Easy Carrot Cupcakes are sweet and moist spice cupcakes made with grated carrots, crushed pineapple, and chopped walnuts with fluffy cream cheese frosting.
These delicious, easy Carrot Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are the perfect dessert for birthdays and Easter! They are so moist and practically melt-in-your-mouth, and packed with flavors. The natural sweetness from the carrots and the pineapple balance out the warm spices so even kids will love these flavorful spring cupcakes.
This Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe is made completely from scratch and ready in less than hour. It’s just as easy as boxed cake mix but a million times more flavorful and moist. Don’t even think about canned frosting either. The cream cheese frosting recipe is quick, simple, and as fluffy as cloud – store bought could never be this good! You don’t need a fancy mixer, just a hand beater or a strong arm and whisk.
We love a classic Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting combination, but feel free to switch up the frosting to what you like best. Try a brown sugar frosting by swapping granulated sugar with brown sugar in our Buttercream Frosting. Top your frosted cupcakes with chopped dried pineapple pieces or whole Candied Pecans. A drizzle of Salted Caramel Sauce or White Chocolate Ganache would taste amazing too!
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Tips for Making Carrot Cupcakes
- To keep these Carrot Cake Cupcakes light and fluffy, don’t over mix the cupcake batter. Sift dry ingredients before hand stirring them with the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Bring all of your ingredients to room temperature before you start making this Carrot Cupcake recipe. Not only is it easier to mix, but ingredients that are the same temperature ensure your batter bakes evenly.
- The biggest frosting mistake is not letting your cupcakes cool long enough. Give them at least an hour on a wire rack (so air circulates under them) before making your cream cheese frosting.
- You can cool cupcakes faster in the refrigerator or freezer, but make sure to remove them from the pan and give them at least 30 minutes. Be careful they aren’t cold on the outside and still hot on the inside.
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VARIATIONS ON CARROT CUPCAKES
- Dried Fruit: You can add dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, candied cherries, or apricots, chopped into small pieces. You could also add dried pineapple or candied ginger!
- Chocolate Chips: Fold in ½ cup white chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips to the Carrot Cake batter, and top frosted cupcakes with mini chocolate chips. Other baking chips, like caramel chips or butterscotch chips would be tasty, too!
- Cream Cheese: Cut 1 package cream cheese into 12 small pieces and coat cream cheese chunks in a little powdered sugar. Place coated cream cheese piece in center of each cupcake before baking (it will sink slightly while baking).
- Nuts: Instead of walnuts, try pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, or pistachios. Making toasted pecans or toasted walnuts is an easy way to add lots of flavor! You can also leave the nuts out or replace them with the dried fruit suggestions above.
- Carrot Bundt Cake or Carrot Loaf: Grease a 9×5 loaf pan and pour prepared carrot cake batter into pan. Bake in loaf pan for 50-55 minutes, until golden brown and tooth pick comes out clean. For a bundt pan, bake for 60-65 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before removing.
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HOW TO STORE CARROT CUPCAKES
- Serve: Once frosted, Carrot Cupcakes can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours before they should be chilled. Without frosting, you can keep Carrot Cake Cupcakes at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- Store: Store Carrot Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes to serve.
- Freeze: Freeze Carrot Cake Cupcakes without frosting in a sealed container for up to 6 months. Cool cupcakes completely before freezing so they don’t collect moisture. Thaw overnight before frosting and serving.
Carrot Cake Batter:
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar , packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups finely shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple , well drained
- 1 cup walnuts , finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter , softened
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line the 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners.
- In a large bowl add the eggs, oil, brown sugar, sugar and vanilla extract, whisking until fully combined.
- Add in carrots, pineapple and walnuts, whisking until combined.
- Into your bowl sift the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, whisking until just combined.
- Using a ¼ cup ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into each liner.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Add the cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla to a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time on the lowest speed setting until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add frosting to piping bag and frost cooled cupcakes.