This is my favorite carrot cake, and I decided to turn it into cute little cupcakes! And, of course those need some frosting, so, I bring you the best Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
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This recipe makes a moist and tender cake with lots of flavor. It’s also lighter in calories than most carrot cakes, but trust me, you won’t miss those calories one bit.
Skip the bakery, and make these wonderfully moist and delicious cupcakes. And they’re easy to make too! Maybe too easy!
These cupcakes are packed with grated carrot, shredded coconut, and pecans (walnuts would also work well in the cake). The coconut is a unique addition that really adds to the recipe.
And, of course, I love the fact that there are no raisins in this cake. I feel like raisins are just there to lie to me. To deceive me. Well, that’s my opinion anyway.
And then, well, you just have to have cream cheese frosting on top!
I’m pretty sure that the cake recipe originally came from Cooking Light magazine. I just have a magazine clipping pasted into those 3 ring binders that I’m always talking about. However, I did swap out their frosting recipe for my own favorite.
When to serve these cupcakes?
These are the perfect cupcakes for any occasion.
Birthday parties. Easter. Spring festivals. Fund raising for your school or organization. These are also great for the winter months, and perfect for Christmas or Thanksgiving.
Photo above: Carrot Cake Cupcakes without frosting. Some people, my husband included, love them simply unfrosted! I added the nutrition label below so that you could see the nutrition breakdown without the frosting.
I usually grate my own carrots, either on the large holes of the box grater, or using the grating attachment of the food processor.
This time, I decided to use the already shredded carrots from the produce section of the grocery store.
And, you know what, it was awesome. It worked perfectly! No more grating carrots for me. Save yourself some time, and just buy the shredded carrot from the grocery store for these cupcakes.
If the pieces are particularly long, you may want to cup them so the fit better into the cupcakes.
The canned pineapple adds a great moistness to the cake. It also adds a lovely texture.
I typically buy a 20-ounce can of crushed pineapple in 100% pineapple juice. Drain off the juice. You don’t have to press the solids or anything, just a light drain will do. At that point, I usually have the 1 ½ cups that I need for the recipe. If your can of crushed pineapple is light on solids, you may need a second can.
Why do you say to spray the liners with non-stick spray?
I always spray the liners with non-stick spray (when I remember), because I feel like it really helps to get the cupcakes or muffins to release from the paper liner.
I hate it when you take a cupcake, only to lose half of it to the cake itself sticking to the paper liner.
Cream cheese frosting
I’m pretty sure that cream cheese frosting is a must have for me.
I like to make my favorite version of cream cheese frosting for these cupcakes. You’ll find my recipe here if you just want the frosting recipe.
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Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Place 19 cupcake liners into a cupcake pan, and spray the inside of the liners with non-stick cooking spray.
- Prepare cupcakes:
- Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with the flat side of a knife.
- Combine the lightly measured flour, granulated sugar, shredded coconut, pecans, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl, and stir well with a whisk.
- Combine oil and eggs in a separate smaller bowl, and stir well. Stir egg mixture, grated carrot, and drained pineapple into flour mixture.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners. You’ll want the liners to be about ¾ full. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Prepare frosting:
- Place cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat until smooth. Add the butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat until just combined.
- Spread frosting over tops of the cupcakes. Garnish each cupcake with grated carrot, if desired.