Carrot Cake Cupcakes are tender cupcakes loaded with carrots, walnuts, and pineapple that are topped with the best cream cheese frosting! The cupcakes give you all of the flavors of a cream cheese-frosted carrot cake but in a cupcake! The top is slightly crispy and the inside is a soft, tender crumb that is loaded with flavor. Be sure to have them on hand whenever you are craving carrot cake! I also have Carrot Cake Cruffins you have to try!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Spices: Ground cinnamon and nutmeg are common spices used for that classic carrot cake flavor.
Carrots: You will need about 2 1/4 cups of grated carrots to go into the cupcake batter. In a pinch, you could use pre-shredded carrots, but they tend to be a bit drier than grating fresh carrots.
Pineapple: Pineapple isn’t always added to carrot cake, however, I like the added moisture it brings. I also appreciate the flavor and texture the pineapple provides.
Cream Cheese Frosting: This frosting is the same frosting I use on my Zucchini Cupcakes and Homemade Carrot Cake. Yes, it is THAT good! In fact, you may want to bookmark the recipe to use on other desserts, too. If you prefer a cream cheese center, check out my Cream Cheese Filled Carrot Cake Cupcakes, too!
Can I Make These Cupcakes Ahead of Time?
You can get a jump start on these cupcakes by making the cream cheese frosting. Once made, it will last up to a week in the refrigerator. You can also get the muffin batter mixed the night before (but wait to fold in the nuts). Cover the batter with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Let it come to room temperature and add the nuts (if using) before filling the muffin cups and baking.
How to Store Carrot Cake Cupcakes
To store carrot cake cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting, place the cupcakes into an airtight container. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. In fact, you could use a leftover cupcake for my Carrot Cake Milkshake! For longer storage, freeze the cupcakes for up to 2-3 months (without the frosting, if possible). Let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight when ready to enjoy.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ cups (272.5 g) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 ¾ cups (344 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 2 ¼ cups (247.5 g) finely grated carrots
- ½ cup crushed pineapple
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups (500 g) confectioners' sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners. (This recipe will make 20 cupcakes.)
- To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Mix on medium-low speed until the mixture is light yellow, about 3 minutes.
- In a separate bowl sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly and gently add in the dry ingredients. Mix until JUST combined.
- Continuing to mix on low, add the nuts, carrots, and pineapple.
- Scoop the batter into the lined muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ of the way full.
- Bake for 24 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Transfer the muffin tins to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before gently removing the cupcakes from the muffin tin to cool completely. While the muffins are cooling, make the frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- To the bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, or until fully incorporated. (You can also use a hand-held mixer.)
- Add confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, until the frosting is light and creamy.
- Spread or pipe the frosting over the cooled cupcakes.
Did you make this recipe?
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
Handheld carrot cake? Yes, please! If you love carrot cake you are going to LOVE these moist and delicious carrot cake cupcakes. They pair perfectly with the cream cheese frosting.
If you love carrot cakes, you will love these cupcakes. It's a fun way to eat carrot cake–just grab it and enjoy! Plus, the cream cheese frosting is top-notch!
I haven't actually had a lot of carrot cake flavoured desserts. I was not disappointed with this at all! The inclusion of pineapple in this recipe really caught my attention! I love the hint of the spices. Overall, the carrot flavor was excellent. I wouldn't have thought I'd like carrot in desserts, but I was wrong! Great recipe.
Perfection!! A perfect addition to your spring dessert menu!! I love anything with cream cheese frosting and made these for my Easter meal! Love them!
Carrot cake shouldn't have raisins but should be moist, nutty, and delicious. This recipe delivers on all of these points. Just what I imagine a classic carrot cake should be!