My son has been asking me for carrot cake for some time. I’m not sure what prompted the request, but I kind of had a taste for some too. Today I’m sharing my recipe for…
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
As I was grating my fresh carrot I started to ponder, “Is carrot cake a fall thing or is it a spring thing?” I guess I’m not quite sure because it definitely has some of the cozy spices we associate with the fall like cinnamon and nutmeg, but then there’s the carrots which I think we associate with bunnies and bunnies naturally make us think of Easter. Anyway, I ultimately decided, “Who cares?! It’s durn good!” LOL
It’s been awhile since I made carrot cake cupcakes actually and I had to look back at some of my recipes. I never realized that there were so many variations. I decided to more or less combine a couple recipes and keep it somewhat simple. (Even though I did grate the carrots by hand.)
One of the ingredients I used that I hadn’t before is buttermilk. I was nervous at first because they baked up a bit flat for me. Then I tasted one… moist and delicious! Which is exactly what I strive for every time I bake a cake or cupcakes. 😉
Of course where there is carrot cake there has to be cream cheese frosting. I honestly have a love/hate relationship with the stuff. I’m kind of a multi-buttercream kind of a gal. I’m not devoted to JUST one so it’s not like I make it all the time. Every now and then the planets a line and I make a perfect batch. Lately though I’ve been partial to this lighter version. It’s pretty much a regular buttercream and cream cheese frosting mash up… the hint of cream cheese flavor is there, but it’s nice and fluffy AND pipeable like regular buttercream.
Topped with some chopped pecans and these Carrot Cake Cupcakes are perfection! Not only was my boy happy, but my brother-in-law was excited since carrot cake is his fave. 😉
- 2 c flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 c sugar
- 1 c canola oil
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ½ c buttermilk
- 3 c grated carrots (about 1lb)
- 4 oz (1/2 of a brick) cream cheese, softened, but not warm
- 1½ c butter (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
- 4½ - 5½ c powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 - 6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- about ½ c chopped pecans (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees can line a cupcake pan with liners.
- In a medium bowl sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment mix the oil and the sugar until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients in 3 batches. Mix until just combined.
- Fold in the carrots and buttermilk making sure to scrape down all the sides of the bowl.
- Using a scoop fill the cupcake liners about ¾ full.
- Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes clean.
- Allow to cool for a couple minutes in the pan and then move to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter and mix until well combined on medium high speed.
- Turn the mixer down to low and begin adding the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
- After adding a cup of the powdered sugar, add the salt and vanilla cinnamon and mix well.
- Add the remainder of the powdered sugar (one cup at a time) and beat on high until well incorporated.
- Add the heavy whipping cream to the buttercream, gradually increase the speed to high and beat til light and fluffy.
- If the buttercream is too loose, add more powdered sugar ½ c at a time until desired consistency is reached. (*TIP- cream cheese frosting can be finicky. If it's too warm then pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes and then mix it again to fluff it when you take it out.)
- Pipe a swirl of buttercream on the cooled cupcakes and garnish with chopped pecans if desired.