Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Our mom’s carrot cake is one of the most popular recipes on our site, so we created this cupcake version based on the same delicious recipe. These cupcakes are made with shredded carrots, spices, and a secret ingredient—pineapple. They’re topped with creamy, dreamy cream cheese icing because what’s carrot cake without it?

Tips for the Perfect Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrots: Don’t use pre-grated carrots. They are too thick and dry. Freshly shredded carrots are thinner and moist, which helps them melt into the cake, making it super moist. Pre-grated carrots won’t give you the same tender texture.

Crushed Pineapple: This is the secret to the best carrot cake. It might sound strange, but trust us—it works. Buy a small can, drain it slightly, and mix the whole can into the batter. The pineapple releases juice and acidity while baking, making the cake balanced and moist.

Cream Cheese Icing: You can use other icings, but why would you? Cream cheese pairs perfectly with carrot cake. For something different, try our brown butter version.

Carrot Cake FAQs

Q: Can I make the carrot cake cupcakes ahead of time?
A: Yes, you can make them ahead of time, but they are best served the day of. If you make them the day before, ice them and store them on the counter. You can also freeze the cupcakes for up to 3 months by wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and placing them in an airtight container.

Q: Can I use pre-grated carrots for the carrot cake cupcakes?
A: No, pre-grated carrots are too dry. Buy fresh carrots, wash, peel, and grate them by hand for the best results.

Q: Can I use a different type of icing for the cupcakes?
A: Yes, but cream cheese icing is our favorite for carrot cake. It adds a rich, tangy contrast to the sweetness of the cake.

Q: Can I use butter instead of oil in the carrot cake cupcakes?
A: We haven’t tested it with butter, but we recommend oil because it makes the cake more tender and keeps it moister for longer. Though butter has a great flavor, oil gives you the best texture in this recipe.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling 1 hour
Course Dessert
Servings 24


– **Cake:**

  • – 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • – 2 cups sugar
  • – 4 eggs
  • – 2 cups flour
  • – 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • – 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • – 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • – 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • – 3 cups grated carrots
  • – 1 cup chopped nuts or unsweetened coconut optional
  • – 1 small can 8 oz crushed pineapple, lightly drained

– **Cream Cheese Icing:**

  • – 1 stick 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • – 1 stick 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • – 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • – 1/2 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • – 3-4 cups powdered sugar depending on how stiff you want the icing


**For the Cupcakes:**

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Line two 12-cup muffin tins with 24 muffin liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  • Stir in the pineapple and grated carrots until just combined.
  • Fill the muffin liners almost to the top with batter.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before icing.

**For the Cream Cheese Icing:**

  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the softened butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  • Add the salt, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  • On low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time.
  • Once all the sugar is added, increase the speed to medium-high and whip until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  • Spread the icing over the cooled cupcakes.

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