This carrot cake cupcakes recipe is a smash hit! The moist, spiced cakes are topped with mounds of tangy cream cheese frosting.
For the cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs (or flax eggs for vegan)
- 1/3 cup neutral oil
- 2/3 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
- 1 1/2 cups lightly packed peeled and grated carrots
For the frosting (or use this vegan cream cheese frosting)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- For the garnish: finely chopped pistachios, pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place muffin liners into a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, and kosher salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the oil and applesauce. Stir in the grated carrots.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring only until just combined (but making sure no pockets of dry ingredients remain).
- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups (about 1/4 cup in each).
- Bake for 23 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to fully cool, at least 1 hour. (Set out the butter and cream cheese at room temperature for 1 hour while the cupcakes cool.)
- When the cupcakes are cool, make the cream cheese frosting: Make sure the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature. Use a fine mesh sieve to sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Beat the butter and cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes until completely smooth, scraping once. Reduce the speed to low, then add the vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar until it comes together into a thick icing.
- Use a pastry bag to pipe the icing onto the cupcakes, or refrigerate the icing up to 1 week until frosting. (You can use the entire quantity of frosting or less if desired for a lighter cupcake.) Top with finely chopped pistachios.
- Storage info: Leftover cupcakes can be stored refrigerated for up to 4 days, but are best served as fresh as possible (bring to room temperature before serving). If making in advance, store the cupcakes refrigerated without frosting; add icing as close to serving as possible. Freeze the un-frosted cupcakes for up to 2 months, but again: we recommend making them closer to serving for best results. You can also freeze cream cheese frosting for up to 1 month. Make sure to bring it to room temperature and stir it before using.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Dessert
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: Carrot cake cupcakes