These deliciously moist, made from scratch, carrot cake cupcakes are easy to make and are frosted with the best tasting buttercream frosting. A family favorite.
When you think of carrot cake, you probably immediately think of a frosted cake. Of course, that’s how it’s usually made, but have you ever tried carrot cake in cupcake form? Oh, man. It’s so good. The thing I love so much about cupcakes is that you can get all the delicious flavor of your favorite full-size cakes, but in an easy-to-eat single-serve package, and that’s exactly what you get with these delicious carrot cake cupcakes.
I make these cupcakes throughout the year for everything from weeknight desserts to special occasions like potlucks, baby showers, and even holiday get-togethers. Carrot cake is such a classic flavor that these cupcakes are always welcome no matter the event.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These carrot cake cupcakes are absolutely everything we love about traditional cupcakes – just in a smaller package. This recipe uses the same batter you’d use for a full-size carrot cake and the same frosting. That means that in every bite of these cupcakes, you get tender, moist carrot cake goodness topped with rich, sweet, and tangy cream cheese frosting. It’s just like biting into a regular carrot cake.
Like almost any carrot cake recipe, these carrot cake cupcakes are very easy to make. It’s a simple, straightforward recipe for both the cake and the frosting. That being said, I have a few tips here to make sure you bake the absolute best cupcakes possible. These are simple tips that make a big difference, so be sure to give them a look.
Grate the Carrots Small
It’s important to grate the carrots into the smallest possible pieces. Grated carrots give carrot cake its delicious flavor and texture, but if your grated carrot is too large, the texture becomes sort of chunky and chew, and you don’t want that.
Chop the Walnuts into Small Pieces
When chopping the walnuts, make them as small as possible. It’s the same idea as finely grating the carrots. You want a nice pop of flavor and crunch from the walnuts in every bite, but you don’t want an overpowering chunk of walnut.
Make Your Own Buttermilk
If you don’t have buttermilk, just make your own. Add one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and pour milk in up to the one cup mark. Stir and let it sit for about five minutes. The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice will transform your milk into buttermilk.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re interested in this carrot cake cupcakes recipe – and if you’re still reading, you are – take a look at these frequently asked questions. They’ll tell you a lot about carrot cake and this recipe in general.
What does carrot cake taste like?
While carrot cake does get some of its flavor from carrots, don’t expect it to taste like carrots. Unlike banana bread which tastes like banana, carrot cake gets the bulk of its flavor from cinnamon along with nutmeg and ginger, depending on what your recipe calls for. It’s a dense cake, but it’s also super soft and moist when prepared correctly.
Are carrot cake cupcakes supposed to be moist?
Absolutely. While carrot cake batter is dense, it’s also super moist. In fact, when prepared correctly, it’s almost impossible to slice a traditional carrot cake cleanly. The same holds true with carrot cake cupcakes. Get ready for a moist, delicious, and crumbly mess when you eat these cupcakes.
Why are my carrot cake cupcakes so moist?
Because you made it correctly. Congratulations! Carrot cake is supposed to be extremely moist. That’s one of the hallmarks of well made carrot cake.
Can you make carrot cake without pineapple and coconut?
You absolutely can. You’ll notice later in the post that my recipe has no pineapple or coconut in it at all. These are just two common additions that many people love, but they are not required.
Can I add nuts or fruit to the batter?
You can. Simply fold your favorite fruits or nuts (like pecans) into the batter after it’s made. Be careful of adding too much moisture to the batter, though. Thoroughly drain fruits like pineapples or anything packed in liquid so that you don’t thin out your batter.
How to Store Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These cupcakes will keep well in the refrigerator for about five days in an airtight container. These cupcakes have cream cheese frosting, so refrigeration is required, even if you plan to eat the remainder the next day.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes Ingredients
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make these delicious cupcakes. Outside of the cream cheese, required for the frosting, every single one of these ingredients is a kitchen staple, so you might not have to shop at all!
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- All purpose flour
- Baking soda
- vegetable oil
- Vanilla extract
- Shredded carrots
- Chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Room temperature butter
- Room temperature cream cheese
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Making these delicious cupcakes is just as easy as gathering the ingredients for them. It’s a very simple recipe that comes together quickly and will have you in and out of the kitchen relatively quickly, considering it’s a homemade recipe.
Step 1: Prep
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan with paper liners or non-stick spray. Finely grate your carrots.
Step 2: Combine the Dry Ingredients
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.
Step 3: Combine the Wet Ingredients
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla, beating on low until combined.
Step 4: Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients
Add the dry ingredient to the wet ingredients and using a stand mixer or an electric mixer or on low, mix until combined.
Step 5: Fold in the Carrots and Walnuts
Using a spatula, gently fold the carrots into the batter. Then, fold in the chopped walnuts.
Step 6: Fill and Bake
Fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, place on a wire rack and let them cool completely.
Step 7: Make the Cream Cheese Frosting
While the cupcakes are cooling, beat butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, beating until smooth.
Step 8: Frost the Cupcakes
Using a piping bag, pipe frosting onto the cupcakes starting from the outside edge and swirling inward, ending by pulling the bag tip upward at the center to create a little point.
Looking for More Dessert Recipes
If this recipe has you craving even more cake deliciousness, I’ve got you covered. Check out these delicious recipes.
- Butter Pecan Pound Cake
- Blueberry Streusel Cake
- Red Velvet Cupcakes and Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes from Great Grub, Delicious Treats
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350º and prepare a muffin pan with liners or spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
For the Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together.
- In a large bowl combine eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on low until combined.
- Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix on low until combined.
- Fold in grated carrots and stir.
- Fill up each liner ¾ full. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.
- Frost cupcakes once cooled and enjoy!
Here are a couple pics that are perfect to save to your favorite cupcake or dessert boards on Pinterest.