Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Topped with a heavenly brown sugar cream cheese frosting, these moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes are perfect for spring!

In the spring I love to make all things Carrot Cake, and these Carrot Cake Cupcakes are always a hit! Try Zucchini Cake, Carrot Cookies, and Zucchini Lemon Bread for more sweet-bread veggies!

Carrot cake cupcakes frosted and placed on a white cake stand.

the best Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake is a dessert that I don’t make very often – definitely for Easter, and sometimes for random occasions. But every time I do, I remember how much I love it. Talk about a tasty way to get your daily dose of vegetables!

This time around, I opted for making Carrot Cake Cupcakes instead of an entire cake. Cupcakes are fun to serve, and even more fun to eat!

These delightful homemade Carrot Cake Cupcakes are moist and delicious, with just the right amount of spice. And the consistency is the perfect happy medium between dense and fluffy.

Top it all off with some homemade brown sugar frosting, and you’ve got yourself one tasty treat!

One thing to remember is that Carrot Cake doesn’t really taste like carrots, but they add the perfect flavor combined with all the spices in this dessert.

Carrot cake cupcake batter mixed in a mint mixing bowl.

How to Make carrot cake cupcakes

These best Carrot Cake Cupcakes are so easy to make and will be the perfect addition to your spring and Easter celebrations. They’re also great for feeding a crowd.

PREP. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tin with paper liners.

DRY INGREDIENTS. Whisk together flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

WET INGREDIENTS. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, eggs, and oil till thick and foamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and carrots, and mix well.

COMBINE. Add the dry ingredients and stir till just blended.

BAKE. Fill paper-lined cupcake pans half full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Don’t overfill the cupcake liners. They should be about ⅔ full. The cupcakes do not rise too much, and that is just fine. It’s easier to frost them that way!

Bite-sized carrot cake cupcakes. Follow the recipe exactly and fill mini muffin liners (in a mini muffin tin) halfway. This will likely be about 2 Tbsp of batter for each mini cupcake. Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.

Carrot cake cupcake batter in a lined muffin tin.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Brown sugar cream cheese frosting is literally the icing on the cake – or cupcake for this recipe. 😉

This is not your typical cream cheese frosting recipe. Brown sugar + cream cheese adds a rich depth of flavor to the frosting. It is so yummy I could eat it by the spoonful.

CREAM. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until the brown sugar dissolves completely.

COMBINE. Add vanilla, salt, and enough powdered sugar to make a frosting thick enough to pipe. Use a large star tip to frost cupcakes.

FROS. To frost these cupcakes we used a large star tip to pipe on the frosting, or use your preferred method. If spreading the frosting instead of piping, cut the recipe in half and still have more than enough.

Brown sugar cream cheese frosting for carrot cake cupcakes.

Recipe Tips

Moist carrot cake. There are several ingredients that work together to yield a moist cupcake – canola or vegetable oil, sour cream, and shredded carrots. Shred your own carrots because the prepackaged shredded carrots are too dry. 

Do not over-mix the batter as it can cause the gluten to over-activate and result in a tougher cupcake. This is one reason you mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add them to the wet ingredients. 

Don’t peek. Resist opening the oven door until checking for doneness. When pressed, the center of the cake should spring back.

A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Take the cupcakes out of the pan and let them cool on a wire rack.

Decorating suggestions:

  • Top with these adorable Chocolate Covered Strawberries made to look like carrots.
  • Switch the brown sugar frosting for a simple cream cheese frosting or Buttercream Frosting
  • Using different piping tips can easily change the look of the Carrot Cake Cupcakes. 
  • Spread a simple layer of frosting. Use a piping bag with a small tip to pipe on a cute carrot shape with orange and green frosting. 
Carrot cake cupcakes cooked in a muffin tin.

cupcake Add-ins

Some popular items to add to Carrot Cake include walnuts, pecans, and raisins. Include any of those in the batter before baking (between ½ and 1 cup of add-ins total), or add the chopped nuts to the top of the frosting!

