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The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

153 reviews / 4.4 average

These are the best carrot cake cupcakes with a swirl of cream cheese frosting on top! Grab your stars of a usual baking line-up, like flour, sugar, and butter, plus a few extras, like carrots and cream cheese, and get baking!

These carrot cake cupcakes? THE BEST.

Though carrot cake can, AND SHOULD, be celebrated at all times of the year, it feels especially wonderful in the spring for some reason. The tender crumb, the super moist (sorry if you need us to be sorry 😬) texture, the hints of cinnamon spice. Also we’d be lying if we said we weren’t in it for the cream cheese frosting. Cuz we are. Always. With any occasion. If there’s smooth swoopy cream cheese frosting involved, we’re there.

And these little cupcakes are the best. Just the best. The perfect little bringable treat for all the spring things. Easter brunch? Yup. Mother’s Day? You bet. Those plants that you were sure you killed last year are starting to bloom again? GO GRAB YOURSELF A CARROT CAKE CUPCAKE, FRIEND! You earned it.

In This Post: Everything You Need For Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Carrot cake cupcakes in a muffin tin.

Ingredients You’Ll Need For These Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Pretty standard baking lineup for these guys, so hopefully your pantry is already mostly holding the keys to the kingdom, but here’s what you’ll need:

  • flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt
  • cinnamon
  • grated carrots
  • oil (any neutral-tasting kind will do)
  • eggs
  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla

We love a relatively short ingredient list, especially when we’re talking cake AND frosting so this recipe is a real winner. Carrot cake nirvana is almost yours!

Let’s Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

You’ve got your ingredients and your love of cupcakes at the ready, so let’s get carrot caking, shall we? Here’s how you do it:

  1. Batter. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then combine the grated carrots and the oil and slowly add the dry mixture until incorporated. In go your beaten eggs and stir just a few times. Seriously! The less stirring the better.
  2. Bake. Grease a muffin tin or use paper liners and then scoop the batter, filling about ⅔ of the way up. Bake for about 13 mins but ovens can vary a bunch so keep an eye until they are golden brown and have springy tops. Allow the cupcakes to cool.
  3. Frost.  And now for the reason we’re here. Blend all ingredients except powdered sugar and then slowly add that in, keepin’ things real smooth. Now, you could just frost butter knife-style, but if you wanna get fancy, transfer it to a plastic bag or similar tool for piping the frosting in even little swirls on top.

Then, hooray! It’s carrot cake cupcake time! Spread them out on the party table. Stack ‘em up on those cutesie cupcake towers. Plop one down on the plate of your kiddo just to celebrate any old Wednesday. 

Carrots in a food processor.
Carrot cake batter in muffin tins.

Variations On These Incredible Cupcakes 

Whether you’re making these for a party or shower or brunch or dessert, you can doll ‘em up anyway you like! Are you a raisin person? Don’t be shy! Some juicy plump golden raisins would be great in here. (Or regular too, of course. We see you, nature’s candy!) Maybe you want to chop up some walnuts and toss them in the batter or sprinkle them on top of those frosting coils.

Some of you like to get wild and put pineapple and coconut in your carrot cake. Go get it, friends! Do you really love frosting? Listen, double that batch then with reckless abandon. 

However you do it, just make sure you cupcake. Because, CUPCAKES. Always A+.

Carrot cake cupcakes with frosting.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: FAQs

What kind of flour do you recommend for these cupcakes?

All-purpose flour is perfect here.

Can I add nuts on top?

That’s a great idea! Chopped walnuts would be delicious!

What type of oil is best here?

A neutral-tasting oil works best in this case, something like canola oil.

Do I need to use muffin liners?

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.

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A picture of The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x

Description

These are the best carrot cake cupcakes with a swirl of cream cheese frosting on top! Grab your stars of a usual baking line-up, like flour, sugar, and butter, plus a few extras, like carrots and cream cheese, and get baking! 


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 heaping cups grated carrots
  • 2/3 cup neutral oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten

For the frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2+ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  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 2/3 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.

Equipment

Notes

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. 🙂

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: carrot cake cupcakes, carrot cupcakes, cream cheese frosting, carrot cake dessert

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487 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    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. Pinch of Yum Logo

    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?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      For those who don’t like really sweet frosting, I made these with 1/3 the recommended amount of powdered sugar and they were amazing. Usually the frosting ruins cakes and cupcakes for me and the mild frosting I made added a level of creamy, hint-of-savory- to offset the sweetness of the cake.

      Wonderful recipe and thanks for sharing.






      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Lea

        Yes! Thanks for your comment! I’m French and not used to so much sugar. I actually divided the Sugar of the cupcakes by 2. And for the frosting, I put half of a 1/3 cup instead of 2 cups. And even then the frosting was still too sweet for me 😅 great recipe though! I love them 😍






  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    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 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      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.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Andrea Lynn

        Hi there,Lindsay they sound delicious,going to try to make them,just wondering,have you ever,tried,adding,crushed pineapple, or gloden raisins to your carrot cake muffins ?Do you think that sounds good ? Andrea Lynn ☺

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      James

      I was thinking the same thing! I love cream cheese frosting and carrot cake was always my favorite cake for my birthdays growing up! I am definitely going to make these for an upcoming meeting happening at a Coffee Emporium in Cincinnati with lots of new friends I met online. Thank you, Lindsay! And congrats on being an Aunt!






    2. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Hanna Leonard

      I don’t know if it’s just my oven but these took wayyyy longer than 13 minutes

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Jane

        Me too. 25 mins to cook and once baked these were very greasy. I measured exactly. I’m thinking not enough dry ingredients-to-wet ratio?






        1. Pinch of Yum Logo
          Heidi

          Same thing happened to me. Followed directions exactly. Very greasy and not cooked enough at 13 mins.






  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    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!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    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!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Amy

    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!

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Andrea Lynn

        You could probably use any kind of oil,but canola oil ,would be good,also crushed pineapple, & raisins would really be delicious ❣ 😁

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Adrienne

    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??

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    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!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Jayne

    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!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Farheen

    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?
    Thx

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Elizabeth

    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!