These carrot cake cupcakes are perfect for a spring picnic or potluck. They’ve got all the features of a classic, tiered carrot cake but with the handiness of being “finger food” and sized individually.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
When you mention carrot cake to the French, they often look startled at the idea. You might as well tell them you’re making cauliflower cake or some other kind of cake with vegetables. It’s an entirely novel idea for them.
That said, they do enjoy the cake when they actually try it. I mean, who wouldn’t? I honestly haven’t met a person who didn’t like carrot cake. Sure, some people prefer nuts and raisins in their cake, while others don’t.
But carrot cake in its most basic form is loved by the masses. These carrot cake cupcakes deliver the same experience, but in cupcake form.
You’ve got an incredibly moist, tender cake with a dreamy cream cheese frosting on top.
I usually make this recipe using vegetable oil, but when I only have olive oil, I opt for melted butter instead. This option is outlined below in the recipe card.
I keep things simple with these cupcakes by just smearing the cream cheese frosting on top of the cupcakes by using an offset spatula. If you want to get fancy, you can use a pastry bag and pipe the frosting on top. Otherwise, simple cupcake picks, like these Easter ones, will help make the cupcakes look cute and decorated.
These carrot cake cupcakes need to be refrigerated after they’ve been frosted because of the cream cheese in the frosting. I suggest taking the cupcakes out of the fridge about 15 minutes before you’re going to serve them; this will give them a chance to come closer to room temperature and not be super cold right out of the fridge.
You can store these cupcakes in the fridge for up to 4 days after they’ve been baked. If you want to freeze them, I suggest letting the cupcakes completely cool then freezing them (unfrosted) in airtight, freezer bags.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 medium carrots, shredded or pulsed in a food processor to small bits
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar
For The Frosting
- 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, or more to taste
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 3 nine-inch cake pans very well with baking spray. Set aside.
- In your mixer's bowl (or just a large bowl), mix sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla together.
- Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix until combined and smooth.
- In a food processor, pulse your carrots until they're turned into small bits, or use a grater to shred your carrots. Add these carrot bits to your batter, along with the buttermilk (or the milk+acid mixture). Mix until everything is fully incorporated into the batter.
- Divide batter evenly among the three cake pans (using a scale if you have one, or else just eye it). Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each pan comes out clean. Use a sharp knife to run along the edges of each cake before flipping the cakes out onto a wire cooling rack. Allow them to rest until completely cool.
- In your mixer's bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until blended in. Add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to loosen up frosting until it's obtained a spreadable consistency.
- Begin carefully stacking your cake layers, frosting the top of each one before adding a new layer. At the end, frost the sides of the cake and add any kind of design you desire.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 12 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 761