Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Carrot Cake Cupcakes are one of my all time favorite cupcake recipes! They’re soft and tender, perfectly moist, their sweet, spiced flavor is absolutely perfect and the cream cheese frosting and crunchy chopped pecans is the perfect finishing touch. A must have recipe!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Spring is in the air! Okay, I know we’ve still got a ways but it’s been starting to warm up and did you know Easter is in March this year? So what does that mean for me?? Time for carrot cake cupcakes!

I’ve already shared this recipe before (2 years ago) but I just decided to update things and add a new spin on the decoration to them – because I’m just now realizing how amazing Marzipan is! It’s ready to go as in you don’t need to mix anything up, just tint it the color you’d like, it’s not made of nasty ingredients just almonds, sugar or honey and wheat starch and the taste reminds me of macarons.


So these tiny little carrots are made out of Marzipan, a little food color, the faintest amount of cocoa powder and some fresh parsley.

Here is a video on how to make the shapes if you find the directions confusing – make smaller than listed in the video though, and dip the toothpick in cocoa before rolling over carrots.

I hope you love these cupcakes as much and my family and I do! I’d live on them if I could. 

Marzipan Carrots | Cooking Classy

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Whisk dry ingredients.
  • Mix sugars and wet ingredients.
  • Mix in half the dry ingredients.
  • Toss carrots with remaining dry ingredients then blend into batter.

Showing how to make carrot cake cupcakes.

  • Divide mixture among paper lined muffin cups and bake until set.
  • Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

  • Once cool make cream cheese frosting.
  • Pipe or spread frosting over cooled cupcakes.

Adding cream cheese frosting to carrot cake cupcakes.

  • Decorate as desired. I like to add chopped pecans around the edges of the frosting and finish with a marzipan or fondant carrot.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

How to Store the Cupcakes

Because of the cream cheese frosting I recommend storing these in the refrigerator. Then enjoy chilled or let rest at room temperature before serving.

More Carrot Cake Recipes You’ll Love!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting | Cooking Classy

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

4.86 from 7 votes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes are one of my all time favorite cupcake recipes! They're soft and tender, perfectly moist, their sweet, spiced flavor is absolutely perfect and the cream cheese frosting and crunchy chopped pecans is the perfect finishing touch. A must have recipe!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 540 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • 1 1/4 cups (178g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups (195g) finely shredded carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)
  • 2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (78g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (64g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup (82g) chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, nearly at room temperature
  • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups (412g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Optional carrots for decoration

  • 50 g Marzipan (about 1/4 cup)
  • Orange gel food coloring
  • Cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
  • 12 small curly parsley stems


  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, set aside.
  2. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar, then add eggs and using an electric hand mixer, blend mixture on low speed 30 seconds, until slightly pale. 
  3. Mix in applesauce and vanilla extract. With mixer running on low speed, slowly pour in vegetable oil and mix until combined, then mix 20 seconds longer. 
  4. Mix in half of the dry ingredients, then pour the shredded carrots into the bowl with the remaining flour mixture and toss in flour mixture to coat carrots (they'll clump together a bit but that's fine). Pour carrot mixture into the batter and blend until evenly combined.
  5. Pour batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 19 - 21 minutes. Cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. For the frosting: Using an electric mixer whip together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract. 
  7. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth*. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting then immediately roll edges of frosting in chopped pecans.

  8. For the optional carrot decoration: Tint marzipan with orange gel coloring and knead to evenly incorporate color. Separate small pieces at a time (I did 4g carrots) then roll into carrot shapes (roll a tapered log shape).
  9.  Dip a toothpick lightly in cocoa powder, shaking of excess then gently roll carrot across toothpick (in random places) while slightly rotating to make slight indentations (to give it that natural look).

  10. Poke a small hole in the top of each carrot and insert parsley. Gently press carrots into frosting on tops of cupcakes. 

  11. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Allow to rest at room temperature until no longer cold before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • *If frosting is slightly runny freeze in 3 minute increments then mix again and repeat if needed. 
Nutrition Facts
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 540 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 45%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 68mg 23%
Sodium 187mg 8%
Potassium 165mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 67g 22%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 53g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 64.8%
Vitamin C 1.3%
Calcium 5.4%
Iron 6.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



  • AJ H.: These are heavenly! So moist and delicious! Maybe it’s the applesauce but the cupcakes are so moist. Perfect blend of sweetness and moist but perfectly so. They aren’t underdone and not difficult or fussy to get same excellent results. June 20, 2018 at 1:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for taking the time to comment and let me know you enjoyed them! June 29, 2018 at 11:56am Reply

  • Edith: Wow these look amazing. Want to make 24 minis instead of 12 regular, what would you estimate for baking time? Thanks March 28, 2018 at 2:01pm Reply

  • Wendy Miller: Love this recipe. Very easy. I made my carrots from giardelli white chocolate wafers. Thanks! March 8, 2018 at 4:26pm Reply

  • Michelle: Excellent recipe! Cupcakes were moist. Bake time went to a little over 25 minutes for me. Added golden raisins because why not? February 16, 2018 at 3:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Why not indeed. :) So glad you liked it Michelle! February 21, 2018 at 10:33am Reply

  • Alannah: I can’t seem to find a carrot cake recipe that works for me?!! However, I’m really excited to try yours… Do you think I could use crushed pineapple instead of apple sauce? Thank you so much February 12, 2018 at 7:31pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’d stick with the applesauce here as I actually used it as a sub for part of the oil. February 19, 2018 at 11:49am Reply

  • Judy: This is one of the best carrot cake recipes I’ve ever made. I did add raisins and pecans to the batter. Makes a great recipe even better! January 31, 2018 at 12:11pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great ideas! February 5, 2018 at 12:13pm Reply

  • daniela: These are SO GOOD!!! Thank you for the recipe!
    I cut on the amount of powder sugar in the icing and they were still yummy! January 11, 2018 at 9:00pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Win! January 17, 2018 at 12:09pm Reply

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