Sweet, simple, and delicious, vanilla Carrot Cake Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Light and fluffy carrot cupcakes made simply with freshly grated carrots, sweet brown sugar, and the real secret – double the vanilla. Each light carrot-filled cupcake is generously frosted with whipped cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes are nothing short of delicious. Each sweet mini-cake can be decorated as desired for spring, Easter, Mother’s Day, or really any occasion!
There was a time a couple of years ago when I loved to bake and decorate layer cakes. Or at least I loved the idea of baking and decorating them. And don’t get me wrong, I still adore a layer cake, but they require more time than say, a cute personal-size cupcake.
This is the year I’m focused on cupcakes. They’re a bit easier, and sometimes even cuter. They taste just the same, but they’re fun – everyone loves a cupcake!
Which brings me to the carrot cake cupcake. When it comes to carrots I’m much more familiar with the classic 2-layer, rather dense, overly sweet cake. It’s not something I’ve ever been overly excited about. And when I create a recipe, I want to be overly excited!
For that reason, I don’t have many carrot cake recipes. But do you all remember the carrot cake muffins I made a month or so ago? I ended up loving every last crumb of those muffins. Which got me thinking.
How could I create the perfect carrot cake cupcake? One that’s light, fluffy, and not too sweet, but just sweet enough.
A cupcake with no walnuts, no coconut flakes – just carrots. Simple and great with lots of wonderful vanilla flavor. That’s what I wanted. And of course a thick whipped cream cheese frosting was a must.
I kind of got excited. And when I’m excited, I usually go for it and don’t stop until it’s perfect. Yes, I’ve got the perfect carrot cake cupcakes! Well, they’re perfect through my eyes anyway, because this is not a classic carrot cake. These are not dense, and honestly, bland. They’re made with delicious flavors that help highlight the sweetness in the carrots.
The cake batter is all made in one bowl. Simply mix the wet ingredients with the dry and that’s it. I prefer to use melted coconut oil for these. Then mix in brown sugar as the sweetener. I LOVE the rich depth of flavor brown sugar adds to baked goods. Now mix in the eggs, lots of vanilla, and plain Greek yogurt for extra moisture.
For the dry ingredients, you’ll need all-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda. And then the spices, cinnamon plus ginger.
Mix everything together, then divide the batter between the cupcake molds. Fill these up about 3/4 the way, then bake until fluffy and rounded on the top. They’re going to smell so wonderful in the oven.
It’s the cinnamon with the vanilla that always does it for me, it’s the sweetest scent.
To make the frosting
Cream cheese, butter, sugar, and a splash of both vanilla and milk. Beat that all together and you’ll have one of my favorite cake frostings.
No one ever knows there’s cream cheese in the frosting. But it’s what makes this frosting extra special and leaves everyone wanting more. And don’t forget the salt, it balances the fats.
When cooled, frost each cupcake. I like to decorate these with crushed dried strawberries, matcha powder, and fresh chamomile flowers. Sometimes I’ll do crushed chocolate cookie crumbs too (like an Oreo). My favorite combo though is the strawberry powder and matcha powder with a few chamomile flowers on top.
What I love most is how cute these turned out with minimal effort. They’re the perfect cupcakes to bake for both spring and summer and especially for upcoming Easter and Mother’s Day!
Looking for other spring recipes? Here are some favorites:
Lastly, if you make these Carrot Cake Cupcakes, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories Per Serving: 425 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cupcake molds with paper liners.2. In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil, brown sugar, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Mix in the carrots. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Mix until just combined.3. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the tops are just set, and no longer wiggly in the center. Remove and let cool.4. To make the frosting. In a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese until whipped. Add the butter and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, then slowly stream in the milk until your desired consistency is reached, you may not use it all.5. Frost each cupcake and decorate as desired. I love to dust the cupcakes with matcha powder, strawberry powder, and/or edible flowers.