frosting”!

Flour types to use in carrot cake pancakes

Alex and I love pancakes that are a little heartier than the typical all purpose flour pancake. We like to use a 50/50 ratio of all purpose flour with oat flour or whole wheat flour (like our sour cream pancakes). The oat flour in particular makes it heartier and more filling than a traditional pancake would be. It also gives you the nutrients of oats, like fiber and vitamins. (Want a 100% oat pancake? Head to Banana Oatmeal Pancakes.)

Either way, the mix of flours also adds complexity in flavor and helps the texture a bit. But if all you have is all purpose flour, that’s ok too! It’s a customizable recipe and works with what you have on hand.

Carrot cake pancakes

How to make oat flour

Did you know you can make your own oat flour? If you’ve got rolled oats, you can make oat flour at home! Simply whiz rolled oats in a blender or food processor until they are ground as fine as possible, taking on the consistency of flour. Alex and I do this all the time. Go to our Oat Flour Recipes for more.

More carrot cake recipes!

Are you a carrot cake flavor fan? Here are a few more recipes that play on the magic of carrot cake:

Carrot cake pancakes

This carrot cake pancakes recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use 50% oat flour and 50% 1-for-1 gluten-free flour. For vegan, use a flax egg and a non-dairy milk.

Print
Carrot cake pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 9 to 12 medium to large pancakes
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These carrot cake pancakes are moist and spiced, a healthy spin that’s just sweet enough! The maple Greek yogurt topping takes them over the top.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat or oat flour (or more all purpose flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 1 1/4 cups finely shredded carrots (about 5 large carrots)
  • Maple yogurt topping*: 1 cup Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Optional: If making the maple yogurt topping: place 1 cup Greek yogurt in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and let it drain while making the pancakes (this makes it thicker, getting it to a cream cheese consistency).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and kosher salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, then whisk in the milk, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and oil. Then whisk in the grated carrot.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. If the batter is too thick, stir in a small splash of milk (the consistency of each yogurt brand varies).
  5. Lightly butter a skillet and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet to medium low heat. If the batter has gotten thicker after sitting, add a splash of milk (don’t add too much or the pancakes will get too flat). Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to pour the batter into small circles and use the bottom to flatten out the shape if necessary (the carrots can make it harder to spread). Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden. Then flip them and cook until done. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  6. If making the maple yogurt topping, mix together the thickened Greek yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Serve the pancakes topped with maple yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup. (If you’d like, add chopped pecans.)


Notes

*The maple yogurt topping is reminiscent of cream cheese toppings but a little less rich. The tang with the carrot cake pancake is totally worth making!

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Carrot Cake Pancakes

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes