Soft, moist and slightly spiced, easy carrot cake cupcakes swirled with that classic cream cheese icing. The perfect cupcake for any occasion!
*UPDATED POST* This post was originally published in March 2018. The original post and recipe remains the same, but I’ve updated the photos.
Happy (almost) Easter! If there’s one thing I know about Easter, it’s that carrot cake is frequently an honorary guest around the table. This makes me one happy girl. Carrot cake is, without a doubt, my FAVOURITE type of cake. It’s so moist, and that cream cheese icing just can’t be beat.
It’s actually ironic that I am such a fan of carrot cake, since I distinctly remember hating it; or at least, I thought I hated it. I left my job as a cashier at a drugstore when I was about 19, and I remember my manager rolling out the farewell cake and the sheer disappointment I felt when I realized it was a carrot cake; however, this moment was monumental because I did in fact have a piece, and my opinion of carrot cake was forever changed. It was SO good!
Now, when I’m presented with a multitude of cake options, I’ll almost always choose carrot. All of this backstory is really just getting around to the fact that I can’t have a food blog without a carrot cake cupcake recipe. I just can’t.
What goes into these easy carrot cake cupcakes?
These cupcakes are pretty classic; everything you know and expect from carrot cake. I use oil and sour cream to ensure that they’re super moist, and a touch of nutmeg for that slightly spiced flavour. The chopped pecans are optional, but I personally love them!
Etienne sampled a cupcake while I was at the dentist the other day, and texted me to say that they were the best carrot cake cupcakes he’s ever had. Woot! I quickly rushed home from getting a filling to stuff one into my own trap. Cavities be damned!
The recipe makes 12 cupcakes; this can easily be doubled if you’re feeding a crowd, or you just want a “few” extra on hand for yourself.
How do you make classic cream cheese frosting?
So easy! You need 4 things:
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- unsalted butter
Mix it all together in your stand mixer or with an electric mixer. If it’s a bit too thick, you can also add heavy cream to the recipe to loosen things up a bit and make it easier for piping.
Pile it on!! I used my Wilton 1A tip to pipe the icing on these ones, if you’re wondering. 🙂 The recipe makes quite a bit of icing, so if you have some leftover I suggest eating it with a spoon – OR – making some cinnamon buns for the next day and drizzling it all over… yum!
I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since this post about spring and Easter. So much has changed!
I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend, and you get to stuff yourself with all sorts of goodies. The Easter bunny delivers chocolate eggs to adults too, you know.
If you love carrot cake like me, you should also try my orange-carrot cake!
Or some of these other cake and cupcake recipes:Print
Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
Soft, moist and slightly spiced carrot cake cupcakes swirled with that classic cream cheese icing. The perfect cupcake for any occasion!
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, avocado or grapeseed)
- 1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrot (approx. 2 small carrots)
- optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Icing
- 8 oz cream cheese (1 block), room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3–4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 12 count muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the brown sugar with the eggs until combined. Whisk in the oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and use a large wooden spoon to gently combine; do not overmix! Gently fold in the carrots and pecans (if using).
- Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake the cupcakes for 19-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely on a wire rack before icing.
- Make the icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the butter on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, and one cup of the powdered sugar and mix on medium. Add the remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time until you achieve your desired consistency. If you went overboard with the sugar, you can add a bit of heavy cream to thin out the icing. Decorate the cupcakes, and store any remaining icing in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Cupcakes can be kept at room temperature for 1-2 days, in an airtight container. I keep mine in the fridge! Cupcakes can also be frozen before icing, for up to 2 months.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: cakes
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: american
Keywords: easy carrot cake cupcakes // the best carrot cake cupcakes // carrot cake cupcakes
Now I know we are truly friends Katherine! 😉 Carrot cake is absolutely my favourite cake as well. If presented with a choice, I always choose carrot cake. It’s been my birthday cake on many occasions! These cupcakes look so tempting. I mean, for breakfast, right now, I could go for one! And I love the addition of nutmeg. These are being pinned for later! Happy Easter to you and your family!
It’s the BEST, right!? So happy to hear that you love it as much as I do! I also love the idea a cupcake for breakfast…perfect with a cup of coffee! Hope you had a great Easter, Leanne! 🙂
These look absolutely heavenly! I’m with Leanne, I would eat these for breakfast! And lunch, maybe dinner!!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all perfectly acceptable choices 😉 Thank you Lisa!!
Carrot cake is absolutely one of my favorites too! And I always make a little extra cream cheese frosting so I can eat some spread on graham crackers. THE BEST snack ever! Happy Easter to you and the fam, Katherine!
Kelsie, you genius, you! I’m so glad I have some leftover cream cheese icing so I can try out your graham cracker trick. Hope you had a great Easter!! XO
Really beautiful ! Happy holidays !
Thank you, thank you!! Happy Easter to you!
yum!!! sour cream makes every cake better (;
I totally agree! Yay for moist cakes! Thanks friend!
I love carrot cakes! They are up there on the list of my favorite cakes.These sound super moist and delicious! Have a wonderful Easter weekend!!
Woooot!! I’m so glad you love carrot cake too. They are so good! I wish I had some leftover 🙁 Hope you had a great weekend too my friend!
Big ol’ carrot cake fan over here too! Good thing you changed your mind about it!! Otherwise we may not have got this lovely recipe 😉 I’ve never seen those orange kisses around here, but now I have to seek them out. I love your idea of having a few cupcakes on hand…I think that’s a necessity…hehehe. Happy Easter weekend, my friend! XO
I hope you found the orange kisses!! I bet they’re even on sale now 😉 I hope you had a great Easter, Dawn!
hey Katherine, it’s funny how I’ve seen another post on carrot cupcakes on a fellow blogger, and now on yours..
Carrot cakes are among my favorites.. I eat my first one at a Starbucks coffee here in Bucharest, Romania…
It’s that time of year – carrot cakes everywhere!! Haha I had to join the club 🙂 I’m glad you discovered how delicious they are! Hello there in Romania!!
Love that you made carrot cake into cupcakes!! My family is full of carrot cake lovers, so I will definitely need to make these!
Hooray! I hope they love them – I could eat carrot cake cupcakes every day. Hope you had a great Easter weekend!
I used to dislike carrot cake too when I was younger. The whole thing just sounds too dang healthy, plus I’m always going pick chocolate if that’s around. Although, wouldn’t pass up these carrot cake cupcakes, even if there was chocolate around! p.s. I have to go to the dentist tomorrow to have a filling replaced. Wish I had these cupcakes to come home to.
YES – I was the same way. Who the heck would pick carrot cake over chocolate!? But I’m converted. Haha – good luck with your dentist appointment!! I wish I was waiting there with a giant cupcake for you afterwards 😉
I’m the same – I had to come around to carrot cake, but now I love it. Especially as cupcakes – just a few delicious bites. And I love that you sprinkled them with nuts – mmm that extra crunch!
It seems to be a common trend! Thanks Marissa! Hope you had a great Easter 🙂
I need to make these the next time my son Sean comes home Katherine! They’re his favorite. They look totally yummy!
That makes me happy! Sean has great taste 😉 I hope you (and him) love them! Thanks Mary Ann!
Carrot cake is my favorite and I need built in portion control like with your gorgeous cupcakes!!! And I also love that this only makes 12 🙂
Thank you Liz!! I also love that it only makes 12 – I did not need to be eating through 24 cupcakes, haha
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Love the new pics! Now I am craving these cupcakes!!
Thanks Kelly! They needed a facelift 😉
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These are the best carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had! thanks for sharing <3
These carrot cupcakes look so amazing! I just love this recipe Katherine. Perfect way to celebrate Easter.
Thanks Christie. I could eat carrot cake every day! Hope you had a great weekend!
These cupcakes are absolutely fantastic, Katherine! I made them this weekend and they were a huge hit. I have a favourite carrot cake recipe I make that’s mostly paleo (almond flour and tapioca starch) but I was looking for a lighter/regular carrot cake recipe and came across yours. I LOVED them, they worked out fabulously. I subbed GF flour for the regular flour (I can’t have gluten), and swapped 1/4 cup of the flour for almond flour (I like mine nutty) and it worked like a charm. Thanks for sharing these, they are now going to be a staple in my house. I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend chika! 😀
I am soooo happy to hear this, Dana! And thank you for sharing on Facebook, that’s so sweet. I am so glad the GF flour worked out well for you, I might have to try it myself! You put a big smile on my face, Dana. Hope you had a terrific Easter too!! XO