Our favorite recipe for carrot cake cupcakes! Inspired by our most popular cake recipe, these easy carrot cake cupcakes are 100% made from scratch, easy to make, versatile, and utterly delicious.
Watch the video
Our favorite carrot cake recipe inspires these easy carrot cake cupcakes. Thousands of bakers have made it and loved it! Many of you asked about turning it into cupcakes, so here’s our go-to recipe for making carrot cake cupcakes.
These cupcakes are simple and call for basic pantry ingredients. If you have a couple of bowls and can stir ingredients together, you can make these easy cupcakes!
Carrot cake cupcake ingredients
- I like using all-purpose flour, but you can substitute some all-purpose flour for whole wheat or white whole wheat flour. You can also swap the flour for your favorite gluten-free blend for gluten-free cupcakes.
- Baking soda helps the cupcakes to rise.
- Salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla extract make our cupcakes taste amazing. If you’ve made our carrot cake before, you know we only add cinnamon and vanilla. These cupcakes have a little more spice, and we love them this way.
- Oil keeps the cake nice and moist — any neutral-flavored oil will work. Melted coconut oil works, too, but the baked cake will have a light coconut flavor.
- Sugar makes the cake moist, light, and delicious. I love a combination of white and brown sugar, but you can use either. Since posting the recipe, some of our readers have asked whether we can reduce the sugar called for. You can, but remember that the amount we specify will produce the moistest cupcakes.
- Eggs give the cupcakes structure.
- Lots of carrots make these the best carrot cake cupcakes. I like to hand-grate my carrots since I prefer the texture, but you can use your food processor or buy pre-grated carrots from the store.
- Pecans and raisins are optional! Some people love nuts and raisins in carrot cake, while others cannot stand to add them. These are entirely optional, so go with what you love.
How to make carrot cake cupcakes
The method for these carrot cake cupcakes could not be easier! If you have a couple of bowls and can stir ingredients together, you can make this cake! As you can see from our recipe video, all you need to do is combine all the ingredients.
- Dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another: I like to whisk my dry ingredients together in one bowl until they are well blended, and then I whisk all the wet ingredients together in another bowl.
- Fold the dry and wet ingredients together: Then I switch to a rubber spatula or large spoon and fold the wet and dry ingredients together until I don’t see any large streaks of flour. (We use the same method when making these pumpkin cupcakes and our chocolate cupcakes.)
- Add carrots, nuts, and raisins: When I’ve got the batter ready, I fold in the carrots, and if I’m using them, the nuts and raisins.
Baking the cupcakes
We’ve developed this carrot cake cupcake recipe to make 12 nicely sized cupcakes. I use a standard cupcake pan. They bake in a 350 °F oven for 22 to 27 minutes.
After baking, it is essential to let the cupcakes cool before frosting with your favorite frosting (we’ve provided a simple cream cheese frosting in the recipe below).
Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before frosting and serving.
Frosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To freeze them, place the frosted cupcakes on a baking sheet so they are not touching. Freeze until hard, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Frequently asked questions
Can I use applesauce instead of oil in the cupcakes? This is something we have never tried ourselves, so you may need to do some experimenting on your own. That said, you should be able to swap some of the oil for applesauce without too many issues.
Can I add pineapple to the carrot cake cupcakes? Yes, absolutely. It will add even more moisture to the cupcakes so use fresh pineapple or if you are using canned, drain it first before adding to the cake. We do not recommend adding more than 1/2 cup.
Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These carrot cake cupcakes are so simple to make. For the carrots, we prefer to hand grate for the finest carrot pieces that melt into the cupcake batter, but you can also use a food processor. It makes quick work of grating carrots, but the pieces will be slightly larger. Some grocery stores sell bags of grated carrots, as well.
This recipe is forgiving. You can make this with or without the nuts and raisins. We like using granulated and brown sugar in this but using one or the other is an option.
Makes 12 Cupcakes
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1 ¼ cup (160g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, optional
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, optional
1/2 cup (118ml) canola or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (95g) lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups (150g) grated peeled carrots, 2 to 3 medium carrots
1/4 cup (35g) coarsely chopped pecans, optional
1/4 cup (35g) raisins, optional
For Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces (115g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch fine sea salt
1 ½ cups (165g) powdered sugar or confectioners sugar, plus more as needed
Pinch ground cinnamon or ground cardamom, optional
1/4 cup (35g) coarsely chopped pecans, optional
1Position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and the nutmeg until well blended.
3In a separate bowl, whisk the oil, sugars, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until combined.
4Switch to a large rubber spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, gently stirring until they disappear and the batter is smooth. Stir in the carrots, nuts, and raisins.
5Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake until the tops of the cupcakes are springy when touched and when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
6Cool cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack and cool them completely before frosting.
- Frost Cupcakes
1In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes.
2For the creamiest frosting, sift the powdered sugar or whisk until most large lumps are gone.
3Beat in the powdered sugar, a 1/4 cup at a time, until fluffy. Add an additional 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of powdered sugar for a thicker frosting.
4To make spiced frosting, beat in a pinch of ground cinnamon or cardamom.
5Frost the cooled cupcakes and, if you’d like, top with coarsely chopped pecans.
Adam and Joanne’s Tips
- Storing: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and frozen for up to 3 months.
- Piped frosting: If you plan to pipe a lot of frosting onto each cupcake, you may need to double the frosting recipe above. If you have any leftovers, the frosting can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
Nutrition Per Serving
1 frosted cupcake