Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

 The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 dozen (24 servings)

These carrot cake cupcakes are not only festive and adorable, but they are also easy to make. You don't need any special equipment or artistic skills to pipe a colorful orange and green carrot on top of each cupcake. In this version, there aren't any nuts in the batter, so it is easy to omit them from the garnish if you prefer nut-free cupcakes. A hint of cardamom adds additional flavor and interest to the batter, but you can easily omit it and increase the cinnamon to 1 1/2 teaspoons if you prefer or can't find the spice.

Ingredients

  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrot
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the Decorations:
  • Orange food coloring
  • Green food coloring
  • 1 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     Kristina Vanni
  2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     Kristina Vanni
  3. Add shredded carrot, vegetable oil, orange zest, vanilla extract, and eggs. Mix until moistened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     Kristina Vanni
  4. Spoon into prepared cupcake pans until about 3/4 full. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     Kristina Vanni
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     Kristina Vanni
  6. For the cream cheese frosting, in the large bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract to combine.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     Kristina Vanni
  7. Remove 1 1/3 cup of the cream cheese frosting. Tint 1 cup of the frosting orange and 1/3 cup of the frosting green.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     Kristina Vanni
  8. Frost the tops of the cooled cupcakes with the white cream cheese frosting. Roll the edges of each cupcake in the chopped nuts.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     Kristina Vanni
  9. Pipe the orange frosting in the shape of a carrot on top of each cupcake.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
     Kristina Vanni
  10. Pipe the green frosting as carrot tops on each cupcake.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  11. Enjoy!

Tip

  • If you want to make these decorative cupcakes but don't have a traditional piping bag with a tip, it is easy to fashion a makeshift piping bag with a plastic baggie or zip to bag. Simply fill two bags with the orange and green frosting. Squeeze it down to one corner and twist the top of the bag to remove the air. Snip off a small corner of the bag with scissors and then squeeze to decorate.