For pineapple Carrot Cake. Reduce the grated carrots to 1 cup and add 1 cup of crushed pineapple (drained). The consistency may change a little because there will be more moisture.

For more cupcake recipes:

Carrot cupcakes topped with brown sugar cream cheese frosting.

Storing Info

STORE. Frosted Carrot Cake Cupcakes must be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or the cream cheese frosting will go bad.

Unfrosted cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

FREEZE. Carrot Cake recipes freeze very well. It’s best to freeze them before they have been frosted, but cream cheese frosting freezes well too, so it’s not a problem if they are frosted.

Place the cupcakes in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag (taking care to not smash the frosting, if frosted), and store in the freezer for 4-6 months.

Carrot cake cupcakes recipe on white cake stand topped with brown sugar cream cheese frosting.

Recipe FAQ

How long do Carrot Cake cupcakes last?

Unfrosted cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 days. That is extended a few extra days if stored in the refrigerator.

What makes these cupcakes moist?

Several factors go into the cupcakes being moist, but that is primarily because this recipe calls for oil and sour cream.

For more great Easter DESSERTS:

And be sure to check out our entire collection of Easter Dessert Recipes!

Carrot Cake Cupcake Recipe

4.97 from 52 votes
Topped with a heavenly brown sugar cream cheese frosting, these moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes are perfect for spring!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 18
Calories 341 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna





Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake tin with paper liners.
  • Whisk together flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, eggs, and oil till thick and foamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and carrots, and mix well.
    Add the dry ingredients and stir till just blended.
  • Fill paper-lined cupcake pans half full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely.
    Don't overfill the cupcake liners. They should be about ⅔ full. The cupcakes do not rise too much, and that is just fine. It's easier to frost them that way!

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until the brown sugar dissolves completely.
  • Add vanilla, salt, and enough powdered sugar to make a frosting thick enough to pipe. Use a large star tip to frost cupcakes.



This makes enough frosting to generously pipe frosting on the cupcakes. If you will be spreading it on, you can cut the recipe in half.

I’m dying over that Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting!! Seriously, that looks like a total dream. Thanks for sharing with us, Kara! These look amazing. For more delicious recipes by her, head on over to Creations by Kara!

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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  1. I’ve been looking everywhere, I found a great blog about the carrot cake cupcakes. thanks very helpful at all. although I am male but love to make cupcakes. 🙂

    1. Hello there! I am a little confused on how much baking soda and powder to put in the cupcakes. It says 1/2+1/8 tsp. what does this mean? Thank you!

  2. I really want to make these but I love pineapple tidbits in my carrot cake. Do you think I would need to do anything different if I add them to combat the extra moisture?

    1. I wish I knew. I haven’t tried adding pineapple. Maybe just squeeze the liquid out of it first. Wish I could be of more help. Good luck!

  3. Will the recipe work good for a cake? I made these as cupcakes last week and they were amazing.

    1. I haven’t tried, but I don’t see why not. I’m glad you liked them! Thank you. If you try it as a cake, let me know how it turns out.

  4. I just made these and they are wonderful! The cupcakes are yummy and moist and the frosting is amazing! I added some pecans to the batter before baking and next time I’ll try raisins. Thanks for sharing!

  5. The carrot cake cupcakes are delicious! I added some pecans and they were moist and flavorful. The frosting was amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I made these yesterday and OMG! Sooo good. The brown sugar frosting is to die for!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    i only try the cupcakes and i must say they are so tasty thanks for sharing your recipe from now on ill be making them often

  8. 5 stars
    These were delicious and easy to make. I cut the sugar to 3/4 for the cupcake and with the frosting, it was hardly noticeable. I’ll be making these again soon!

    1. I just use all purpose flour. I am sure you could use cake flour, though I personally haven’t tried.

  9. 5 stars
    I made these for Easter and they are AMAZING. I think I could eat four in one sitting. Highly recommend this recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    So yummy! I used 1/4 cup mashed banana and 1/4 avocado oil instead of canola oil to make it healthier and they were fantastic! Next time I might use a little but more spice.

