The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - lightly spiced, perfectly moist, and oh that cream cheese frosting. | My sister is having a baby! And I am having a CUPCAKE!

Ohhh yeah. Babies and cupcakes. Things are about to get awesome.

I hosted a baby shower for my sister this last weekend because I like to try to defy reality by hosting baby showers in my small new house after moving in roughly ten days ago. Boxes shoved in closets, nothing on the walls, and people and presents and flowers galore. Lovely. Juuust lovely.

The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - lightly spiced, perfectly moist, swirled with heavenly cream cheese frosting. |

Okay actually, it was lovely. And if I had one fraction of a thing to do with the cuteness of the baby shower, it was my contribution of carrot cake cupcakes. Which are life-changingly, hate to say it, but, moist, and will forever be a part of my baby shower recipe repertoire. Remember Ang’s shower years ago? Same cupcakes. Same deliciousness. Same cream cheese frosting in my hair for weeks.

The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - lightly spiced, perfectly moist, swirled with heavenly cream cheese frosting. |


The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - lightly spiced, perfectly moist, swirled with heavenly cream cheese frosting. |

In the next few days I’ll share some pics from the real shower including of my sister’s baby boy belly which will probably melt your face off. Is that exploitative? Please friends, come back to see pictures of my sister’s adorable (clothed) belly. Not weird at all. Mmmhm.

For today, you get this recipe, which is basically the whole reason I hosted the shower. I mean, babies are cute and everything, but CUPCAKES.


Go forth.

The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - lightly spiced, perfectly moist, and oh that cream cheese frosting. |

4.6 from 31 reviews
The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves: 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups grated carrots (heaping)
  • ⅔ cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
For the frosting
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2+ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the grated carrots and the oil. Slowly add the flour mixture, stirring until just mixed. Add the beaten eggs and stir a few times (like 15 or less around the bowl - the fewer the better)!
  2. Grease a muffin tin or use paper liners. Scoop the batter into a muffin tin, filling each muffin tin about ⅔ of the way up the side. Bake for 13 minutes, check how they're doing, and add a few minutes if necessary. I find that the baking time varies greatly with oven, so just check for the right golden brown color and springy tops. Allow the cupcakes to cool.
  3. For the frosting, blend the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Transfer to a plastic bag or similar tool for piping the frosting evenly on the cupcakes.
(Baking directly in the muffin tin without the liners is my favorite way to bake these, but it's harder to get the perfect light brown color on the sides because they often get too dark brown. The ones pictured here turned out perfectly, but if you're unsure, just use paper liners.)

If you love cream cheese frosting A LOT, you need to double the frosting. Having a little extra has never been a problem for me. :)


The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - lightly spiced, perfectly moist, and oh that cream cheese frosting. |
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  1. Baby showers are so fun! At this point in life, it is the only reason I would like to have a baby. I just want the shower part. Selfish. (Probably why I am not having babies yet!)
    These cupcakes are perfect. Carrot cake, cream cheese icing… I’ll have 10 thanks!

  2. My sister also just had a baby! I finding that I am now living my cake creations dream though my little niece.
    So cute and they look delicious, who does not like carrot cake?

  3. Happy almost baby day to your sister. It is going to be a fun journey. I love cakes with carrots in them but I have never perfected the cream cheese frosting so this would be good one to try.

  4. Such pretty cupcakes! I made some carrot cake cupcakes about 6 mos ago and it took me like 2 yrs to finally get those puppies where I wanted them and yours are just beautiful! Cream cheese frosting is a must, too :)

    • I made these a million and one times too, I couldn’t get them just right and I was even working off an old recipe! :) but they’re finally there. Carrot cake is da bomb.

  5. pinning this because I have been looking for the perfect carrot cake cupcakes and I know your recipe will be delicious, as usual :)

  6. These look perfect! Cream cheese frosting is the best of all frostings, isn’t it?! Delicious! And sounds like such a fun shower – you are a great sister!

  7. Congrats! My brother and his wife had their son a year ago so I have definitely enjoyed having a little one to celebrate. Last weekend, they had their 1st birthday and I helped by making the party favors for all the kids: animal sunglasses, animal face masks, and inflatable animal beach balls. Everyone loved them!

  8. These look amazing. Can’t wait to try making them over the holidays!

  9. I’m kind of loving no cupcake liners for these! So much prettier and rustic, plus no picking up cupcake wrappers left all over your house when the party is over. Can’t wait to try these!

  10. Carrot cake is one of my favorite, so seeing them in cupcake form is making me hungry!

  11. Sorry to say but my perfect carrot cake has to include pineapple and nuts…. raisins are negotiable… but they sure look yummy!

