Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes are super moist with the addition of finely diced carrots and applesauce. The cream cheese frosting is the perfect topper for these little springtime (or any time!) delights!

Would you rather make loafs instead? Try my Easy Carrot Cake Loaf Recipe!

Overhead view of several carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes are the perfect springtime dessert – simply delicious and also adorable with those little specs of visible carrots. Because while taste is VERY important, eating an adorable cupcakes is also highly necessary.

Why we love these cupcakes!

  • Moist – Obviously! The oil and applesauce are key ingredients to getting that soft delicious crumb.
  • Sweet – These aren’t too sweet, but the brown sugar makes them oh-so-good.
  • Creamy – I’m all about that Cream Cheese Frosting, and there is lots of creaminess to go around.
  • Simple – These cupcakes can be made with a hand mixer, and they are very simple to make. Trust me!
My hand holding a carrot cake cupcake with a bite out.

Ingredients needed for Moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes:

  • Wet Ingredients – canola oil, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs
  • Dry Ingredients – all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
  • Carrot Cake spices – cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
  • Carrots – shredded or finely diced carrots
  • Frosting – cream cheese, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and powdered sugar

Pro-Tip: Buy whole carrots for this recipe because the baby carrots and shredded carrots can be too dry. We want MOIST.

How to make Carrot Cake Cupcakes:

Step 1
Combine the wet ingredients. In a mixing bowl, combine the canola oil, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well.

Step 2
Combine the dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until just combined.

Step 3
Add carrots. Gently stir the grated carrots into the batter.

Step 4
Prep cupcakes. Place cupcake liners in 12-cup muffin tin, and fill about 3/4 full with carrot cake batter. Don’t over-fill. You will have extra batter, so just make the additional cupcakes after baking the first 12.

P.S. I know I under-filled these liners for this batch. So fill them 3/4 full to make sure they pop up over the liners just a bit!

Step 5
Bake. Bake cupcakes in a 350 degree preheated oven for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until done in the center. Remove to cooling racks when done.

Step 6
Make frosting. In another bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the softened cream cheese and softened butter until creamy. Then add vanilla, cinnamon, and the powdered sugar, and mix well.

Step 7
Pipe frosting. When cupcakes are cool, pipe the frosting on top of the cupcakes. Alternatively, you can spoon the frosting up high.

Side view of carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese icing, all on a wooden cake stand.

Storing and freezing Carrot Cake Cupcakes:

  • Storing: These cupcakes are fine on the counter for a day or so, but for best results, store them in the refrigerator and set them out a few hours before you want to eat them.
  • Freezing: Freeze these cupcakes prior to adding frosting. Just place them in freezer bags to freeze for up to three months. Set them out on the counter for a couple of hours to thaw out. Then add frosting.

Enjoy!

Side view of a vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing on a white plate.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

Make these cupcakes next: Jumbo Chocolate Birthday Cupcakes

xoxo ~Sue

Overhead view of carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on a wooden background.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes are super moist with the addition of finely diced carrots and applesauce. The cream cheese frosting is the perfect topper for these little springtime (or any time!) delights!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 18 cupcakes
Calories: 308kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the carrot cake cupcakes:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots – or chop them finely, by hand

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese – softened to room temp
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter – softened to room temp
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

For the carrot cake cupcakes:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners.
  • Add all the wet ingredients to a medium bowl – the canola oil, applesauce, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well.
  • Add all the dry ingredients to another medium bowl – the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Mix well, and add to the wet ingredients. Stir to combine.
  • Gently fold the carrots into the batter. 
  • Scoop batter into cupcake tins, filling to about 3/4 full. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until done in the center. Remove cupcakes to cooling rack.

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • In a medium bowl, use hand mixer (or large standing mixer) to whip cream cheese and butter. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, and whip for two minutes, or until creamy. (Add a couple drops of milk if the frosting is too thick.)
  • Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired.

Video

Notes

  • Storing: These cupcakes are fine on the counter for a day or so, but for best results, store them in the refrigerator and set them out a few hours before you want to eat them.
  • Freezing: Freeze these cupcakes prior to adding frosting. Just place them in freezer bags to freeze for up to three months. Set them out on the counter for a couple of hours to thaw out. Then add frosting.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 115mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1993IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

7 Comments

  1. I love love love this recipe. This is my first time baking carrot cups, I decided to add in coconut flakes and the cup cakes turned out delicious. This recipe will be added to my favorites. Thank you for sharing I look forward for more of your star recipes. Enjoy ?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Nicole! Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m so glad you enjoyed the cupcakes. 🙂

  2. Kellie Gaffney says:

    I am not a cupcake fan. Most are dry in my opinion and not the flavorable punch you’d hope for in the tiny package.

    HOWEVER, Sue’s recipe for the carrot cake cupcakes are AH-Mazing!!! My son asked to leave her a special message because they were the best cupcake I’d ever made. They were moist and very flavorful!! Made exactly what the recipe said it would make. My husband was thrilled they did not have nuts.

    This will be my go to recipe for cupcakes! Thanks Sue!!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      You are a superstar, Kellie! Thank you so much for trying my recipes and leaving such awesome reviews. I LOVED Jack’s message. What a sweet boy you have! 🙂

  3. All treats taste better two at a time. More please! ?❤️

  4. I love carrot cake and these cupcakes look and sound amazingly delicious!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Natalie! I hope you give them a try! 🙂

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