  11. 5 stars
    GREAT RECIPE – made these cupcakes a couple times and just love them. My only struggle is the frosting. Often not stiff enough to pipe beautifully like your pictures? Any suggestions? Possibly beating too much?

    1. You may just need to add more powdered sugar. More will thicken it up 🙂 Thank you so much for trying them!

  12. Hi, this sounds amazingly delicious and simple! I was wondering how much, if at all, you try to squeeze the moisture out of the shredded carrots before using them.

    1. Yes, you can. I don’t think you need to though. It adds a little more moisture 🙂 But, you totally can, if you are worried about them being soggy.

  13. 5 stars
    This recipe was awesome. Super moist and the taste is OMG..sublime. I made one small change…just added 1/2 cup crushed pineapples and just used 1 cup carrots…but hands down one of the best carrot cakes recipes I’ve come across. great recipe!!! ????????????

  14. 5 stars
    Made these as mini cupcakes over the weekend. Delicious! Followed recipe exactly, and put one tablespoon batter in each mini muffin, It made 48 mini’s exactly, and took about 16 minutes at 350 to bake. I did pipe the frosting, and probably ended up with about 1/4 of the frosting leftover.

  15. 5 stars
    My family loved the cupcakes. The cupcakes were gone in less than 24 hours. Just the right amount of sweetness in the icing. First time using sour cream in a carrot cake recipe, but it works. This recipe will be added to my monthly recipes to bake.

  16. made it anD it’s delicious! My picky eater kid loved it, he repeatedly said ‘thank yoU Mom for the Super yummy cupCakes’! Thank You for sharing yoUr recIpe!

  17. 5 stars
    this recipe is phenomenal! My family loved them so much that I MADE THEM ALL THROUGHOUT THE HOLIDAYS AND i PLAN ON BAKING SOME MORE THIS WEEK. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE RECIPE. 🙂

  18. 5 stars
    i made these cupcakes the other day and they were amazing and super moist. do you think this batter would work for a cake?

  19. 5 stars
    First time, i followed the instruction to a t and the cupcakea were fantastic. Had way too much feosting, so i froze half of it.

    Fast-forward to today and i Followed the recipe again, but baked thw batter in two small LoaF pans (350 for 40 minutes) and topped with the thawed frosting from before. I like Then even better as a loaf (you get thw slightly crunchy edges).

    Love this recipe – thank you for sharing!

  20. 5 stars
    So I don’t usually leave comments, but I simply must with this recipe! These cupcakes, coupled with the frosting are absolutely amazing! I’ve had some recipes that haven’t turned out even when I followed them to the letter. not so with this one! Followed it exactly and they came out perfect!! I can’t say enough good things about this recipe! Thank you so very much for sharing your recipe!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that & for leaving a comment. I love to hear them! I am so glad you liked them!

  21. MAde this last year for Easter and I’m making them again this year. The frosting was a huge hit. But I cant remember if I used salted or unsalted butter. What do you use? Thank you!

  22. 4 stars
    these turned out very nice I did tweak a few things. I added some applesauce to cut down on the oil. i used only half a cup of coconut sugar And I added a few raisins on top of the muffins because I forgot to add them into them. next time I will put crumbled walnuts on top of the muffins. and I may try pumpkin spice instead of cinnamon.

    I got 12 fair sized muffins out of my batch. easy straightforward and cooking time was spot on. thanks

  23. 5 stars
    This recipe was sooo yummy! I baked it as a cake, and just needed to double the baking time. The frosting was to die for. Lots of people said it was the best carrot cake they ever had!

  24. 5 stars

  25. Your ingredient listing says 2 plus 1/8 tsp for Each baking SOADA AND baking powder. But, your instructions say 1 Plus 1/8 tsp each. WHICH IS it?

