Carrot Cake Cupcakes

BakingCarrotCupcake

BEST carrot cake cupcakes ever! (with cream cheese frosting)

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Please welcome Garrett McCord as he shares his carrot cake cupcake recipe. I swear these are the best carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever eaten. ~Elise

I find that you can tell a lot about someone based on the type of carrot cake they make. I find that those who enjoy pineapple and coconut in their carrot cake are a bit more flamboyant and unpredictable than the average baker and, likely, have a tiki shirt in their closet.

Those who prefer heavy amount of cloves and raisins are traditionalists; they have a penchant for nostalgia and reminiscing over their fragrant and fruity carrot cakes that encapsulate their childhood.

Others prefer orange juice – modernizing the classics and stirring up cocktails to pair with them.

I like to see myself as inventive, strange, and maybe even quirky – my carrot cake is a carrot cupcake (I like to think I’m a wee bit adorable, too). Toasted walnuts add a certain bittersweet and earthy taste to the cupcakes. Cinnamon and a good dose of cardamom give it a faraway newness, which is only made more intriguing with the floral and citrusy finish from the orange zest.

Dolloped with some cream cheese frosting, it’s a carrot cupcake that emulates old times from way back when with a bit of a contemporary twist. A funky cupcake that anyone’s personality can appreciate.

So then, what does your carrot (cup)cake say about you?

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts (100 g)
  • 1 pound (450 g) of carrots (about 3 1/2 cups, grated)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) of buttermilk (or add a teaspoon of lemon juice to regular milk and allow to stand for 10 minutes)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (400 g) of sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon of orange zest
  • 3 cups (400 g) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 16 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted

Method

1 Toast the walnuts: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast the walnuts in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

2 Line 2 12-well cupcake pans with cupcake liner papers.

3 Mix wet ingredients and carrots: Place the buttermilk, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest together in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Then stir in the grated carrots.

4 Mix dry ingredients: In another bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon.

5 Fold dry ingredients into wet, add walnuts: Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture, being sure not to over-mix. Fold in the toasted walnuts until evenly incorporated.

6 Bake: Scoop the batter into cupcake papers about 1/2 to 3/4 full and bake for 19-21 minutes at 350° F, rotating the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking.

Cool for 5 minutes before taking the cupcakes out of the cupcake tin and allowing them to fully cool on a wire rack.

7 Make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until well combined. Sift in the powdered sugar and mix. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett

77 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Ann

    I was intrigued by the cardamon and was not disappointed–these are delicious! Personally, I might add a touch more cardamon next time because I love the spice, but as written, the cardamon comes through without overwhelming. The overall cake has more layers of taste than the average carrot cake. Loved it!
    I ended up only making half the amount of cream cheese frosting, which was plenty for the 24 good-sized cupcakes the recipe made. I added lemon juice to the frosting to brighten it up a bit and my family loved it. This is my new go-to recipe for carrot cake!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Brenda

    Is it necessary to refrigerate cakes frosted with cream cheese frosting?

  • Chery

    I followed the recipe exactly as written, but I got 24 regular-size cupcakes PLUS 24 mini-cupcakes. They are yummy, though!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Bridget

    I thought these cupcakes were absolutely stunning. I had to leave out the nuts b/c we had a few ppl with nut allergies and they turned out just a s good. However, I have a question – if I wanted to add raisin, should I increase some liquid as the raisin will absorb some liquid. Or maybe I should rehydrate the raisins first? What do you think?

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Ramona

    I made these cupcakes and absolutely loved them! They don’t need any changes!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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