Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

These carrot cake cupcakes are super moist, loaded with warm spices, and topped with cream cheese frosting! Based on my favorite carrot cake, they have the option to add in pineapple, coconut, pecans or raisins! So delicious, these will be your new favorite!

Why You’ll Love This Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

These carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting take a little TLC but they are more than worth the effort. Here’s why.

  • Satisfying texture. These cupcakes are wonderfully moist and, while they are somewhat denser than other cupcakes due to all the moisture, they maintain this wonderful light and fluffy quality that I adore.
  • Loaded with flavor. I didn’t shy away from flavor here. These cupcakes are loaded with carrot and warm spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Paired with the tang of the cream cheese frosting, it doesn’t get much better than that.
  • The BEST cream cheese frosting. Sweet but not too sweet, this tangy, creamy frosting is the perfect addition to these extraordinary cupcakes.
  • Customizable. There are so many different options for mix-ins here! I went with crushed pineapple, coconut flakes, chopped pecans, and raisins but the world is your oyster. Use some of my recommendations and/or come up with a few of your own. You could even leave the mix-ins out entirely.
A carrot cake cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make these carrot cake cupcakes happen. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.

Ingredients for carrot cake cupcakes.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • Raw carrots – The carrots are used both for grated carrot and to steam and puree the remaining carrots, for extra awesome flavor. I’ve been asked before about using carrot baby food in place of the carrot puree and I finally tested it. For those looking for a bit of a shortcut, there’s good news. It works!
  • All-purpose flour – Be sure to measure your flour accurately, so you don’t end up with dry cupcakes. I always recommend a food scale, but the spoon and level method is also an option.
  • Baking powder and baking soda – I used both for optimal rise and texture.
  • Salt and spices – Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves and salt all add great flavor.
  • Unsalted butter – Allow the butter to come to room temperature before using. Butter that is cold or melted will not cream properly with the oil and sugars.
  • Vegetable oil – I used vegetable oil and butter in this recipe. The butter adds richness and the vegetable oil contributes wonderful moisture.
  • Light brown sugar and granulated white sugar – I went with a combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar. The brown sugar brings a wonderful depth of flavor to the cupcakes that granulated sugar alone cannot accomplish.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs – The eggs should be at room temperature. They will mix more smoothly and easily into the batter. They should also be large in size, not medium or extra large.
  • Optional mix-ins – Drained crushed pineapple, sweetened coconut flakes, chopped toasted pecans or walnuts, and/or raisins.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cream cheese – The cream cheese should be at room temperature. If it is too cold, you’ll find yourself with a lumpy frosting.
  • Unsalted Butter – The butter should also be at room temperature. Butter that is too cold will give you a lumpy frosting. Using butter that is melted with result in a runny frosting.
  • Powdered sugar – For a great piping consistency, I recommend using the amount listed in the recipe. However, you can reduce the amount if’d you like to and just spread it on.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Carrot topper – The topper is optional but they are so cute!

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Time to roll up your sleeves and get to baking! Here’s a quick overview of how to make these carrot cake cupcakes. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more thorough instructions.

Make the cupcakes

  • Prep the carrots. Peel the carrots and grate enough to make 1 3/4 cups of grated carrots. Cover the grated carrot and chill in the fridge. Chop the remaining carrots.
  • Steam. Steam the chopped carrots over boiling water for 10-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
  • Puree. Puree the carrots in a blender or food processor. Set aside.
  • Prep. Prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  • Combine the wet ingredients. Cream together the butter, oil, sugars, and vanilla for about 2 minutes. Mix in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Put it all together. Mix half of the dry ingredients into the batter. Then, mix in the carrot puree followed by the remaining dry ingredients. Stir in the grated carrots and any mix-ins you are using.
  • Bake. Fill the cupcake liners most of the way full and bake for 20-23 minutes.
  • Make the frosting. Mix together the cream cheese and butter and then mix in half of the powdered sugar followed by the vanilla. Mix in the remaining powdered sugar.
  • Frost. Using a large round piping tip, pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and top with the cupcake toppers.
Carrot cake cupcakes on a cake stand.

Tips for Success

Want to get this carrot cake cupcakes recipe perfect the first time? Pay attention to these tried and true tips and tricks for the best result possible.

