Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Best Frosting (VIDEO)
Homemade Carrot Cake Cupcakes have amazing texture and fresh carrot flavor. These cupcakes have a soft and moist crumb studded with pecans, raisins, and plenty of tender carrots. The Cream Cheese Frosting is the best and the same frosting we use on Red Velvet Cake. This will become your go-to Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe. Watch the video tutorial and see how easy it is.
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P.S. This recipe is so easy to make – all you need is a bowl and a whisk. Watch the video tutorial and you’ll be on your way to making the best Carrot Cake Cupcakes.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes Video
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Ingredients for Carrot Cupcakes
This recipe is truly easy so don’t be intimidated by a long list of ingredients. Everything goes into the bowl and you stir it together. It uses fairly common spices and pantry and refrigerator staples.
- All-purpose flour – just regular flour, not self-rising
- Sugar – we use granulated sugar to sweeten
- Baking soda and baking powder – two leavenings give these cupcakes a beautiful rise
- Spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves (you can mix and match or omit something like cloves if you don’t have it on hand)
- Salt – balances the flavors and makes the flavors really shine
- Oil – use a neutral oil like extra light olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola
- Eggs – make sure they are at room temperature
- Applesauce – adds moisture and natural sweetness to the cupcakes
- Carrots – finely grated from 2 medium-large carrots
- Pecans – finely chopped. You can also use walnuts
- Raisins – we like the color of golden raisins but regular raisins work or omit them altogether
- Cream Cheese Frosting – our go-to for carrot cakes
Tools for making cupcakes
These tools will make your cupcake process (and baking in general) easier. For the carrot, you can get creative and use different piping tips to make it work, or even omit the carrot altogether if you want a beautifully frosted cupcake. You can also sprinkle chopped nuts over the top for decoration.
- Cupcake Pans
- Parchment Baking Cups
- Disposable piping bags
- For piping green leaves: Wilton 32
- For piping carrot: Wilton 2A
- Frosting piping tip: Wilton 1M
- Gel colors – great starter set
- Box grater – you’ll need the small holes
The Best Frosting for Carrot Cake
We use our favorite Cream Cheese Frosting which is thick, fluffy, and pipes beautifully. Cream Cheese Frosting is the most popular frosting for carrot cake because it’s not as sweet as Buttercream and the cream cheese adds a great layer of flavor.
To make the cute frosting carrot on top, I just tint the same frosting because it’s sturdy enough to add color.
How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Prep – Preheat oven to 350˚F and line 18 count muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set out Cream Cheese Frosting ingredients to bring to room temperature.
- Dry Ingredients – In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves (if using), and salt.
- Add wet ingredients – right into the same bowl, whisk in oil, eggs and applesauce until combined.
- Fold in grated carrots, chopped nuts and raisins, stirring just until incorporated.
- Divide batter into prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 3-5 minutes in the pans then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Pro Tip: Let the cupcakes cool completely to room temperature before applying the frosting, otherwise the heat from the cupcake will cause the frosting to melt and slide off the cupcake.
You can use any kind of raisins or leave them out. You can also use pecans or walnuts or leave the nuts out. The cake will still work.
Carrot cake batter can also be made with crushed pineapple instead of applesauce.
Yes! The batter is the same for carrot cakes and cupcakes. Divide the batter into 2 greased and floured cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, or bake in a 13×9 pan for 30-35 minutes.
Use the fine holes on the box grater to finely grate the carrots. This will allow the carrot to incorporate into the batter easily and adds moisture and tons of carrot flavor.
Yes, this recipe will make about 36 mini cupcakes. Bake for 12-13 minutes at 350˚F.
- At Room Temperature: freshly made cupcakes can keep at room temperature for a couple of hours and should be stored in the refrigerator after that. You can keep them at room temperature for up to 4 hours if they are coming out of the refrigerator.
- To Refrigerate: Store in the refrigerator in a cake carrier for up to 5 days. Keeping the cupcakes covered will ensure they don’t absorb unwanted refrigerator smells.
- Freezing: You can cover and freeze the cupcakes for 2 to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
- At Room Temperature: these cupcakes can keep at room temperature for a couple of hours and should be stored in the refrigerator after that.
These Carrot Cake Cupcakes are so moist and satisfying. They have a ton of flavor from the carrot-packed crumb to the amazing frosting on top. If these show up on your Easter or Spring menu, I hope you share a photo and tag me so I can see your beautiful creations.
More Cupcake Recipes to try
If you love this Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe, then you won’t want to miss these fun and creative cupcakes:
- Chocolate Cupcakes
- Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Cupcakes
- Cupcake Frosting
- Greek Yogurt Cupcakes
- Banana Cupcakes (banana muffins)
This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, the Joy of Cooking Carrot Cake recipe.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, *measured correctly
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil or extra light olive oil
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated and peeled carrots, from 2 medium carrots
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup golden raisins, or regular raisins
- 1 recipe Cream Cheese Frosting
- gel food coloring, orange and green
To Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Whisk together.
- Whisk in vegetable oil, eggs, and applesauce, stirring until well combined.
- Using a spatula, fold in grated carrots, chopped nuts and raisins. Fold just until ingredients are incorporated into the batter.
- Divide the batter evenly between 18 cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 3-5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely to room temperature before frosting.
To Decorate Cupcakes:
- Make cream cheese frosting. Add about 3/4 cup frosting to 2 small bowls. Add orange food coloring to one and green food coloring to the other, adding just enough to reach your desired color.