Sweet Treats

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot cake has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. But when you live with a bunch of Scandinavians, sooner or later, someone is going to whip up a delicious carrot cake. I don’t think it’s a particularly traditionally Scandinavian dish, but most Scandis I know really like it!

This particular recipe works equally well as a cake and as cupcakes. I make it either as a sheet cake or as a multiple layer round cake for special events, but my favorite version is actually the cupcake version. They’re already portioned out so you don’t over-indulge and you get just the right mixture of crispiness on the outside and soft sponginess on the inside. That, and you’re always guaranteed, at least with my cupcakes, a heap of the decadent cream cheese frosting!

These cupcakes are actually pretty calorie friendly – until you add the frosting. There’s just no healthifying that much sugar and cream cheese. So if you’re watching your calories, make yourself an unfrosted or just lightly frosted version. Or just eat the cupcake and vow to the gods of fitness that you’ll do an extra mile or two on your run!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Makes 12-16 cupcakes.

What You’ll Need:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 5 tbsp smooth apricot jam

For the frosting:

  • 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tbsp cream {depending on the thickness you want}
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

How to Make It:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F and either spray the wells of a cupcake pan or line with paper liners.

2. Place the vegetable oil, eggs, carrot, pineapple juice, and apricot jam either into a food processor or into your blender and pulse on low speed until the carrot is finely shredded and the ingredients are mixed.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

4. If you’re using a food processor, you can mix everything in the processor. But I recommend pouring the wet ingredients into the dry and mixing with a spatula until well combined.

5. Pour the batter {it will be thin and runny} into the cupcake pan wells or liners until they are about 2/3 full.

6. Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Set aside and let cool 5 minutes in the pan. Remove from pan and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

7. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on low until it is creamy and fluffy. Add the butter, vanilla extract, and 2 tbsp cream and beat again until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar gradually {I add it by half cups} until it is all beaten in and the mixture is fluffy. If it is too thick, add a tablespoon of cream at a time until you get it to the consistency you want.

8. Using a spatula, scrape the frosting into a large Ziploc bag or pastry bag, forcing to the bottom. Cut the bottom corner of the Ziploc or pasty bag as needed and decorate the cupcakes to your liking.

I’m forever apologizing for my decorating and I know these aren’t the greatest, but believe me, they’re delicious. One of these days, I’ll get it down, and my frosting will not look like a certain emoji we all know and love…

Oh, and I actually did go looking for the history of carrot cake for this article. Here’s what the World Carrot Museum {yes, there is such a place} has to say about it!

So what’s your vote – cake or cupcake?

About the ChefKristin

Career Army officer with a tendency toward workaholism. On the side, self taught cook, carpenter, and gardener, working to build a beautiful life for my family. Trying to tilt my balance in the right direction.


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