These tender Carrot Cake Cupcakes have the most glorious surprise inside; cream cheese frosting! Perfect for any springtime or Easter or Christmas celebration! Feel free to try me Homemade Carrot Cake or Cream Cheese Pound Cake! 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

These could also be considered Carrot Cake Muffins, but I love the idea of these being a decadent mini carrot cake with cream cheese.

But, you may be asking yourself, what is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? For one, cupcakes are miniature versions of cake and the batter is prepared the same way. And of course, then there is the frosting.

Muffins are prepared in the same way as a quick bread and require a gentle touch and hands-off approach when stirring the batter. Why? Too much mixing will cause the air bubbles to burst and you will not have as fluffy and light texture.  Muffins also tend to have less sugar and often considered healthier based on what is mixed in with them. I definitely recommend using my homemade buttermilk recipe!

So, technically speaking, this is a carrot cake muffin based on the way the batter is prepared. But the addition of the cream cheese filling definitely makes them taste like a decadent cupcake!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Try to not overfill the cupcake pans. The batter should fill about 2/3 of the liner.

Be mindful of the cooking time, and it can be different in different ovens. Always start with the lowest time first and check to see if they are done. If you cook them too long they will dry out, and no one wants dry Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

These cupcakes are great with raisins folded in as well, feel free to add about 3/4 of a cup to the batter. 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling

Cream Cheese Frosting

There are other variations of this carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting on the top, instead of on the inside.  If you prefer a more traditional carrot cake cupcake, you can use this recipe for whipped cream cheese frosting.  You can swirl that on top, and leave the center filled as well if you were feeling extra cream cheesy:)

I don’t recommend making this recipe into a cake, but I do have an amazing homemade Carrot Cake Recipe! This recipe is one of the best Carrot Cakes you will ever have! <3

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
5 from 3 votes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Freeze 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 38 mins
These tender Carrot Cake Cupcakes have the most glorious surprise inside; cream cheese frosting! Perfect for any springtime or Easter celebration!


For the Cream Cheese Frosting Center:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

For the Cupcake Batter

  • 2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cup (135g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240g) buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely shredded (1 1/2 cups)


Cream Cheese Center

  • Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
  • Spoon the mixture into a thin log on to plastic wrap. Make the log be about 12-inches in length.Cover fully with plastic wrap and roll a few times to get rid of air bubbles.
  • Place in freezer for at least four hours.


  • Preheat an oven to 425°F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until blended. Whisk in the buttermilk and butter.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir just until evenly incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  • Fold in the carrots just until evenly distributed.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, filling them 1/3 of the way full.
  • Remove the cream cheese frosting log from freezer and divide/slice into 12 equal parts.
  • Place a piece of the frozen cream cheese frosting on top of and in the middle of the cupcake batter.
  • Top each cupcake with another 1/3 of the batter, right on top of the cream cheese frosting piece.
  • Bake until the cupcakes are golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 2 minutes, then turn the cupcakes out onto the rack.
  • Let cool and serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.

Recipe created by the amazing Peabody from Sweet Recipeas! Do go check out her fantastic recipe creations!

Share with your friends!

Categorized in:

Related Recipes

Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. You say to fill cups 1/3 of way up with batter then top with frozen slice of cream cheese, then top with another 1/3 of the batter but I think you mean to use the remaining 1/2 of the batter. Confusing ??

  2. you might want to check the cook time on your carrot cake cupcakes. I think 4 hours and 33 minutes might be a bit much! 🙂

    1. Hi, Tammie! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions and comments. Good catch! The four hours is the time needed for the cream cheese center to freeze. I updated the information. Thanks, and have a great day!

    1. Hi, Melissa! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Have a great day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.