  26. 5 stars
    Most amazing carrot cake recipe very easy ti follow. The best thing about this recipe it can be made in advance and frOZen. WHen thawed it is still as moist as the day made.
    The icIng is a wonderful compliment

  27. 4 stars
    Love this recipe! But i just cannot seem to get my frosting thick iM not sure what i am doing wrong i follow the recupe exactly. The cake is wonderful. All in all so tasty!!

  28. 5 stars
    Alot of our desserts center around chocolate but these carrot cake cupcakes are so good and my father in law loves them!

  29. 5 stars
    Best cupcakes ive ever made. The whole family loves them. I did 2 cups of carrots and i pUt less sugar in the frosting and it turned out great. perfect for eaSter!

  30. 5 stars
    These cupcakes are hands down delicious! Easy enough to make when you Don’t have a lot of time. I followed the recipe But reduced the carrots by 1/2 cUp and added one 8 oz can of crushed pineapple. They came out perfect. Moist but not soggy. And the frOsting, Holy moly delicious. I am obsessed wirh this FROSTING! Thank-you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  31. 5 stars
    these are aWesome. Very moist and just plain yummy. Love the brown sugar crEam cheese icing. May need to try that in my pumpkin Roll. EvEryone loved These. I did add in raisins. Soooo good. Making another batch tomorrow!!

  32. 5 stars
    I made these for Easter this year and they were delicious! Perfectly moist and fluffy, i plan on making them again next year!

  33. 5 stars
    These are HANDS DOWN THE BEST CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES I’VE EVER MADE/had. Everyone i’Ve shared these with literally begS me to make them again. Trust me when i say, you have to try these amazing cupcakes!! Thank you lil luna fOr sharing Your recipE with all of us. Aloha

    1. Awe, thank you so much for sharing that! I am so glad to share 🙂 I love hearing they are a hit!

  34. 5 stars
    The best carrot cake cupcakes ever. I added 1/2 cup of walnuts for a bit of texture. The brown sugar cream cheese buttercream is amazing too. This will be my go-to recipe from mow on!

    1. 5 stars
      I double the recipe and just split it between 2 round cake pans (I like to add a frosting layer in the middle). Alternatively, you can leave it as is and just use a smaller cake pan.

  35. 5 stars
    Really light, moist cupcake. Used greeK yoghurt instead of sour cream. Made half the suggested frosting which was plenty when piped. Defi a keeper

  36. Making these today for my friends birthday 🥳 Can’t wait to see how they turn out! The frosting sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  37. 5 stars
    These are the worlds best cupcakes, I’ve made them at least 2 times a year for years now, thank you so much for sharing!

  38. 5 stars
    Best carrot cake cupcakes ever! I wanted to find a recipe that did not include nuts but did include sour cream in the batter, so I was happy to find this one. Once baked, the batter came out really light and fluffy with just the right amount of cinnamon flavor! The cream cheese frosting was the best I have ever tasted, possibly due to the brown sugar!!! I’m going to make these again, but with multi-colored carrots from the farmer’s market!

    1. Oh how fun to use multicolored carrots!!! So happy that you discovered the recipe. Thanks for giving it a try!

    2. I love this recipe so much and made it many times before but now I’m living with my hisband and his family. My in-laws don’t have baking teaspoons and cups they usually just estimate, how much in grams are the baking soda and baking powder? Thank you

      1. I’m glad you enjoy the cupcakes!! If you google a measurement converter, it can give you the exact conversion from teaspoons to grams. 🙂

  39. 5 stars
    In love with these carrot cupcakes! We found the cutest carrot gummies to go on top. Everyone loved them!

  40. 5 stars
    I love these carrot cupcakes more than anything! The cream cheese frosting is so rich and creamy but not too sweet. The cupcakes are insanely moist; they melt in your mouth. These are, without a doubt, my new guilty pleasure!

  41. I made the brown sugar frosting!!! (not cupcakes) it is amazingly delicious! I did have to refrigerate to firm up. But this is my go to frosting from now on. It was a hit at the birthday party, ty.

  42. 5 stars
    These cupcakes were so delicious! The flavors of the frosting and cake were so perfect together! We loved them!