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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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:
- Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes
- Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
- Peanut Butter Cupcakes
- Banana Cupcakes
- Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
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.
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.
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
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ + 1/8 tsp baking soda
- ½ + 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- dash salt
- 3 cups powdered sugar (more or less, if needed)
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.
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!
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. 🙂
Thanks so much and nothing wrong with that 🙂
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!
It is 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon for each of those 🙂 Enjoy!!
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?
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!
Will the recipe work good for a cake? I made these as cupcakes last week and they were amazing.
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.
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!
The carrot cake cupcakes are delicious! I added some pecans and they were moist and flavorful. The frosting was amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Glad to share!! I am so glad you liked them! Thank you for letting me know!
Should I be using light or dark brown sugar for the frosting?
I like to use light when I bake 🙂 Hope that helps and hope you like it!
Hey! Can you suggest an alternative for sour cream? I can’t find any here in my country ????
You could try buttermilk. I would just google the amounts though. Hope that helps!
Thanks for responding i’ll try with that! 🙂
I made these yesterday and OMG! Sooo good. The brown sugar frosting is to die for!
Thanks so much for sharing!
Glad you liked it! Thank you for sharing!
These sound delicious! I can’t wait to try them! Thank you for the great recipe.
They are!! I hope you like them! I’m glad to share 🙂
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
You are so welcome!! Thank you so much for letting me know & for trying them!!
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!
Yay!! Thank you for letting me know!!
Will these be ok in the fridge after baking? I was wanting to make them the night before Easter.
I am sure they will 🙂 They will be a hit!
I cannot get canola oil anywhere where I live what can I use instead?
I would just use vegetable oil 🙂
do you use plain or self rising flour , and can you use cake flour ?
I just use all purpose flour. I am sure you could use cake flour, though I personally haven’t tried.
I made these for Easter and they are AMAZING. I think I could eat four in one sitting. Highly recommend this recipe!
LOL!!! It is easy to do 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Yummy!!! Love carrot cake! These look so amazing! ???? I’ll have to try these.
I hope you do!! They really are 🙂 Thank you!
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.
That’s a great option! I am so glad you liked them!! Thank you for sharing!
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?
You may just need to add more powdered sugar. More will thicken it up 🙂 Thank you so much for trying them!
I can’t wait to try these!! Did you use light or dark brown sugar for the frosting?
I like to use light brown sugar 🙂 Hope you like them!
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.
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.
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!!! ????????????
Love hearing that!!! Thank you so much for sharing & giving it a try!
Can I use oat flour for this recipe?
I have not tried, but I am sure you can 😉
Hi, i was just wondering if i could use vegetable oil in place of the canola oil?
You sure could 🙂 I hope you like them!
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.
Oh, and I also put some chopped pecans on top, because yum.
Glad you liked them!! Adding pecans is a great idea 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
Tried this recipe and everyone loved it! Best carrot cake recipe ever
Yay!! Love to hear that! Thank you so much for sharing that!
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.
Yay!! Sour cream makes them so moist! I am glad your family loved them. Thank you so much!
I would lIke to make this cup cake, but I don’t have sour cream nor buttermilk, can I remove it?
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!
Oh, that makes me so happy to hear!! Thank you so much for letting me know!
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. 🙂
I am so glad you like them!! Thank you for sharing this recipe with your family!
i made these cupcakes the other day and they were amazing and super moist. do you think this batter would work for a cake?
You know, I have never tried, but I don’t see why not?! I am glad you liked them!
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!
Thank you for sharing that!! I will have to try that!
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!!
Thank you so much for sharing that & for leaving a comment. I love to hear them! I am so glad you liked them!
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!
I like to use unsalted butter when baking 😉
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
Sounds perfect! Thank you so much for sharing that!
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!
Perfect!! I need to make it as a cake! Thank you so much!
THESE WERE ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!! CAKE WAS MOIST AND FLAVORFUL AND THAT FROSTING WAS PERFECT! VERY WELL RECEIVED BY EVERYONE THAT HAD ONE.
I love hearing that! I am glad you tried them! Thank you!
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?
It is 1/2 tsp plus the 1/8 tsp 🙂
This recipe was perfect! Im picky about baking recipes, but this is So delicious!!!
Yay, I am glad you liked this recipe! Thank you for trying it & for letting me know!
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
Thank you for sharing that!! I am happy that you like them 🙂
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!!
To thicken, you can always add more powdered sugar 🙂
Best Carot Cake recipe!!! The icing, as well, is to die for! Thank you for sharing!
You are so welcome! Thanks for sharing that!
These were perfectly delicious! They might be the best thing I ever made. Thank you! YUM!
Awe, I am so glad!! I am happy to share my favorites 🙂 Thank you!
Love these!! They are so soft!
The brown sugar frosting is delicious paired with the carroty cupcake
Alot of our desserts center around chocolate but these carrot cake cupcakes are so good and my father in law loves them!
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!
Sounds perfect! Thank you for saying that!
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!
So glad to share 🙂 Happy you liked them! Thank you for sharing what you did!
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!!
Yay!! I am so glad to know 🙂 Thank you for letting me know!
I made these for Easter this year and they were delicious! Perfectly moist and fluffy, i plan on making them again next year!
We love these! I am so glad you liked them, too! Thank you for letting me know!
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
Awe, thank you so much for sharing that! I am so glad to share 🙂 I love hearing they are a hit!
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!
Yay!! So happy to hear that! Thank you!
We LOVE these Cupcakes! I want to turn them into a cake. What should i change?
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.
Really light, moist cupcake. Used greeK yoghurt instead of sour cream. Made half the suggested frosting which was plenty when piped. Defi a keeper
Glad it’s a keeper!! Thank you for sharing that!
Making these today for my friends birthday 🥳 Can’t wait to see how they turn out! The frosting sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing!
Glad to share 🙂 I hope she liked them! Thank you!
Very delicious and easy to make. Thanks for this great recipe, it’s a real crowd-pleaser!
You are so welcome! I am glad you think so 🙂 Thank you!
My favorite cupcakes! can I double the recipe?
Yes, you totally can 🙂 Glad you like them! Thank you!
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!
Thank you so much for trying them! I’m so glad you love them!
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!
Oh how fun to use multicolored carrots!!! So happy that you discovered the recipe. Thanks for giving it a try!
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
I’m glad you enjoy the cupcakes!! If you google a measurement converter, it can give you the exact conversion from teaspoons to grams. 🙂
One word Delicious
Thank you!! So glad you liked the cupcakes!
Love this recipe. How would you convert it to a 9×13 pan size?
In love with these carrot cupcakes! We found the cutest carrot gummies to go on top. Everyone loved them!
Delicious! They are moist and have the perfect texture. I am making them again for Easter!
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!
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.
You’re welcome! I’m glad you loved the frosting!
These cupcakes were so delicious! The flavors of the frosting and cake were so perfect together! We loved them!
Oh, I am so sorry!!! That is heart breaking. I’m glad this could make you feel better 🙂