Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe – Love and Lemons

Moist, fluffy, and warmly spiced, these carrot cake cupcakes are an easy, delicious treat! Tangy cream cheese frosting takes them over the top.

Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

These carrot cake cupcakes are the fun-size version of my favorite spring dessert: carrot cake! I love to bring them to parties and gatherings because they’re

  1. easy to make,
  2. perfect for sharing, and
  3. sooo delicious.

Just like a great slice of carrot cake, these carrot cupcakes are soft, moist, warmly spiced, and packed with fresh carrots. Rich, tangy cream cheese frosting takes them over the top.

Carrot cupcake recipe ingredients

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this carrot cake cupcake recipe:

  • Carrots, of course! They add moisture and sweet, earthy flavor to these scrumptious cupcakes.
  • All-purpose flourSpoon and level it to avoid packing too much into your measuring cup.
  • Baking powder, baking soda, and eggs – They help the cupcakes puff up as they bake.
  • Milk – Any kind you like! I typically reach for almond milk or my homemade oat milk.
  • Vegetable oil – For moisture and richness. Another neutral oil, such as avocado oil or canola oil, would work here too.
  • Cane sugar and brown sugar – They sweeten the cupcakes. The brown sugar also adds moisture and molasses-y depth of flavor.
  • Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla – The vanilla and spices give these cupcakes that classic spiced carrot cake flavor.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

If you want to decorate the cupcakes, you’ll need cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and more vanilla extract. Use these simple ingredients to make my cream cheese frosting recipe!

If you’d like the frosting to be dairy-free, make this vegan frosting recipe instead.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Eggs, almond milk, and oil in glass mixing bowl next to dry ingredients in white mixing bowl and box grater with shredded carrots

Shredding The Carrots

Before you start mixing up the cupcake batter, you’ll need to shred the carrots.

You have a few options for how to do this:

  • With a food processor: The grating disc makes quick work of the carrots!
  • On a box grater: Grate the carrots on the large holes to give the cupcakes distinct carrot flecks. Grate them on the small holes if you’d like the carrots to meld into the cupcakes.

I personally like to use a box grater because I like not having to haul out my food processor to make this recipe!

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I love how simple this carrot cake cupcake recipe is to make. No mixer required! Here’s how it goes:

First, prepare your pan. Lightly spray or oil a 12-cup muffin pan, or line it with paper liners. While you’re working, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Hand whisking together wet ingredients in glass mixing bowl

Next, whisk together the wet ingredients in one mixing bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Fold the grated carrots into the wet ingredients.

Pouring dry ingredients into bowl of wet ingredients with wooden spoon

Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Careful not to overmix! If you do, the cupcakes will be dense.

Dividing carrot cake cupcake batter into muffin pan lined with paper liners

Finally, bake! Divide the batter among the muffin cups and transfer to the hot oven. Bake until the tops spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Top with cream cheese frosting, and enjoy!

Carrot cake cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Tips

  • Let them cool to room temperature. It’s tempting to frost and eat these carrot cupcakes while they’re still warm from the oven. But please, let them cool to room temperature first! Their texture and flavor actually improve as they cool. Plus, if they’re still warm when you add the frosting, it will melt!
  • Get ahead. Don’t want to make cream cheese frosting and carrot cake cupcakes in a single day? You don’t have to! The frosting will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and the cupcakes freeze perfectly. Make a batch ahead of time, and allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge before frosting them. Once frosted, the cupcakes will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Recipe Variations

Do you love your carrot cake with raisins or nuts? Feel free to add them to the cupcakes! Fold 1/2 cup raisins and/or chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter before you divide it among the muffin cups.

I also like to sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with chopped pecans for crunch.

Carrot cake cupcakes recipe

More Carrot Dessert Recipes

If you love these carrot cake cupcakes, try one of these easy carrot dessert recipes next:

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serves 12

  • cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (6½ ounces)
  • Cream cheese frosting, or vegan frosting, optional, for topping
  • Crushed pecans or walnuts, optional, for topping

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line it with cupcake liners.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, and nutmeg.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cane sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Stir in the carrots.

  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Use a ⅓-cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into the muffin cups.

  • Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Once cool, decorate the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and crushed pecans, if desired.

We updated this recipe on 2/20/24 after requests for a nut-free version. It previously called for 1/2 cup almond flour. If you’d like to make the original recipe, add 1/2 cup almond flour to the dry ingredients. Mix an additional 1/3 cup milk into the wet ingredients.

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