Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

PinSaveJUMP to RECIPE

This post may contain affiliate links.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

These carrot cupcakes have been months in the making. They were well worth the wait though, because they’re the best carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had. I love carrot cake and wanted to turn one of my favorite cakes into cupcakes, but the road was paved with snags.

I love this Carrot Cake Loaf, but the recipe was written to be made as a loaf cake rather than as cupcakes. The cake is incredibly moist and I knew it would produce dense, heavy cupcakes. I wouldn’t mind because I think good carrot cake should be on the denser and heavier side, but others may prefer their cupcakes a bit lighter.

I also have this Carrot Pineapple Banana Bread, a tropical spin on carrot cake. And Cinnamon and Spice Sweet Potato Bread, which uses similar spices to carrot cake, but neither are cupcakes.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

A couple months ago, I tried to make carrot cake cupcakes and accidentally overfilled my muffin pan. I wound up with splooging mushrooms rather than cupcakes. Instead I made Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies. They turned out to be some of my favorite cookies, so all was not lost.

And there’s a recipe in my cookbook for Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Cookies, which have cream cheese baked in and they’re great cookies, but they’re not cupcakes.

Now I finally have my carrot cake cupcakes and I love them. They’re fast and easy to make, and ready from start to finish in under 30 minutes. The batter comes together in one bowl without a mixer.

They’re soft, the perfect balance of dense yet light, and so moist. There’s nothing worse than dry cake, and cupcakes tend to dry out even more so than cake, and these are anything but dry.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

They’re oil-based rather than butter-based. Oil keeps cakes, breads, and quickbreads softer, springier, and more tender than butter. The carrots themselves add moisture and texture, as do the raisins

Bland carrot cake isn’t worth eating and the cupcakes are pleasantly spiced in a way that’s robust enough to complement the natural flavor of the carrots. They’re sweet, but not overly so.

The tangy vanilla cream cheese frosting, which is a must-have, balances the sweetness and rounds out the flavors. 

All my trials and tribulations of perfecting these carrot cake cupcakes were so worth it! 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

What’s in Carrot Cake Cupcakes? 

To make this carrot cupcake recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Eggs
  • Canola oil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Sour cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Spices
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Grated carrots
  • Raisins
  • Cream cheese
  • Unsalted butter
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This carrot cake cupcake recipe is as easy as it gets! Simply stir together the eggs, oil, yogurt, spices, sugars, and vanilla. Then, stir in the dry ingredients before folding in the grated carrots and raisins. 

Fill 12 greased muffin cups with the cupcake batter and bake until the cupcakes are domed, set, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. 

Let the carrot cake cupcakes cool completely before whipping up the vanilla carrot cake frosting. If you frost the cupcakes while warm, the frosting will slide right off. 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

Can I Double This Recipe? 

I’ve only made this carrot cupcake recipe as written, but readers have reported success with doubling this recipe. 

Can I Bake This Recipe as a Carrot Cake? 

I’m not sure! I’ve only ever made this recipe as cupcakes, which are lighter and fluffier than traditional carrot cake. If you’re craving carrot cake, I recommend baking my Salted Caramel Carrot Cake, Pumpkin Carrot Cake, or Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake instead. 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

Can I Freeze Carrot Cake Cupcakes? 

Yes, you can freeze unfrosted carrot cake cupcakes for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen cupcakes, place on your counter to thaw and make a fresh batch of carrot cake frosting. 

Should I Refrigerate Carrot Cake Cupcakes? 

Because these carrot cake cupcakes are topped with a vanilla cream cheese frosting, they need to be stored in the fridge. However, refrigerating baked goods makes them dry out faster so be sure to store these cupcakes in an airtight container. 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

Tips for Making Carrot Cake Cupcakes 

If you don’t like raisins, you can omit them. I’m a raisin lover and they’re a must. Or, if you like nuts, add some, but I prefer to keep those little pebbles out of my soft, tender cupcakes.

And a quick note about the carrots – I use a box grater on the coarsest blade and it takes less than 2 minutes to grate them. I prefer the consistency of doing it by hand rather than using a food processor. Don’t use bagged, pre-shredded carrots from the grocery store either, as they’re often quite dry and too large for my liking. 

