Perfectly moist mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes (with easy Cream Cheese Frosting) are a delicious dessert to share with the kids—whether for a spring gathering, Easter, a kid’s birthday, or any special occasion on the calendar.

carrot cake cupcakes on white plate

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

My family is a big fan of all things carrot cake, and these mini cupcakes are one of our favorite desserts. The cake part is packed with fresh carrots, cinnamon, and golden raisins, and they’re topped with a swirl of Cream Cheese Frosting.

The flavor combination is so darn good. And they store really nicely so you can make them ahead to make life a little easier.

We love these for Easter, birthdays, or just as a healthy dessert to share whenever we’re in the mood.

They’re lower in sugar than most other carrot cake cupcake recipes, but plenty sweet when paired with the frosting. I love the sweetness level since it lets the flavor of the cinnamon, carrots, golden raisins, and applesauce shine through too.

ingredients in carrot cake cupcakes

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe, you’ll need the ingredients below. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full information on amounts and steps.

  • All-purpose flour: This makes the cupcakes turn out light and moist.
  • Brown sugar: I like the flavor of this sweetener here.
  • Cinnamon 
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt 
  • Grated carrots: I prefer to grate whole carrots on a box grater so they have a fine texture in the cupcakes.
  • Applesauce: Look for a smooth, unsweetened variety.
  • Eggs
  • Unsalted butter 
  • Golden raisins: These add more sweetness and are a pretty color.

Ingredients Swaps

Use a gluten-free cup-for-cup flour if needed.

Use a favorite egg replacer to make these egg-free.

Swap in vegetable oil for the butter as needed.

Use regular raisins or sub in chopped walnuts or even white chocolate chips.

how to make carrot cake muffins step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the steps involved in this recipe so you know what to expect. Start by preheating the oven and lining a mini muffin pan with cupcake liners. Then:

  1. Add the dry ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the rest of the cupcake ingredients.
  3. Stir gently with a spatula to combine well.
  4. Fill the cupcake liners to the brim and bake.
  5. Remove from oven, cool in the pan for 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.

Then, you can make the frosting and pipe or spread onto the cupcakes and serve.

Cream Cheese Frosting

I use a simple, classic Cream Cheese Frosting to top these cupcakes. It’s a blended mix of cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and honey. I sometimes add powdered sugar for a little extra sweetness (and it helps to stiffen the frosting a little).

frosting carrot cake cupcakes

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do carrot cake cupcakes last?

You can store these cupcakes, once baked and cooled, for 3-5 days at room temperature. After frosting, they are best within 3 days (stored in the fridge). You can also store unfrosted cupcakes in the freezer for future use!

Do carrot cake cupcakes need to be refrigerated?

Once frosted, if you don’t plan to serve them within about an hour, you should pop them into the fridge due to the frosting. They maintain the same texture, though, they’ll just be chilled, so you can make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready for dessert.

Can I bake these as standard size cupcakes?

Sure, you can do them as minis or full-size cupcakes. You’ll just need to adjust the baking time.

carrot cake cupcakes on wire rack

How to Store

To store, place in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can freeze unfrosted muffins in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or in the microwave in 10- to 15-second increments. Frost before serving.

Best Tips for Success

  • Egg-free: Omit the eggs and add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal and use ½ teaspoon baking soda (up from ¼ teaspoon in the recipe). Let mixed batter sit for 5 minutes before adding to the pan. Bake for about 2 additional minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out cleanly.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free cup-for-cup flour and certified gluten-free rolled oats.
  • I like to use golden raisins because the flavor and color is nice here, but regular ones work just fine.
  • For best results with the texture, grate the carrots yourself. OR use kitchen shears to roughly chop store-bought grated carrots into slightly smaller pieces. (Right out of the bag, the grated carrots are often in long pieces that will be hard to fit in mini muffin cups.)
  • To make as full-size cupcakes, use a standard 12-cup muffin pan and bake for 18-24 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Lightly coat paper cupcake liners with nonstick spray to prevent them from sticking.
  • Top with a swirl of Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • You may also like Carrot Cake Bars, Vanilla Cupcakes, Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes, and Banana Cupcakes.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this post, so please comment below to share!

carrot-cake-cupcakes-on-white-plate

Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Perfectly moist mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes (with easy Cream Cheese Frosting) are a delicious dessert to share with the kids—whether for a spring holiday, Easter, a kid's birthday, or any special occasion!
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 276kcal
Servings 12 (Makes 24 mini cupcakes)12 servings)

Ingredients

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled, or vegetable oil)
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a 24 cup mini muffin tin with mini cupcake liners.
  • Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add the rest of the cupcake ingredients and stir gently with a spatula to combine well.
  • Very lightly spray the cupcake liners with nonstick spray. (They may stick to the cupcakes otherwise.)
  • Fill the cupcake liners to the brim, using about 1 ½ tablespoons batter each. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out cleanly.
  • Remove from oven, cool in the pan for 2 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.
  • Add the frosting ingredients to a large bowl. Beat well with an electric mixer to make a smooth, lump-free frosting. Spread on with a knife or transfer the frosting to a plastic storage bag, cut off one corner, and pipe on frosting. Add sprinkles if desired.

Notes

  • To store, place in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can freeze unfrosted muffins in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or in the microwave in 10-15 second increments. Frost before serving.
  • To make these egg-free, omit the eggs and add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal and use ½ teaspoon baking soda (up from ¼ teaspoon in the recipe). Let mixed batter sit for 5 minutes before adding to the pan. Bake for about 2 additional minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out cleanly.
  • To make these gluten-free, use gluten-free cup-for-cup flour and certified gluten-free rolled oats.
  • I like to use golden raisins because the flavor and color is nice here, but regular ones work just fine.
  • For best results with the texture, grate the carrots yourself. OR use kitchen shears to roughly chop store-bought grated carrots into slightly smaller pieces. (Right out of the bag, the grated carrots are often in long pieces that will be hard to fit on mini muffin cups.)
  • To make as full-size cupcakes, use a standard 12-cup muffin pan and bake for 18-24 minutes or until cooked through.

Nutrition

Serving: 2mini muffins, Calories: 276kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 189mg, Potassium: 136mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 2317IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These taste great but definitely yielded a muffin for me versus a cupcake! Not sure where I went wrong.

  2. 5 stars
    THESE ARE SO GOOD. I used Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer and butter and had to omit the raisins and frosting due to my daughter’s preferences but even without frosting they are amazing! (I know there is a separate carrot cake muffin recipe but just really wanted these!) Oh, I also doubled the cinnamon because I just always add more spice flavor to everything! Thanks for the recipe, as always 😊

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks as always! These muffins are moist and delicious. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday weekend.