Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (small batch recipe makes 6 cupcakes).
It’s carrot cake season, and my family couldn’t be happier!
Carrot cake was one of the layers of my wedding cake, because my husband loves carrot cake. Camille seems to love it too, but honestly, toddlers love any kind of cake—especially if it has swirly frosting.
I love carrot cake almost as much as my family, but I really love it in cupcake form.
When the carrot cake cravings hit, I sometimes turn to my small carrot cake recipe that is made in a 8×8″ pan with caramel cream cheese frosting. It’s easily one of the most popular recipes on this site, and all of the reviews I’ve received about it have been glowing! I actually stuck the recipe in my Sweet & Simple: Desserts for Two cookbook, because it’s so much easier than making a regular 3-layer carrot cake! That cookbook is all about simple, easy-to-make desserts for two, if you’re interested, by the way.
If you’re looking to keep things a little healthier and naturally-sweetened, I made a version of sugar free carrot cake a few years ago that is sweetened with apple juice and pineapple. I call it ‘Carrot Cake, Naturally.’ I shared it during sugar-free week.
Would you guys be up for another sugar-free week? Bikini season is fast approaching, isn’t it?
Let’s quickly move the subject back to the finer things in life, like cream cheese frosting and cupcakes, shall we?
This recipe for carrot cake cupcakes makes just 6 cupcakes, which I love because carrot cake is something I have a hard time resisting. I think it’s because I justify each bite since carrots are a vegetable? There are 2 carrots in this small batch of carrot cake cupcakes, so technically, you’re eating 1/3 of a carrot with each cupcake.
So logical, right?
The cream cheese frosting recipe makes juuuuuuust enough frosting to frost all 6 cupcakes, but not a drop less, ok? I know that some of you like to double my cupcake recipes and bake them in small 6″ cake pans, and I wanted to let you know that you’ll have to double the frosting recipe, too.
Ok, happy cupcake-ing!
Yields 6 cupcakes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
15 minPrep Time
24 minCook Time
39 minTotal Time
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour (10 tablespoons total)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup freshly grated carrot
- 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup neutral oil (canola or grapeseed oil)
- 1/2 of an 8-ounce block of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- First, preheat the oven to 350, and line a muffin pan with 6 cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk very well. Add the grated carrots and coconut, and whisk very well to combine. The flour coats the carrot and coconut pieces and helps them not sink to the bottom of the cupcakes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, egg, sour cream, vanilla and oil.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and stir just until blended.
- Divide the mixture between the cupcake liners, and bake for 24-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with only moist crumbs clinging to it.
- Let the cupcakes cool completely. Let the cream cheese and butter soften on the counter in the meantime.
- To make the frosting: beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Frost the cupcakes with a knife, or place the frosting in a piping bag fitting with a tip and frost them.
The cupcakes keep for up to 3 days, refrigerated. Let them rest on the counter about 20 minutes before serving.