I just spooned on the vanilla cream cheese frosting, but pipe if you prefer. I don’t pipe unless I absolutely have to because so much precious frosting sticks to the bag and is wasted! 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes — These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 12

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

These soft, moist, tender cupcakes are the BEST carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had!! They’re fast and easy to make, and come together in minutes! 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or thick Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrots (2 to 3 medium/large carrots, peeled)
  • 1/2 cup raisins, optional
  • 1/2 cup nuts, optional

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese (light is okay), softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, more or less as desired

Instructions

    For the Cupcakes:

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 12-count muffin pan very well with floured cooking spray or use liners (Cosmetically, I prefer avoiding the ripples and ridges that liners produce).
    2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the first 11 ingredients (through optional salt) until combined.
    3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and stir until just combined, don’t overmix.
    4. Fold in the carrots, optional raisins and nuts.
    5. Turn batter out into prepared pan. Fill each muffin cavity between 2/3 and 3/4-full. Do not exceed 3/4-full because they will overflow. You may have batter remaining for a 13th (or 14th) cupcake and it’s better to either discard it or bake it in another pan even though it’s a pain for just 1 cupcake. I have overfilled, and then overflown, trying to make it all work in one pan.
    6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cupcakes are domed, set, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
    7. Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing and turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
    8. While cupcakes cool, make the frosting.

    For the Frosting:

    1. With an electric mixer, beat together first three ingredients on high power until combined and light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
    2. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar and beat to incorporate. Play with sugar ratio based on desired frosting consistency. If you accidentally add too much sugar, add a bit more cream cheese to thin it out.
    3. Frost the cooled cupcakes. I spoon on about 2 tablespoons frosting per cupcake. Pipe it with a piping bag if desired. If you have extra frosting, it will keep airtight in the refrigerator for many weeks.

Notes

  • Note about the carrots – I use a box grater on the coarsest blade and it takes less than 2 minutes to grate them. I prefer the consistency of doing it by hand rather than using a food processor. Don’t use bagged, pre-shredded carrots from the grocery store; grate them yourself.
  • Frosted cupcakes will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Unfrosted cupcakes will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 379Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 159mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 35gProtein: 6g

More Easy Easter Desserts:

ALL OF MY CARROT CAKE DESSERTS. 

ALL OF MY EASTER RECIPES. 

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting — This is my favorite recipe for carrot cake because it turns out ridiculously moist, soft, tender, and is full of cinnamon-and-spice-and-everything-nice, including an abundance of carrots and sweet, juicy raisins.

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies — All the flavors of richly spiced carrot cake, in cookie form. Soft, chewy, extremely moist, and not at all cakey! 

Soft and Chewy Spiced Carrot Cake Cookies 

Salted Caramel Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – Soft, tender carrot cake infused with salted caramel sauce and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting is the ULTIMATE in decadence!!

Salted Caramel Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - Soft, tender carrot cake infused with salted caramel sauce and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting is the ULTIMATE in decadence!! Calling all carrot cake fans, you will LOVE this version!!

Soft Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze — The bars are super soft, moist, dense, and not at all cakey. They aren’t like traditional carrot ‘cake’ and are like carrot cake blondies because of how buttery and rich they are.

Soft Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Glaze

The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake — I married two of my favorite cakes into one soft, moist, and tender cake that’s topped with tangy cream cheese frosting. It’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever made! 

The Best Pumpkin Carrot Cake

Carrot Banana Bread — This super moist, springy, tender carrot banana bread is bread that reminds me of cake and I’m not complaining. It’s an easy, no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes.

Carrot Banana Bread

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – If you like carrot cake, you’re going to LOVE this version that includes apples and a tunnel of cream cheese that runs through the center!! EASY, amazing, and a MUST-MAKE!!

Carrot Apple Cream Cheese Tunnel Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

Get the latest recipes via email!

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Oh my goodness! I made the recipe exactly as it is written and these cupcakes were perfect! My husband said he can’t imagine any way these could be better! I’ve made other carrot cake cupcake recipes before and they never turned out. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

    Rating: 5
  2. Absolutely delicious recipe! I have made this recipe a few times into layer cakes and always get many compliments about how moist and flavourful the cake is. Thank you so much for the PERFECT carrot cake!

