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These are the best carrot cake cupcakes! The cupcakes give you just a few bites of the warm and cozy spiced carrot cakes with tangy cream cheese frosting. A single cupcake would make a delicious snack, but good luck only eating one!
I don’t know what it is about carrot cake. The moist cake, the spice blend, the cream cheese frosting… there is just something about the way it all comes together. I love my pineapple carrot cake and my carrot cake scones recipe as well.
I have had so many of you ask if my moist carrot cake could make cupcakes. It does, but I thought it was probably time to create a recipe for homemade carrot cake cupcakes. I’m so glad I did. These cupcakes are so soft and fluffy. The grated carrots and the oil keep them extra moist.
The silky and tangy cream cheese frosting is a perfect complement to the cozy spices in the cake. But if cream cheese frosting isn’t your thing, you can use vanilla buttercream frosting instead. These are great as an after-school snack, served at afternoon tea, or as an Easter dessert.
- Taste – These carrot cake cupcakes are bursting with warm and cozy spices.
- Texture – The oil, carrots and sour cream make these cupcakes soft, fluffy and moist.
- Ease – So easy! No mixer required for the cake, only for the frosting.
- Time – It will take 45 minutes from start to finish to make these cupcakes.
What You’ll Need
- All-purpose flour: Make sure to measure the flour correctly because it affects the moisture level in the cake.
- Baking powder & baking soda: These act as leavening agents in the recipe, which cause the cake to expand.
- Cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, & vanilla extract: These add tons of flavor to the cake, especially cinnamon.
- Sugar: This recipe uses granulated sugar, but you may also substitute with coconut sugar or brown sugar.
- Oil & sour cream: These make the carrot cake cupcakes moist and delicious. Use any flavorless oil of your preference, and full fat sour cream.
- Eggs: These create the right level of structure and stability in the recipe.
- Carrots: Don’t use store-bought shredded carrots because they are too dry and thick. I prefer to use a box grater to shred fresh carrots.
- Unsulfured Molasses: This adds richness of flavor, sweetness and a little extra moisture.
- Cream cheese: This is the base of the frosting. Use full fat, please, for the best flavor.
- Unsalted butter: At room temperature, soft but not oily.
- Confectioners’ sugar: For the frosting.
I use sour cream and oil in this recipe for extra moisture to keep the cake, with the carrots, from becoming too dry.
I prefer using a box grater. If you have a grater attachment for your food processor, you can use that as well. Don’t use pre-grated carrots. They’ll be too dry.
How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These cupcakes come together so easily – just two bowls and a wooden spoon are all you need. This carrot cake cupcakes recipe makes 12 cupcakes so you only need to line one muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Make the Cupcakes
- Mix the dry ingredients other than the sugar – the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt together with a whisk to combine.
- In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, canola oil, sour cream, eggs, molasses and vanilla together. Stir in the grated carrots.
- Add the flour mixture and fold everything together with a spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Fill each paper liner ¾ of the way full and bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Do not over bake.
Make the Frosting
- Beat cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer on medium high speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue mixing until fully combined.
- After the cupcakes have cooled, frost the cupcakes as desired.
Tips For Success
- Measure the flour carefully. I suggest the spoon and level method, or you can weigh it.
- You can leave out the molasses if you would like to. I like it because I believe it adds another layer of warmth to the flavor.
- You must use block style cream cheese for the frosting. Not the spreadable or whipped type.
- If you have a 3 tablespoon ice cream scoop, use it to portion the batter in the muffin tins. It’s the perfect size.
Storage & Freezing
You can refrigerate frosted cupcakes for 24 hours before serving. Bring to room temperature.
Unfrosted cupcakes can be made a day in advance and kept at room temperature wrapped in plastic. You can also make the frosting a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator.
If you really want to make them in advance, they can be kept frosted or unfrosted in the freezer for 3 months.
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