  • Same size. Do your best to chop the carrots into even-sized pieces for even cooking. They should be small enough to fit into a blender or food processor. And remember, smaller pieces will steam faster.
  • Room temperature ingredients. Start with room-temperature butter, eggs, and cream cheese. If the butter in the batter is too cold, it will not cream properly with the oil and sugars. If the eggs in the batter are too cold, they won’t mix easily into the batter, which can lead to over-mixing. When it comes to the frosting, if the cream cheese and/or butter are too cold, you will end up with a lumpy frosting.
  • Timing matters. When creaming together the butter, oil, sugars, and vanilla, do so long enough for the mixture to lighten substantially in color and become fluffy. This process introduces air into the batter which helps ensure your cupcakes aren’t too dense. That being said, do not mix for too long.
  • Don’t over-mix. When adding the dry ingredients to the cupcake batter and then again when folding in the mix-ins, mix just until everything is incorporated. No more. Over-mixing can cause the glutens in the flour to overdevelop, giving you tough, dense cupcakes.
  • Don’t use too many mix-ins. You don’t want to add more than about 1 1/4 cups of mix-ins to the batter. Adding too many mix-ins can have an impact on the way the cupcakes bake.
  • Cool completely. Allow the cupcakes to cool to room temperature before frosting them. If they are too warm, the frosting will slide off.
Carrot cake cupcakes on a serving platter topped with mini carrot toppers.

Proper Storage

Store the cupcakes in an airtight cupcake carrier or in a single layer in an airtight container that is tall enough to accommodate the frosting. You can store them in the fridge for up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you choose to freeze them, allow the cupcakes to thaw in the fridge before enjoying.

These carrot cake cupcakes are best enjoyed at room temperature, so let them sit out for a bit before serving.

More Cupcake Recipes To Try

On a mission to find your dream cupcake? If carrot cake cupcakes aren’t it, I’ve got a plethora of other options for you. Here are some of my favorites.

Watch How to Make Them

Read Transcript

clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
A carrot cake cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • Author: Lindsay Conchar
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cooling Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Loaded with warm spices and exciting mix-ins and topped with the best cream cheese frosting, these moist carrot cake cupcakes are sure to win a place in your heart.


Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • 530g (a little more than 1 pound) raw carrots
  • 1 1/4 cups (163g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (112g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (52g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (8 oz can) drained crushed pineapple, optional
  • 1/2 cup (36g) sweetened coconut flakes, optional
  • 6 tbsp (40g) chopped toasted pecans or walnuts, optional
  • 1/4 cup (38g) raisins, optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups (460g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Carrot topper


Make the cupcakes

  1. Peel the carrots, then grate them just until you have 1 3/4 cups (175g) of grated carrots. Cover the grated carrot and set in the fridge.
  2. Chop the remaining raw carrots into pieces small enough to go into a food processor or blender. Put chopped carrots in a steamer basket (or a colander, if you don’t have a steamer basket) set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and steam the carrots until very tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Put the warm carrots into a food processor or blender and puree (do not add the water used to steam the carrots, JUST the carrots). The puree will be thick. You should end up with about 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (210ml) of carrot puree. Set aside to cool while you make the cake batter.
  4. Prepare a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  5. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  6. Add the butter, oil, sugars and vanilla extract to and large mixer bowl and beat together until light in color and fluffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Do not skimp on the creaming time, but do not over mix either.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until mostly combined after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to be sure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  8. Add half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until mostly combined.
  9. Add the carrot puree (it can be warm or cold) and mix until well combined.
  10. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not over mix the batter.
  11. Stir in the grated carrots, pineapple, coconut, pecans and raisins (if using them all). Do not over mix.
  12. Fill the cupcake liners most of the way full. They don’t rise a whole lot. I did 74g of batter per cupcake. Bake 20-23, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Make the frosting and assemble

  1. Combine the cream cheese and butter and mix until well combined and smooth.
  2. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  5. Use a large round piping tip to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes. I used Ateco tip 808.
  6. Top the cupcakes with a carrot topper, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve and serve at room temperature. Cupcakes are best if eaten within 3-4 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 543
  • Sugar: 58.1 g
  • Sodium: 279.2 mg
  • Fat: 27 g
  • Carbohydrates: 73.8 g
  • Protein: 4.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 80.6 mg


About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29