  3. Hi Verie !… I just wanted to say. I am a chef . and all of your recipes look unbelievably delicious !!! … I do not know what to try to make first .. Where have you been all my life ..lol. I just foud on doing a search and i wish i found you sooner . every single recipe that you have is better then the last.. Well keep it up and i will keep you posted when i have tine to make sonething of yours ..bye for now and thank you for your recipes !!

  4. I made these last night…oh, so yummy! I like cupcake liners, so I used them and they tuned out beautifully.  I gave a few to my neighbors as a thank you for giving my son a gift for his birthday. 

    Thank you, Averie!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! How nice of you to share with your neighbors, too, and happy bday to your son!

  5. I honestly believe these deserve the title ‘best ever!’
    They are everything they should be… full of flavour, moist and delicious!
    Everyone who has tried them complimented them and all wanted the recipe…unfortunately I can’t take the credit :)

    Thank you so much for sharing! These will be made again and again…

    1. Thanks for the awesome compliments and feedback! I am so glad you think they’re the best ever and that you’ll make them again & again! :)

  6. I made three batches of these carrot cakes for the first time these past two days and they all turned out perfectly! Because my family don’t have a very sweet tooth I used 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup brown sugar and they scoffed the cupcakes instantly! this is now my top carrot cake cupcake recipe and it’s all thanks to you! THANK YOU AVERIE :)

    1. Thanks for saying that you made them and your family loved them! Glad the sugar modifications worked out perfectly and that this is your new go-to recipe!

  7. Averie, These carrot cake cupcakes are A-MAZING! I just made them and finished frosting them and cannot stay away from them. They are the perfect texture and have so much flavor! I tried another recipe last weekend and it didn’t come close to yours. Plus, one bowl? You are my hero! Thank you!

    1. Thanks for LMK that you love my recipe and that they’re full of flavor and you’re so pleased! That’s wonderful to hear and thank you for LMK :)

      (and of course I want to know what other recipe it was because well, I am curious now!…haha!)

  8. these carrot cake cupcakes look heavenly! I was wondering if I could reduce the sugar in them as my parents do not like a lot of sugar in their cupcakes, if so, how much could I reduce by? have a lovely week!

    1. They’re not overly sweet cupcakes. You could reduce it by maybe 1/4 cup if you wanted to but I wouldn’t go more than that. I would make it first as written and then see what you think needs to be done.

  9. Lovely recipe! I doubled it and got 25 light and fluffy cupcakes, apparently my housemates favourite this year. One thing I would do next time though is maybe double and a half carrot, cause they weren’t quite carrot-y enough for my taste. Otherwise scrumptious though! I love the spices :)
    Thanks for your hard working in getting the perfect carrot cake cupcakes!

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed them! Yes, sometimes when doubling recipes, even though it should be ‘exactly’ the same as the regular batch, for whatever reason, it doesn’t always translate perfectly, i.e. the carrots in this case. Or it sounds like you just like REALLY carrot-heavy carrot cake b/c for me, these were packed with carrots. I mean, couldn’t have fit any more in :) I grate my carrots by hand, too. Sometimes the coarse-ness of them can effect how they’re perceived in taste. But regardless, sounds like you loved them!

  10. Just made these this morning as a test run for my parents and they turned out fantastically! So moist and spicy, but still somehow light and tender. I think they’ll love it.

    I did do a few substitutions for the test run:
    1/4c unsweetened applesauce for 1/4 oil
    1/3c brown sugar + 1/3c granulated sugar
    1/2 tsp ground ginger (I was out of allspice!)
    2c carrots (grated too much, couldn’t stand seeing it go to waste)

    Either way, the substitutions didn’t seem to have any effect on the texture. A little less sweet, but the spices more than make up for that. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  11. These were delicious!!! I made them for the Fourth of July following the recipe exactly (I didn’t add the optional ingredients). It was comical how quickly they went with a few family members trying to hide a cupcake to save for later. I’ve been asked so many times to make these delightful wonders again. Make them today. You won’t be disappointed! :)

    1. I am thrilled to hear that! And that you had family members hiding and hoarding cupcakes – love that. LOL Thanks for the great feedback and for trying these!

    1. I am not sure because I have tried to make vegan carrot cake muffins before and they were quite heavy without the eggs. As long as you are okay with dense and heavier rather than light and fluffy, you’ll be fine I would think. I actually think cream cheese in them sounds wonderful but it will make them thicker and denser and heavy. You could use some of the ratios/principles in this recipe as food for thought…
      https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/04/fluffy-vegan-coconut-oil-banana-muffins.html

      If you try them, please come back and LMK what you did and what your results were b/c I’d love to know and it may help others!

