In this post: Want a Spring/Easter dessert that fits the season – without being over the top? Here’s our take on delicious carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing!


I’m right there with you, looking for a Spring/Easter dessert that is perfectly suited to the season but isn’t over the top hard or crazy colorful. Well, this carrot cupcakes recipe with cream cheese icing (that can be substituted for other icing or made with non-dairy cream cheese) is just the thing!

carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing
ingredients to make carrot cupcakes on a tray with wood background

Carrot Cupcake Ingredients

For the ingredient measurements and the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

  • Sugar – Adds just the right amount of sweetness. 
  • Brown sugar – You could use light or dark brown sugar here. 
  • Salt – Has a binding or strengthening effect on baked goods that contain gluten. You could play with leaving it out if you choose to use gluten-free flour. 
  • Egg – Use large eggs for the best results. 
  • Vegetable oil or canola oil – Keeps the cupcakes nice and moist. 
  • Vanilla extract – A staple in most dessert baking. 
  • All-purpose flour – Provides the structure to baked goods. 
  • Baking powder – A complete leavening agent for baked goods that helps the cupcakes to rise. 
  • Cinnamon – Mixed with the sugar, cinnamon lends a delicious flavor to the carrots. 
  • Grated carrots – Of course, there must be carrots in carrot cake cupcakes! 
Cream cheese icing ingredients

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • Cream cheese – The base of the cream cheese frosting, of course!
  • Powdered sugar/icing sugar/confectioners’ sugar – Sweetens the cream cheese to make it more sweet than savory. 
  • Vanilla – Adds a lovely aromatic flavor to the cream cheese icing. 

Variations

  • Add chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, or other nuts to the batter or as a garnish. 
  • Try a pinch of ground ginger or nutmeg instead of or in addition to the ground cinnamon. 

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

carrot cupcakes - mixing wet ingredients in mixer

Mix wet ingredients. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk eggs, vanilla, sugar, and oil together until combined.

Add dry ingredients. Gradually add flour, baking powder, and cinnamon to wet ingredients.

Stir in carrots.

carrot-cupcake-batter-in-muffin-tins-ready-to-bake

Bake. Pour mixture into 12 cupcake paper liners. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-18 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.

cooked carrot cake cupcakes

Cool completely on a cutting board or wire rack before icing.  

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

beat cream cheese

Beat cream cheese until smooth.

adding vanilla and sugar to cream cheese to make cream cheese icing

Add powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth. For a thicker texture, add more powdered sugar a little at a time.

pipe icing onto cupcakes
single carrot cupcake with cream cheese icing

Pipe onto cupcakes once they have cooled to room temperature.

carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing from above, on a cutting board

Garnish with shredded carrot and/ or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve as an Easter dessert
  • Use as a birthday cupcake for your carrot cake loving people

6 carrot cake cupcakes

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store carrot cake cupcakes

The frosted cupcakes can be stored at room temperature for several hours because the sugar in the cream cheese acts a bit like a preservative. Beyond that, you should store the frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. 

When you want to serve them again, allow them to come to room temperature for the best taste. 

Can they be frozen?

Yes. Wrap the unfrosted cupcakes in a Ziploc freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to three months.  When you want to serve them, place them on the counter for a couple of hours to thaw. 

Can I prepare this in advance?

Yes! The cupcakes can be prepared and baked a day ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. The frosting can be made ahead of time too and stored separately in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. 

What can I use instead of cream cheese frosting?

  • You could leave the carrot cupcakes plain and enjoy them more like sweet muffins.
  • Or you could use a buttercream frosting. 
  • In a pinch, you could grab pre-made cake frosting and use that. 

Can I add nuts or fruit to the batter?

Yes! You can. This would add a fun crunch to the carrot cake cupcakes. You can add nuts to the batter before baking or simply add a sprinkle of nuts as a garnish after icing. Experiment with different chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts, and slivered almonds. 

bite out of one carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Dietary Considerations

  • Use plant-based cream cheese to make this recipe dairy-free. 
  • Substitute gluten-free flour to make this recipe gluten-free. 

Love Carrot Cake? Try These Recipes!

Have you made carrot cupcakes lately? Wouldn’t they make the perfect Spring/Easter dessert or treat?

carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes

Want a Spring/Easter dessert that fits the season - without being over the top? Here's our take on delicious carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing!

Ingredients

For cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup grated carrots

For cream cheese frosting:

  • 1 cup + powdered sugar
  • 1 package cream cheese, (room temp)
  • 3 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Make cupcakes:

  1. Whisk eggs, vanilla, sugar and oil together until combined.
  2. Gradually add flour, baking powder and cinnamon to wet ingredients.
  3. Fold in carrots.
  4. Pour mixture into 12 cupcake liners. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 mins.

Make frosting:

  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth. For a thicker texture, add more powdered sugar a little at a time.
  3. Pipe onto cupcakes. 
  4. Garnish with shredded carrot and/ or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Notes

  • Can substitute non-dairy cream cheese in the icing to make this dairy free.
  • Can also substitute regular flour with gluten-free flour to make this recipe gluten-free.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 0gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

Did you make this recipe?

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9 Comments

  1. I really wish that one of those wonderful Cupcakes was sitting right here in front of me right now!
    Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing your great post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
    Miz Helen

  2. Absolutely love carrot cake! I don’t make it very often, simply for that reason. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your recipe with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann