Carrot Cake Cupcakes {with Cream Cheese Frosting}


Loaded with all of the good things, these not-so-classic Carrot Cake Cupcakes with pineapple and coconut are topped with the dreamiest cream cheese icing and will make you the crowd favorite anywhere you bring them!

A stack of loaded carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

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Folks, these are not your mother’s carrot cake cupcakes (and if they are, your mother and I should hang out).

I promised “loaded,” and these babies deliver.

I set out to make a healthier carrot cake cupcake (similar to this Healthy Carrot Cake and my favorite EVER Kitchen Sink Carrot Cake in my cookbook), so I knew I’d need plenty of shredded carrots for moisture and natural sweetness.

Carrots alone, however, were not enough for the tender, flavor-packed cupcake of my dreams. These beauties needed (and deserved) more!

Freshly baked carrot cake cupcakes stacked into a pyramid with the top cupcake frosted with creak cheese icing

5 Star Review

“These cupcakes are amazing! Thanks for a great recipe. I will definitely make these again!”

— Susan —

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

More is definitely what you get with these carrot cake cupcakes.

They’re moist, tender, and multi-dimensional thanks to a round up great-tasting ingredients that are great for you too!


The Ingredients

  • Flour. I use a blend of all-purpose and whole wheat flour in this recipe. I love the slightly nutty flavor the wholesome whole wheat flour lends the cupcakes.

Dietary Note

If you’re looking for a healthy gluten-free option. Try this Gluten Free Carrot Cake recipe. You can easily bake it as cupcakes.

  • Carrots. Shocking, I know. This recipe has not one, not two, but THREE cups of shredded carrots which lend plenty of moisture and natural sweetness to the recipe.
  • Crushed Pineapple. A winner for extra moisture, natural sweetness, and all around deliciousness.

TIP!

Be sure to drain the pineapple well prior to adding it to the cake batter. We want moisture but not that much moisture.

  • Shredded Coconut. For a nuanced note that makes it nearly impossible to stop at just one.
  • Walnuts and Cinnamon. This is a carrot cake cupcake after all. These two add that soulful, earthy flavor and spice that is essential in any good carrot cake cupcake (or Carrot Cake Muffin) recipe.
  • Buttermilk. Buttermilk helps to tenderize baked goods. If you’ve never baked with buttermilk before you’re missing out!

Substitution Tip!

To make your own buttermilk substitute, for every 1 cup buttermilk, combine 1 cup of 2% milk or whole milk with 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit 5 minutes, stir, then use as directed.

  • Brown Sugar. Gives the cupcakes extra depth and tasty molasses flavor.
  • Eggs. This recipe uses a combination of whole eggs and egg whites. The whole eggs add essential fat for richness, while the egg whites keep the cupcakes light and fluffy.
  • Canola Oil. While butter can add great flavor to cake recipes, with everything going on in these cupcakes, oil is a better choice for their tender texture and to let the other ingredients shine.
  • Cream Cheese Frosting. Bring these baked beauties to carrot cake perfection. This is my absolute FAVORITE tangy cream cheese frosting. It’s creamy, dreamy and down-right delicious.

The Directions

a wooden bowl with dry ingredients blended together for baking cupcakes
  1. Combine the dry ingredients for the cupcakes. Set aside.
wet ingredients in a glass bowl for spiced carrot cupcakes
  1. In a separate bowl, beat together the wet ingredients.
adding shredded carrots to a glass mixing bowl of carrot cake cupcakes
  1. Add the carrots. Stir in the pineapple shredded coconut
folding dry ingredients into wet ingredients for carrot cake cupcakes
  1. Gradually add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the wet ingredients, alternating between the two.
batter for carrot cake cupcakes in a mixing bowl with pineapple, nuts, and coconut
  1. Fold in the walnuts.
a muffin tin lined and filled with classic carrot cake batter
  1. Fill a standard cupcake tin 3/4 full with batter and bake. Remove and let cool.
a glass bowl of creamy homemade cream cheese frosting
  1. Beat together the cream cheese frosting.
A fluffy carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with nuts
  1. Frost and ENJOY!

Decorating Tips

Cream cheese frosted carrot cake is utter perfection. Personally, I like to stick with a simple swirl of cream cheese frosting and chopped walnuts. However, you can pipe, garnish and decorate carrot cake cupcakes however you please. Here are a few classic ideas:

  • Toasted coconut flakes
  • Candied pecans
  • Carrot-shaped candies
  • Edible flowers

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Cover frosted cupcakes in an air-tight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Freeze. Unfrosted cupcakes may be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Prior to freezing, wrap each individual cupcake tightly with plastic wrap.
  • To Thaw. Transfer frozen, wrapped cupcakes to the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Decorate, as desired.

Pair this with


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin(s) with paper liners or lightly coat with cooking spray. Set aside.

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

  • In the bowl of a standing mixer or a large mixing bowl, beat together the egg, egg whites, brown sugar, and canola oil.

  • Add the carrots and beat for 1 minute. Add the pineapple and 3/4 shredded coconut and beat until incorporated.

  • With a wooden spoon, stir in half of the flour mixture, just until incorporated. Stir in buttermilk. Add the remaining flour mixture, continuing to stir in by hand, just until combined. Gently fold in walnuts.

  • Fill prepared tins 3/4 of the way with batter. Bake 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Gently remove cupcakes from tin and let cool on a wire rack.

  • Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts. Reduce speed to low, then gradually add the powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time, beating just until combined. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes, then top with chopped pecans or walnuts. Serve and enjoy!

To Store. Cover frosted cupcakes in an air-tight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To Freeze. Unfrosted cupcakes may be kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Prior to freezing, wrap each individual cupcake tightly with plastic wrap.
To Thaw. Transfer frozen, wrapped cupcakes to the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Decorate, as desired.

Calories: 324kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 4gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgPotassium: 218mgFiber: 3gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 3690IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 1mg

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