The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These carrot cake cupcakes? THE BEST.

Carrot cake cupcakes with frosting on a white surface.

Though carrot cake can, AND SHOULD, be celebrated at all times of the year, it feels especially wonderful in the spring for some reason. The tender crumb, the super moist (sorry if you need us to be sorry ) texture, the hints of cinnamon spice. Also we’d be lying if we said we weren’t in it for the cream cheese frosting. Cuz we are. Always. With any occasion. If there’s smooth swoopy cream cheese frosting involved, we’re there.

And these little cupcakes are the best. Just the best. The perfect little bringable treat for all the spring things. Easter brunch? Yup. Mother’s Day? You bet. Those plants that you were sure you killed last year are starting to bloom again? GO GRAB YOURSELF A CARROT CAKE CUPCAKE, FRIEND! You earned it.

In This Post: Everything You Need For Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Carrot cake cupcakes in a muffin tin.

Ingredients You’Ll Need For These Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Pretty standard baking lineup for these guys, so hopefully your pantry is already mostly holding the keys to the kingdom, but here’s what you’ll need:

  • flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt
  • cinnamon
  • grated carrots
  • oil (any neutral-tasting kind will do)
  • eggs
  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla

We love a relatively short ingredient list, especially when we’re talking cake AND frosting so this recipe is a real winner. Carrot cake nirvana is almost yours!

Let’s Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

You’ve got your ingredients and your love of cupcakes at the ready, so let’s get carrot caking, shall we? Here’s how you do it:

  1. Batter. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then combine the grated carrots and the oil and slowly add the dry mixture until incorporated. In go your beaten eggs and stir just a few times. Seriously! The less stirring the better.
  2. Bake. Grease a muffin tin or use paper liners and then scoop the batter, filling about ⅔ of the way up. Bake for about 13 mins but ovens can vary a bunch so keep an eye until they are golden brown and have springy tops. Allow the cupcakes to cool.
  3. Frost.  And now for the reason we’re here. Blend all ingredients except powdered sugar and then slowly add that in, keepin’ things real smooth. Now, you could just frost butter knife-style, but if you wanna get fancy, transfer it to a plastic bag or similar tool for piping the frosting in even little swirls on top.

Then, hooray! It’s carrot cake cupcake time! Spread them out on the party table. Stack ‘em up on those cutesie cupcake towers. Plop one down on the plate of your kiddo just to celebrate any old Wednesday. 

Carrots in a food processor.
Carrot cake batter in muffin tins.

Variations On These Incredible Cupcakes 

Whether you’re making these for a party or shower or brunch or dessert, you can doll ‘em up anyway you like! Are you a raisin person? Don’t be shy! Some juicy plump golden raisins would be great in here. (Or regular too, of course. We see you, nature’s candy!) Maybe you want to chop up some walnuts and toss them in the batter or sprinkle them on top of those frosting coils.

Some of you like to get wild and put pineapple and coconut in your carrot cake. Go get it, friends! Do you really love frosting? Listen, double that batch then with reckless abandon. 

However you do it, just make sure you cupcake. Because, CUPCAKES. Always A+.

Carrot cake cupcakes with frosting.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: FAQs

What kind of flour do you recommend for these cupcakes?

All-purpose flour is perfect here.

Can I add nuts on top?

That’s a great idea! Chopped walnuts would be delicious!

What type of oil is best here?

A neutral-tasting oil works best in this case, something like canola oil.

Do I need to use muffin liners?

Baking directly in the muffin tin without the liners is my favorite way to bake these, but it’s harder to get the perfect light brown color on the sides because they often get too dark brown. The ones pictured here turned out perfectly, but if you’re unsure, just use paper liners.

A picture of The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes


These are the best carrot cake cupcakes with a swirl of cream cheese frosting on top! Grab your stars of a usual baking line-up, like flour, sugar, and butter, plus a few extras, like carrots and cream cheese, and get baking! 



For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 heaping cups grated carrots
  • 2/3 cup neutral oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten

For the frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2+ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the grated carrots and the oil. Slowly add the flour mixture, stirring until just mixed. Add the beaten eggs and stir a few times (like 15 or less around the bowl – the fewer the better)!
  2. Grease a muffin tin or use paper liners. Scoop the batter into a muffin tin, filling each muffin tin about 2/3 of the way up the side. Bake for 13 minutes, check how they’re doing, and add a few minutes if necessary. I find that the baking time varies greatly with oven, so just check for the right golden brown color and springy tops. Allow the cupcakes to cool.
  3. For the frosting, blend the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Transfer to a plastic bag or similar tool for piping the frosting evenly on the cupcakes.



If you love cream cheese frosting A LOT, you need to double the frosting. Having a little extra has never been a problem for me.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: carrot cake cupcakes, carrot cupcakes, cream cheese frosting, carrot cake dessert

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