  12. I just had carrot cake today…I’ve declared it my official favourite dessert of the year! These look so delicious. Congratulations on the baby coming into your family!

  13. That’s so sweet of you to host a baby shower for your sister! And to bake amazing cupcakes. With how much you enjoy spoiling people with delicious food, your little nephew is going to think you’re the greatest auntie in the world! I can’t wait to see your photos from the party; I’m sure everything turned out even prettier than the inspiration board!

  14. This recipe looks very similar to my all time favorite carrot cake recipe. And you know what I like to do to turn it up a notch? I add a little lemon zest to the cream cheese frosting and then sprinkle some toasted coconut on top. Is it just me or is everything in life better with coconut??

  15. These look fantastic! congrats to your sister!

  16. My favorite dessert ever and I DO like lots of cream cheese frosting!

  17. yuuuuummmmmm

  18. I love, love carrot cake anything. And love cream cheese everything. Match made for each other, perfect match. And congrats on being a new auntie soon :)

  19. Carrot cake is the perfect thing for baby showers. I do not know why, but it just is. And these are gorgeous!!

  20. Your cupcakes are so pretty! Carrot cakes is one of my favorite “american” (hope its American) cake.

  21. You are indeed a very brave woman! You seem to have taken the entire move in stride though, and have a baby shower under your belt to prove it!

  22. These cupcakes look delicious! Looks like you used a mini muffin pan — perfect size! I think I will make these this weekend and freeze them. They will be great to serve during the holidays!

  23. Hi
    The cupcakes look awesome! By 2 eggs beaten, u mean just beaten until yolks n whites r combined or beaten till it becomes frothy?

  24. Just made these…and am now devouring them. Amazing. Adding to my recipe book. I attempted to make the frosting look pretty like yours, but sadly in the end I resorted to blobs of frosting. Still good though!

  25. These look delicious! I agree with you when it comes to cream cheese frosting, the more the merrier!

  26. they look yummy!

  27. I just put a batch in the oven. They smell great and were fast and incredibly easy to make! It’s almost midnight here in India and my best friend turns 21 tomorrow. These are her favourite! She has childhood memories attached to these so I’m making these as a surprise! :) Thank you so much for the recipe! Cream cheese isn’t available so i’m playing with the idea of whipping yogurt and sweetened condensed milk together… let’s see! Thank you again!

    • jeanine says:

      Hi, Unmesh:

      I suggest draining the yogurt in cheese cloth first for a firm cheese-like texture.

      Let us know how the experiment goes. Always interested in alternatives!

  28. Hey! Thanks so much for posting this recipie its very delicious! However I wanted to ask if I could try the same recipie but instead of cupcakes I make a cake.

    Thanks :)

  29. Just tried it, perfect! I added 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple (without syrup) and it turned out perfectly moist. Will watch out for your next recipe!;)

  30. Hi, I tried this recipe and wow the result was moist, tasty cupcakes!

  31. Russelle says:

    Made these with my 3yo today for my husband’s birthday. Delicious, moist and easy. I filled mine higher and only got 9, plenty of icing. Baked for more like 20 minutes. Thank you!

  32. I made your recipe for my sister’s boyfriend’s bday. Everyone absolutely looooved them. I doubled the recipe and added 1 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter. I also added a few walnut pieces on top of the frosting, just to be cute. I had so many compliments that I HAD to make more. They were just as good the 2nd time around. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.

  33. Added some chopped pecans we had around and made six perfect mini bundts. Filled them with cream cheese frosting and had an awesome midweek, just-because treat. We love carrot cake and this one is really great because it has a simple ingredient list that we can almost always find around the kitchen.

  34. Pictures must of been removed..I am going to try this for my Mother in law… For MOTHERS DAY!! She loves Carrot Cake… Mothers Day is tomorrow..Happy Mothers Day to all you Mom”s

  35. Have made these about four times now. Soooo fabulous! It feels dangerous to have the ability to make such awesomeness right at my finger tips. Twice I have converted this recipe to just a regular cake instead of cupcakes and it works great in an 8×8 pan. Just cooks a bit longer… Total about 25 mins. Oh, and I always add raisins cause, well, it seems unnatural to have carrot cake without raisins. ;). Thanks again for this recipe!!

  36. Hi Linsday

    First of all, I love your website, I think it’s honest and simple and filled with beautiful recipes from your heart

    These cupcakes are divine… I was wondering if you think a larger round, 2 layer cake would come out ok using the same recipe? What do you think?



  37. I made these for a work event, they turned out so well (perfectely golden!) and it was so quick and easy! I will definitely do it again, thank you!

  38. Just tried making these. They turn out so yummy and moist. Thank you for the recipe :)

  39. Elisabeth says:

    Love this recipe! I doubled the recipe and added some chopped walnuts and raisins to half of the batter (for the adults). This is the third or fourth recipe that I have found on pinterest from your blog and they have all turned out great. Guess it’s time I just go ahead and subscribe.

  40. Loved these! I reduced the sugar because my brother is diabetic . This is the first cake he’s had in three years! Deliciously moist.

  41. I made these for my daughter’s 3rd birthday and brought them to her day care. They were a hit. Very moist and the frosting was amazing. I think I will reduce the amount of cinnamon the next around as I thought they were a pinch too spicy for a kid’s cupcake… but would keep it the way it is for an adult party. I also added a bit of freshly grated nutmeg to my batter. Other than that, I would not change anything else. I am not a terribly experienced baker so I was very, very happy with the results. The instructions were very straightforward and easy to follow. Will definitely be making these again!

  42. Sarah Grace says:

    Hi, planning to make this over the weekend. what kind of oil did you use? Also, for the sugar should it be white or brown? Thanks!

  43. Jennifer Sharkey says:

    Damn these are good. I just ate one and its so moist and tender even as day olds. I will definitely be making these again! I thought the frosting was a tad sweet for my taste so I added some extra cream cheese to mellow it out. Great recipe–thank you!

  44. These were definitely yummy as described. To me, more like a muffin vs. a cupcake. When I first tasted them, I wanted to skip the frosting but it was already made so on it went. I used less sugar in both the cupcake and the frosting and did not miss it (neither did my son or husband). 1-1/2 cups in the frosting and only 1/2 in the cupcakes was perfect. I also used less oil and they were still super moist. Will definitely make these again.

  45. These sound fabulous! I’m about to make them into Olaf cupcakes for my daughter’s fourth birthday party, which is Frozen themed. :)

  46. I don’t bake much. Is it all purpose flour?

  47. I SO love this recipe! When I was a kid, my mother baked them for my sister and me. Did you ever try carrot cake?

  48. I am so happy I found your blog! These cupcakes were amazing, I just made them this afternoon and they were the perfect fall treat. Thank you for sharing!

  49. Hey really stupid question but can I quickly check if the flour that you are referring to in the recipe is plain flour ?

  50. Dave Shultz says:

    I notice you changed this recipe and added 1/2 t of baking powder and cut the sugar down to 3/4 c. When I used the old recipe they came out flat and not very appealing looking. I will admit, they tasted ok but I wish I had tried to make them before the day of my friend’s birthday party. Totally disappointed.

  51. These cupcakes turned out amazing! Thank you for sharing :)

  52. Do you just add more powdered sugar to the frosting to make more of it?

    I made these for my brothers birthday and they turned out AMAZING!(He ended up eating the whole dozen in one day :D) It’s such an easy recipe too.

  53. Awsom!

  54. Christine says:

    I had this carrot cupcake + cream cheese frosting in my memory from the high school years I spent in the US. I ran into your recipe and was finally able to recreate the same taste in Brazil, where I live today. Thank you for sharing!

  55. I made these without the frosting & they were really good. This recipe is a keeper! I did add some ground cloves & a dash of ground ginger which made a spiced carrot cupcake. Yummy (:

  56. Christina Marie says:

    Thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe, I made these last night just because and they came out great! So delish!

  57. Caroline W says:

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I have used it twice for our office bake sales and everyone has loved them (have even had to pass on your website details!) They always turn out great!

  58. I, too, am working on desserts for an upcoming baby shower and love how simple this recipe is! Is it possible to use the same amounts for ingredients, but use mini-muffin tins?

    • Sure! Just bake for less time.

      • Update! I made the mini-cupcakes (the recipe makes about 4 dozen), used paper liners, and baked for 13 minutes (exactly 13 minutes each time) and they were absolutely perfectly moist and delicious!!!!!!! I think the timing was the same because I used tins that baked 2 dozen at a time.

        Amazingly yummy and a huge hit! These will be made for Easter next weekend and Mother’s Day as well. Thank you so much for a great new staple in my baking repetoire!

  59. Hi, I have made these cupcakes twice now and they have been great both times! However, I must be doing something wrong, because both times my cupcakes have risen nicely in the oven and then have fallen flat once I took them out of the oven. Any tips???

  60. Abby Anfinson says:

    Oh my goodness! Just made like 50 of these and my family+friends loved them. You’re so right about not using a liner – The edges tasted so great and crispy. I love that there are so many carrots in this recipe too. Best Ever!!!

    • So glad! Did the tops stay puffed for you? I had a friend make these in Montana and they sunk down in the middle. Mine have never sunk!

      • Abby Anfinson says:

        Actually, some of the cupcakes from the first batch were a little sunken in the middle. Maybe I didn’t blend the mix together enough? The other 3 batches were fine, but I was also a little generous with the baking powder and baking soda.

  61. Carrot cake is my favorite, so I wanted my daughter to have it for her first birthday cake and this recipe did not disappoint!

    These were the absolute best carrot cake cupcakes I have ever had and I will be putting that frosting on every single dessert from her on out. Excellent work, Lindsay!

    The only change I made (besides doubling the frosting, of course) was adding an extra egg since I am baking at high altitude at 8500 ft. They sunk a little in the middle, but were incredibly moist…and we just filled the sunken part with more frosting and all was good.

  62. Cynthia says:

    I made these for Easter. They were very simple to make and turned out moist and delicious. I topped the frosting with chopped walnuts for extra goodness. Thanks for a great recipe!

  63. Hi do u have to boil the carrots or just grate them raw?

  64. The best carrot cake cupcake ever. I was looking for something semi nutritious but yummy for my 8 year old. I usually dont even like carrot cake, yet these were scrumptous–and we used low fat yogurt or whipped cream instead of the frosting. Also used whole wheat pastry flour instead. Thank you so much for converting me into a carrot cake lover!

  65. Hi Lindsay, I was wondering if you could use something else instead of baking soda as I have baking powder at home but not soda and wanted to make these in about an hour.

  66. Hi, I was just wondering what type of flour and sugar is used in the recipe?

  67. How long can this frosting stay out of the fridge? I want to take this to school on Friday and my bus ride is around an hour and it’s supposed to be around 70 degrees then. Will it last or melt?

  68. Jamie Sauer says:

    I make these all the time & they are the best! Always a huge hit! I hope to make them for my sister’s bridal shower but would need to make them on Wed to serve on Sat. If kept refrigerated do you think that would be okay? (I plan to make the mini version w/ cupcake liners.) In the past they’ve always tasted great up to a week later, but this is an important event and I would like for them to be as perfect as possible. Unfortunately, I won’t have access to an oven or mixer after Wed. Any suggestions?

    • Hi, Jamie! I think that it would be OK to make them a few days in advance if you plan to keep them in the fridge. My suggestion would just be to keep the frosting separate from the cupcakes until the day of serving. If you frost them on Wednesday, they may be a little soggy (and less pretty) by Saturday. Hope that helps!

  69. I don’t know if it was just me, but when I made this recipe today they came out very oily. They smelled delicious as they were baking, but as I took them out of the pan to put on a rack I noticed oil in the pan. I tasted one and unfortunately had to throw them out. I couldn’t taste the flavor of anything except the oil. Thank you though.

  70. Hi there – came across your website looking for a carrot cake cupcake recipe that didn’t have nuts! So exited to give this one a try. Can you tell me if you have ever subbed out the oil for applesauce instead? If not is there a specific type of oil you recommend? So excited to have found your site! :)

    • Hi, Sarah! We haven’t tried that substitution. I think it could work in this recipe, but I can’t say for sure! As far as oil – you can use your preferred cooking oil. A mild-tasting oil (canola, vegetable, extra-virgin olive oil) will probably work best. Enjoy! :)

    • You probably added the oil twice or had the wrong measuring cup. Try again being very careful and they should taste fabulous!

  71. This is seriously the best carrot cake cupcake recipe around! Its soft as a cloud and just the right amount of sweetness! Thank you so much for sharing :)

  72. Might be a silly question, but if I double the recipe, do any of the amounts need to change?

  73. These are so lovely! I also love baking my cupcakes straight in the pans. Makes them look like adorable tea cakes! Thanks for sharing :-)

  74. I’ve made this couple of times for my family and friends and its always a big hit! thanks to your recipe ☺️

    one question though, I find it kind of oily after baking.. do you think it will work if I lessen the amount of oil in the recipe?

    • We haven’t tried it with less oil than stated in the recipe, but give it a shot! My only concern would be that the cupcakes would be dry – but if you are finding them too oily, this might be your solution! :)

  75. Sam Boyde says:

    Yum!! I just made these and ate two! Added a few raisins, my son will love these this afternoon!

  76. Can you make this recipe in a 9×13 pan and still have the same deliciousness

  77. Jessica Quinn says:

    Amazing!! I wish I could share a picture of these beauties! Next time I make them, I’ll be using more cream cheese in the frosting! Yum!!

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