Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Up until this very moment, there has been one (and only one) carrot-filled dessert to grace these pages. To my dear Pineapple Carrot Cake: I’ve loved you as my favorite veggies-for-dessert recipe for a long while, but your time in the orange spotlight is up. And take it away, Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!

They’re light. They’re moist. They’re loaded with raisi… I kid, I kid! Raisins in carrot cupcakes should be illegal. And I’m not looking for any legal woes here, so let’s just keep the ol’ unwelcome wrinkled snacks where they belong… covered in chocolate and baked into cookies.

While the cupcakes are moist and the cream cheese frosting is as tangy and smooth as ever, I’d be remiss to not draw attention to those edible toppers. Because we all know carrot cupcakes can only be considered complete when they’re crowned with a candy melt carrot. Preheat your oven and get that cold glass of milk ready because these beauties are ready for their close-up (on your dessert table)!

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

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Dessert

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Up your dessert game with extra-moist Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting!
4.56 from 9 votes
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 20 cupcakes

Ingredients 

For the cupcakes:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups lightly packed grated carrots

For the frosting:

  • 2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Orange candy melts
  • Green candy melts

Instructions 

Make the cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, sugar and vegetable oil.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the stand mixer, beating just until combined then stir in the carrots.
  • Fill the cupcake wrappers 2/3 full with the batter then bake the cupcakes for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and transfer them to a rack to cool completely while you make the frosting and decorations.

Make the frosting:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth then add the butter and vanilla extract and continue beating until well combined. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth and creamy. Set the frosting aside. (If piping the frosting, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until you’re ready to pipe it, as chilling it will help it firm up.)
  • Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Melt the green candy melts per the package instructions then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag or piping bag. Cut off the tip and pipe the greens of each carrot. Melt the orange candy melts per the package instructions then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag or piping bag. Cut off the tip and pipe the shape of a carrot partially overlapping the bottom of each green stem (so the two parts stick together).
  • Transfer the baking sheet to the fridge for 5 minutes or until the candy melts have fully hardened. Using an offset spatula, carefully release each carrot from the baking sheet.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, top them with the cream cheese frosting and a candy melt carrot.

Kelly’s Note:

  • This frosting recipe makes a generous amount and enough for a tall, luscious swirl of frosting atop each cupcake. For less frosting, halve the recipe.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

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Cupcake recipe adapted from Taste of Home. Frosting recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste.


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Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 57mg, Sodium: 141mg, Potassium: 109mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 44g, Vitamin A: 3540IU, Vitamin C: 1.2mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 0.8mg

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are my GO-TO show off dessert cupcakes. Trust the baking time. Batter IS an unusual texture. But it will all work out in the end. By far, my favorite sweet treat cupcake. I’m making them for my own birthday this weekend. I crave them twice a year… Fall birthday & Easter. Frosting is perfect. Sweet, soft yumminess.

  2. 5 stars
    It’s my first time trying this recipe and I baked it into 2 layer 8″ cake pan.

    Each 8″ pan is 500g leaving enough batter to make 12pcs mini cupcakes.

    The 8″ cake pan us baked at 325F as original instruction at 25minutes (I’m using convection oven). I used the toothpick test and they’re fine.

    As for the 12pcs mini cupcake, it was baked between 13-15mins.

    I also added walnuts in it and they taste very yummy. Not too sweet and moist!

    Thank you for the recipe Kelly!

      1. I wish I’d read the reviews first. Wasted time and ingredients. Some cupcakes sank and were raw in the center. Others rose out of baking cups and made a sheet of cake over top of muffin pan.
        Is the problem one teaspoon EACH of baking powder and baking soda?

  3. 5 stars
    Family favourite Carrot Muffin recipe. My 6 year old can’t stop eating them, so they must be good :)

  4. 3 stars
    Mine overflowed & sunk, too. I live @ 8,000′ so I’m accustomed to high altitude adjustments. However, I like to try a recipe the first time as it’s written. Fabulous flavor & texture – the hubs ate 2 before they cooled completely! Next time I will use 1/3 less oil, and sugar, and probably cut the amount of carrots to 2c. Hope it doesn’t destroy the flavor & texture too much!

  5. I made these cupcakes and they were delicious!! I’d love to make a carrot cake with this recipe, have you tried this before and if so, would this recipe make a good size cake? Enough to feed 6?

