These apple carrot cupcakes are what happens when you can't decide between carrot cake and apple cake; they're the best of both, combined. They are a little sweeter than a muffin, but with all of the texture and flavor from apples, carrots, coconut, and pecans, and topped with cream cheese frosting.
For more information on which apple varieties are best for baking, check out our Guide to Apples.
If you like carrot cake, you are going to love this apple carrot cupcake twist.
(Or not. Skip the frosting if you are being virtuous. You can pretend they're muffins, nobody will know. But watch out, skipping the frosting just may give you an excuse to eat more of these apple carrot cupcakes than you should. Not that I would know anyone who would do that. Ahem.)
How to Adapt This Recipe
This recipe yield about 2 dozen cupcakes, so if you do not want that many tempting you, you can bake it as written and share them, or you can cut the recipe in half.
If you want to make this as a cake, you can make the batter as instructed, and pour it into two greased 9-inch round cake pans or one 9x13 cake pan and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes.
Don't like coconut? Leave it out. Want to use walnuts instead of pecans? Go for it!
Keeping, Storing and Freezing Cupcakes
These cupcakes should keep for 2 to 3 days, frosted and covered. You can freeze them for longer if you have leftover cupcakes, but it's best to freeze them unfrosted. Thaw on the counter, frost, and serve.
More Favorite Cupcake Recipes:
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Double Chocolate Cupcakes
- Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Double Vanilla Cupcakes
- Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
Apple Carrot Cupcakes
- For the cupcakes:
- 2 cups (260 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 (250 g) cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (236 ml) vegetable oil (light olive oil or canola oil)
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated carrots (about 3 medium)
- 1 1/2 cups packed coarsely grated tart apples, such as Granny Smith (about 2 medium)
- 1 cup (125 g) coarsely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
- 1/4 cup (15 g) sweetened shredded coconut
- For the frosting:
- 8 ounces (225 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (260 g) powdered sugar, sifted
Prep the oven:
Preheat oven to 350°F and place the rack in the center of the oven.
Make the batter:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
Stir in oil and eggs. Stir in carrots, apples, pecans, and coconut.
Bake the cupcakes:
Place paper liners in muffin tins. Spoon the batter into the paper cups, three quarters of the way to the top. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 25 minutes (testing after 20 min), or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix until combined.
Once the cupcakes are cool, apply frosting.