    2. Hi, I just finished making your delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes and they are fantastic!! The non-traditional spices like nutmeg, allspice and cloves make these cupcakes yummy! And they are light. I used regular vanilla yogurt.

      Rating: 5
  12. when I am out and spot a new cupcake shop I always get a hostess clone and a carrot cake. those two are my fav’s, with the red velvet a close 2nd.
    if the red velvet is done right–those are hard to find.

    1. Hostess clone and Red Velvet AND carrot cake – that’s a holy grail of cupcakes right there!

  13. oh gosh I can’t wait to make these. carrot cake is my hubby favorite type of cake…now cupcake for sure. beautiful photos.

  14. Averie, I’m amazed you’re saying that these were hard to photograph because that doesn’t come across at all! All I could think of as I was reading through this post was how beautiful your photos are, how amazing, light, fluffy and downright drool-icious your cupcakes look, and how I love the styling of your pics. Thank you for going through your months of trials and tribulations with this recipe on our behalf and sharing it. I adore carrot cake but it’s so darn underrated. I don’t know too many people who like it. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to eat the whole batch myself when I make them!

    1. Every time I’ve ever posted carrot cake, someone writes to say they had it as their wedding cake or wants to; or that it’s their fave cake. I think among fans, it’s kind of a cult favorite, if you will. But as a general rule, I think chocolate or others probably would win a popularity contest. But when it’s done right, carrot cake is amazing! And thanks for saying that about the pics :)

  15. Even in 90 degree heat, I’m craving these gorgeous cupcakes!! I appreciate the fact that I won’t have to haul out the heavy stand mixer!

    1. I try HARD to refrain from that unless it’s bread or cookies; and even with bread I try no-knead recipes as much as I can :)

  16. Averie, these look amazing! I stumbled onto your blog the other day and cannot get enough of it…HOW have I never seen it before. Can’t wait to make this (and every one of your other recipes!)

    1. Thanks for finding me and saying hi! Please keep me posted what you make and how it goes! :)

  17. Averie, these are gorgeous! The frosting on top is amaaaaaze! You know, I love carrot cake, but I didn’t fall in love with it until recently! All those years that I lived without it… stupid. ;-D

    1. Thanks for saying that – they were SO hard to photograph. The light and the dark contrast was a real beast :)

  18. Averie! These look amazing. I just love the vanilla cream cheese frosting on top! Carrot cake is my favorite – it was my birthday cake! My dad’s birthday was the day after mine and I made my own carrot cake recipe and it was gone SO fast! I have to make a double layer cake next year. :) I love raisins inside carrot cake – and nuts are always a must for me. 10 year old Sally would be shocked to hear that I love nuts in my carrot cake these days but my tastebuds changed I guess! :)

    Love these photos too Averie – so clear and crisp – I want to grab one!

    1. Thanks for saying you like the pics…gah. NOT EASY. The contrast of the cake/frosting was pretty much a nightmare and any thoughts of doing like devil’s food cake with white buttercream are out the window :)

      I know you love carrot cake, too; and that’s crazy you guys share a bday (almost) and that you gobbled a whole carrot cake in short order. When it’s good, it’s the best cake ever! And I know your recipe looks so fabulous!

  19. I love that you made carrot cake into cupcakes. What a perfect little treat to have instead of a slice of cake! These look incredibly delicious and moist and the frosting looks amazing. Your photos, too, by the way are simply STUNNING. Since I am not a blogger, often I take for granted the good photos that I see – until I snap a photo myself and then look at it! Your photos are simply gorgeous and just sell your food. Not that it needs selling since once it is made, the taste is all that’s needed to get it out the door! I can’t wait to make these! :-)

    1. ALL food needs selling! We eat with our eyes and that’s why a photo of ‘just’ a sandwich, burger, cookie does not make for a magazine cover. But when done right, you can a plain ole anything really shine! Hello, Bon Appetit or Saveur! You know how hard it is to make food shine sometimes…some times it comes easier than others, but it’s an art. As much as cooking is. So thank you for saying that, Michele :) xo