Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Moist, fluffy, and warmly spiced, these carrot cake cupcakes are an easy, delicious treat! Tangy cream cheese frosting takes them over the top.

Carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

These carrot cake cupcakes are the fun-size version of my favorite spring dessert: carrot cake! I love to bring them to parties and gatherings because they’re

  1. easy to make,
  2. perfect for sharing, and
  3. sooo delicious.

Just like a great slice of carrot cake, these carrot cupcakes are soft, moist, warmly spiced, and packed with fresh carrots. Rich, tangy cream cheese frosting takes them over the top.

Carrot cupcake recipe ingredients

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this carrot cake cupcake recipe:

  • Carrots, of course! They add moisture and sweet, earthy flavor to these scrumptious cupcakes.
  • All-purpose flourSpoon and level it to avoid packing too much into your measuring cup.
  • Baking powder, baking soda, and eggs – They help the cupcakes puff up as they bake.
  • Milk – Any kind you like! I typically reach for almond milk or my homemade oat milk.
  • Vegetable oil – For moisture and richness. Another neutral oil, such as avocado oil or canola oil, would work here too.
  • Cane sugar and brown sugar – They sweeten the cupcakes. The brown sugar also adds moisture and molasses-y depth of flavor.
  • Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla – The vanilla and spices give these cupcakes that classic spiced carrot cake flavor.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

If you want to decorate the cupcakes, you’ll need cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and more vanilla extract. Use these simple ingredients to make my cream cheese frosting recipe!

If you’d like the frosting to be dairy-free, make this vegan frosting recipe instead.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Eggs, almond milk, and oil in glass mixing bowl next to dry ingredients in white mixing bowl and box grater with shredded carrots

Shredding The Carrots

Before you start mixing up the cupcake batter, you’ll need to shred the carrots.

You have a few options for how to do this:

  • With a food processor: The grating disc makes quick work of the carrots!
  • On a box grater: Grate the carrots on the large holes to give the cupcakes distinct carrot flecks. Grate them on the small holes if you’d like the carrots to meld into the cupcakes.

I personally like to use a box grater because I like not having to haul out my food processor to make this recipe!

How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I love how simple this carrot cake cupcake recipe is to make. No mixer required! Here’s how it goes:

First, prepare your pan. Lightly spray or oil a 12-cup muffin pan, or line it with paper liners. While you’re working, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Hand whisking together wet ingredients in glass mixing bowl

Next, whisk together the wet ingredients in one mixing bowl and the dry ingredients in another. Fold the grated carrots into the wet ingredients.

Pouring dry ingredients into bowl of wet ingredients with wooden spoon

Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Careful not to overmix! If you do, the cupcakes will be dense.

Dividing carrot cake cupcake batter into muffin pan lined with paper liners

Finally, bake! Divide the batter among the muffin cups and transfer to the hot oven. Bake until the tops spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Top with cream cheese frosting, and enjoy!

Carrot cake cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and chopped pecans

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Tips

  • Let them cool to room temperature. It’s tempting to frost and eat these carrot cupcakes while they’re still warm from the oven. But please, let them cool to room temperature first! Their texture and flavor actually improve as they cool. Plus, if they’re still warm when you add the frosting, it will melt!
  • Get ahead. Don’t want to make cream cheese frosting and carrot cake cupcakes in a single day? You don’t have to! The frosting will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and the cupcakes freeze perfectly. Make a batch ahead of time, and allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge before frosting them. Once frosted, the cupcakes will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Recipe Variations

Do you love your carrot cake with raisins or nuts? Feel free to add them to the cupcakes! Fold 1/2 cup raisins and/or chopped walnuts or pecans into the batter before you divide it among the muffin cups.

I also like to sprinkle the frosted cupcakes with chopped pecans for crunch.

Carrot cake cupcakes recipe

More Carrot Dessert Recipes

If you love these carrot cake cupcakes, try one of these easy carrot dessert recipes next:

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

rate this recipe:
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 12
Packed with warm spices and fresh carrots, these carrot cake cupcakes have a delicious flavor and moist crumb. We love them plain, but they're also fantastic with cream cheese frosting on top!


  • cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (6½ ounces)
  • Cream cheese frosting, or vegan frosting, optional, for topping
  • Crushed pecans or walnuts, optional, for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line it with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cane sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Stir in the carrots.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Use a ⅓-cup measuring cup to scoop the batter into the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once cool, decorate the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and crushed pecans, if desired.


We updated this recipe on 2/20/24 after requests for a nut-free version. It previously called for 1/2 cup almond flour. If you'd like to make the original recipe, add 1/2 cup almond flour to the dry ingredients. Mix an additional 1/3 cup milk into the wet ingredients.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Jeanette Shinsky

    How about a gluten-free alternative?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Jeanette, a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend should work in place of the all-purpose flour here!

  2. Jackie Kirby

    I live in the uk and love your recipes. Is there an easy way please to convert the cup measurements to grammes for dry ingredients or fluid ounces for liquids such as vegetable oil?
    Many thanks

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Jackie, unfortunately we don’t offer this on the website currently, but it’s great feedback. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Joy

    I made the cupcakes, but may have made a few too many substitutions that affected the carrot cake flavor and it’s ability to bake well (four of the cupcakes didn’t pass the toothpick test even after I baked them for longer).

    Can you please take a look at the substitutions I made and give me an educated guess as to what impacted the result? I used Trader Joe’s Gluten-free flour blend, oat flour (instead of almond), and reduced fat coconut milk (instead of almond milk). Thanks for your help!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Joy, my guess is that the oat flour had the biggest effect on the recipe. It behaves quite differently from most other flours in baking recipes and can often lead to the underdone result that you described. I’d recommend sticking with the almond flour (or even using more gf flour) in the future. Hope this helps!

  4. Sabrina from

    yum, and love the servings size with these too, and yes to cream cheese frosting, thank you!

  5. Lexi

    Hi – would coconut oil work? Or light olive oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lexi, either should be fine.

  6. JD

    Looks so good! Could I make a cake instead of cupcakes? How long to bake? Thanks.

  7. RW

    Hello, Can gluten free flour be sub for the all purpose flour

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi, we haven’t tested this recipe with gluten-free flour, so I’m not 100% sure how it would go. A 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend might work.

  8. Ellen Morrison

    5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! I love carrot cake, but making a whole cake means eating a whole cake! The cupcakes are perfect!
    Thank you again for making your font darker. It makes it much easier, and enjoyable to read your post! Take care!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Ellen, so glad you loved the cupcakes (and the design changes!). 🙂

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.