    1. Hi Christine! I’ve never tried this recipe as a cake so I’m not sure what the results would be. Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  6. Can I use this recipe to make a cake or half the recipe to make a mini cake? I’m curious how temps/time would need to be adjusted?

    1. Hi! I’ve never tried this recipe as a cake so I’m not sure what the pan size/baking time would be.

  7. Hi, my cupcakes overflow and sink. I have made this recipe 4 times now. Any idea why? Should I add more flower? Take our soda or baking powder?

  8. 4 stars
    I also had the problem with them overflowing. They almost covered the entire top of the cupcake pan. I will have to see if I can figure out where the round holes are and see if I can cut them out so they look decent. They are for a group of gals coming to play games.

  9. 4 stars
    These have a nice taste and the cream cheese frosting is perfect, but I filled the muffin cups 2/3 full as per the recipe and they overflowed horribly. My suggestion is only fill them barely half full.

    1. Hi Ari – I’ve never made these cupcakes using butter in place of oil so I can’t provide info on how much to use or how to re-work the recipe. Would love to hear your results if you try it!

  10. 5 stars
    I love these! I’ve made them many times. Wondering if I could use a bundt pan instead? If so, I’m sure temperature and/or time might need adjusting? Lil help? I’m hoping to serve for Christmas Day brunch.

  11. How do you store these? In an airtight container in the refrigerator or just leave out on the countertop? And how long do they keep?

    1. Hi Kanani – Yes, because of the cream cheese frosting, you should store them in the fridge and enjoy within a couple of days.

  12. 5 stars
    Hi, just a quick question – for the frosting it says 2 packets cream cheese (8oz) is it 16oz total or just 8oz.
    I’m in the UK and our cream cheese comes in different package weights

    1. I’ve never tried that so I’m not certain what the results would be. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  13. There is something wrong in the measurements of this recipe. I just made these TWICE and both times they turned out wrong. Followed the directions exactly. They rose way too much, were completely raw in the middle, and then sank as soon as I took them out of the oven. I would use caution with baking this recipe!!

    1. Hi Ryan – I’ve never experienced that with this recipe but feel free to email me (kelly@justataste.com) and I’d be happy to help you troubleshoot.

    2. Ryan, I had the same issue with the recipe. First I made a batch of 12 cupcakes, and some batter was left… when I noticed they turned out wrong, I tried wth adding 3/4 of a cup more flour… the last six cupcakes turned out PERFECT. You have to make the batter with a bit more consistency, so if you take batter with a spoon, if won’t spill out that quickly…

      hope the helps :)

  14. Hi Leesa, Thank you for this recipe. I am starting my own shop in my home and I look forward to trying these but, I was wondering if this would be a good recipe to make a 3 layer 8″ round cake? Thank you.

    1. Hi Cindy – I’ve never tried this recipe as a cake so I’m not sure what the pan size/baking time would be.

  15. Hi! I would love to bake this but my oven can only accommodate a 12-pc cupcake/muffin pan. Would you recommend I half the recipe or is it okay to put the unbaked batter in the ref while the others are still being baked? I’m just learning how to bake. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Crystal! If it’s kept chilled prior to piping, then it should work to pipe flowers, but it just depends how cold you keep it. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi Karen – I have never made it in cupcake bar form, so I can’t say with certainty if there would be any differences. You’ll just have to adjust the bake time :)

  16. Thank you so much for sharing. I love carrot cake but I am highly allergic to pineapple. I can’t wait to try this recipe! :)

    1. Hi there! I’ve never used whipped cream cheese in this recipe, but since the consistency is slightly softer, you may just want to mix the frosting less.

  17. These are absolutely adorable and perfect for Easter and Spring! They look delicious, Kelly!

  18. Just made this today for a bday party. BIG HIT!!!! Thank you!!!! Thank you! Thank you! This is going at the top of my backing list as a top ten recipe!

  19. I’ve always wondered what piping tip is used for this particular look or if it’s pipped without a tip? I can’t ever seem to achieve that look, the tips I come across are to small! Thanks!

  20. Fatima, i would start with 2 cups of powder sugar and add 1/4 cup at a time after each creaming until the desired sweetness. 4 cups of sugar for the frosting is very sweet. The cupcake itself is sweet already.
    Good luck and yes I love carrot cakes too :-)

  21. I love carrot cakes! I’ll definitely try it. How sweet it is? I like my cupcake to be moderate/less sweet.