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How to make Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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  • Author: wellness sleuth
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 dozen


Indulge in the sheer delight of Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting! These delightful treats are a testament to the magic of homemade baking. Crafted from scratch, they boast the authenticity of real grated carrots and even offer you the option to elevate them with the crunch of nuts or the sweetness of raisins. These cupcakes have an undeniable charm, striking a harmonious balance between softness, moisture, and a cheerful fluffiness that instantly transports you to the brighter days of spring and sunny weather. Imagine biting into a cupcake that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also subtly suggests that you're indulging in your daily veggie intake - perhaps not the most conventional way, but undeniably the tastiest!


Cupcake Ingredients:

1 c. whole pecans, divided

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 c. vegetable oil 

1 c. brown sugar, tightly packed

¾ c. white sugar

3 T. molasses

1 c. unsweetened applesauce

2 t. real vanilla extract

2½ c. all-purpose flour

2 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

2 t. ground cinnamon

1 t. ground ginger

½ t. ground nutmeg

½ t. t. ground cloves

2 c. fresh carrots, finely chopped or grated (approximately 5-6 medium carrots)
24 paper cupcake liners

2 12-cup muffin tins

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

4 T. unsalted butter, room temperature

1 t. real vanilla extract

¼ t. salt
1¾ c. powdered sugar


  1. Arrange both oven racks equal distance apart. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.

  2. Finely chop three-quarters of the pecans and place in a skillet set over medium heat. Toast the chopped pecans, stirring frequently, until fragrant, but not overly brown. Remove from heat and set aside. (Reserve the remaining quarter cup of whole pecans for garnish).

  3. Whisk together the eggs and vegetable oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, white sugar, molasses, applesauce, and vanilla extract and continue whisking until combined.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Stir to combine. 

  5. Gradually add some of the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk to combine. Repeat until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the batter.

  6. Pour the toasted pecans to the batter and stir to combine.

  7. Add the freshly grated carrots and carefully fold into the mixture until thoroughly incorporated into the batter.

  8. Fill each cupcake liner with the batter until approximately three-quarters full, as shown. (Do not overfill). Place the muffin pans into the pre-heated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Rotate the muffin pans to the other rack halfway through baking). Remove from oven and transfer the cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely.

  9. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting by beating together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and salt. Slowly add the powdered sugar a little at a time until thoroughly incorporated into the frosting. Set aside.

Once muffins are completely cool, frost with the cream cheese frosting and garnish with the remaining whole pecans, if desired, before serving. Enjoy! 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
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