Moist Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Before we had any of our stuff, before we had a permanent place to sleep, and right around the time I was starting to get really stressed about our recent move, my husband and I went for a relaxing, well-deserved lunch out. We picked one of Austin’s most popular greasy spoons, Magnolia Café, and had the most unbelievably tasty sandwich and salad. All the while, though, I was staring up at the chalkboard advertising the desserts… warm cinnamon-apple cake, pecan pie, carrot cake. Oh, carrot cake. Be still my heart!

Knowing full well that Southerners know how to do it right (meaning, with LOTS of butter), I ordered a slice to go and dipped my fork into the plastic container while we waited for our check. Good god. It was the most velvety, rich, melt-in-your-mouth dessert I had ever, ever had. Would one more “ever” make you believe me? Okay, then. EVER.

Carrot Cupcakes Recipe

Though I don’t think another carrot cake will ever come close to that experience (go to Magnolia and try a slice for yourself), I was pretty darn excited to try. With this recipe, it was a near-perfect success. The cake was buttery soft and mouthwateringly moist, and sorry scale, but I couldn’t stop at one!

Carrot Cupcakes

If you’re a carrot cake lover like me, try these for yourself sometime and I think you’ll agree that this easy, scrumptious recipe produces one incredible carrot cupcake with rich, heavenly cream cheese frosting. If want to impress, or if you like a little crunch, sprinkle on some chopped pecans for a sweet Southern touch. If you’re like the rest of us, just gorge yourself on cupcakes and forget the garnish. Yum!

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Moist Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

2½ cups (12.5 oz.) all-purpose flour

1¼ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. grated nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. salt

1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled

1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar

½ cup packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil

For the frosting:

12 oz. cream cheese

7½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

3¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; whisk together and set aside. Shred the carrots (you should have about 3 cups) into the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.  Add the oil. Stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.

Scoop evenly into the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. (I used a Wilton 1M tip for my pastry bag)


Adapted from Annie’s Eats


41 Responses to “Moist Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. #
    Charles — July 25, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    So wonderful looking, and beautiful pictures – great twist on the traditional “carrot cake”. I’m thinking that zested lemon in the cream cheese frosting would maybe be really good too!

  2. #
    Maris (In Good Taste) — July 25, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    My brother is a carrot cake lover and I am going to make these for him

  3. #
    warmvanillasugar — July 25, 2011 @ 11:37 am

    These sound super yummy! Even the frosting looks perfect!

  4. #
    Jenn — July 25, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

    Carrot cake is one of those things that I always say I’m not a fan of…but put something like this in front of me and I’ll gobble it up!! lol These look amazing, Georgia!

  5. #
    Sandra — July 25, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    I dont think you could have described these any better. They look and sound divine!

  6. #
    Erin — July 25, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

    These look fabulous! What a great twist, beautiful pictures!

  7. #
    fleurdelicious — July 25, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    I love Magnolia Cafe! I’ve never tried the carrot cake, but this looks like a pretty fabulous stand-in until I can order a slice of my own!

  8. #
    brandi @ BranAppetit — July 25, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    These look gorgeous! I love cream cheese frosting.

  9. #
    Bestfoodies — July 25, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

    I could go for one of those right now! I am a carrot cake fan anyway I can get it, cupcakes, carrot praline cake, carrot brownies…yum…you can tell they are moist just be the pictures!

  10. #
    birdie to be — July 25, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

    My favorite!!! I am definitely saving this recipe! Looks delish!

  11. #
    Paula @ Dishing the Divine — July 25, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

    I love carrot cakes! I remember when I first introduced my hubby to carrot cakes and his reaction (“CARROT cake?!”). Oh, yeah, that’s right… he hates carrots. But he loves carrot cake! Must try this!

  12. #
    Anonymous — July 25, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    Omigod the frosting..that’s alotta butta. Which means it will taste perfect ;) Glad to see you back in the saddle -er- kitchen again after your big move! ~ Mum

  13. #
    Emily Malloy — July 25, 2011 @ 7:05 pm


  14. #
    Angie's Recipes — July 25, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    Those cupcakes look so pretty and I love the perfectly piped swirls!

  15. #
    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — July 25, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

    I love a good, moist carrot cake! These are simply gorgeous!

  16. #
    Kate@Fudgy Goodness — July 25, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    Yum, these look absolutely delicious! I’ve been planning to make some carrot cupcakes this weekend – and so I have bookmarked your recipe. Thanks for sharing :)

  17. #
    billie — July 25, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

    I always put coconut and pineapple in carrot cake. Are these cupcakes as moist as the above ingredients would make them? Being a carrot cake lover, I will give these a whirl. Perhaps it was your last “ever” that convinced me.

  18. #
    Lynda - TasteFood — July 25, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    Yum! And what beautiful photos.

  19. #
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — July 25, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

    Billie – Give them a try and see for yourself! :)

  20. #
    Maggie @MaggieCooks — July 25, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    Yummy they look so pretty and im sure they are just wonderful! I love carrot cake/cupcakes! :)

  21. #
    Sinful Sundays — July 25, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    Those are some good looking cupcakes. I absolutely love carrot cake. :)

  22. #
    Multiply Delicious — July 26, 2011 @ 12:38 am

    These look fabulous! Carrot cake happens to be my favorite type of cupcake. I have to try these soon.

  23. #
    Kelly @ Eat Yourself Skinny — July 26, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

    Oh these look gorgeous Georgia! My boyfriend’s all time favorite cake is carrot cake so I might just have to surprise him and make some of these :) The cream cheese frosting sounds amazing!

  24. #
    sherri lynn — July 27, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    I love carrot cake! These cupcakes look delicious!

  25. #
    25 — July 27, 2011 @ 7:10 pm

    Absolutely beautiful piping! Cream cheese frosting pairs so well with carrot cake.

  26. #
    wendyweekendgourmet — July 28, 2011 @ 12:53 am

    These look great, Georgia! I love Magnolia Cafe…you should try East Side Cafe on Manor Road sometime. They grow their own herbs and veggies on site.

  27. #
    Roxana GreenGirl — July 28, 2011 @ 1:24 am

    oh my goodness Georgia, these look amazing!! I love a good carrot cake, i’m quite picky and these are just calling my name! Love them!

  28. #
    The Café Sucré Farine — July 28, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    Yum, yum, yum – these look fabuloso!! A definite keeper, thanks, Chris

  29. #
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen — July 28, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

    Not only are these beautiful but they are making my mouth water!

  30. #
    Monet — July 29, 2011 @ 3:57 am

    These are just beautiful, my friend. And my goodness, we have to get together soon! I love carrot cake, and I would love to share some baking with you. Take care!

  31. #
    Lady Chutney — August 9, 2011 @ 10:07 am

    Just found this site. I love your photograpy. I have just started on the blogging journey and so am constantly trying to improve my photography (as well as my cooking – but that’s another story). What sort of camera do you have, how do you get the close ups to look so good and and and just how do you do it?
    Love your food as well. Will definately try the beans and bacon.

  32. #
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — August 9, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    Hi Lady Chutney! Thanks for your kind words. All of the details about what camera I use and how I take photos are in the About section. I’m not sure what “beans and bacon” recipe you’re referring to, but I don’t have one here.

  33. #
    Gluten free — September 19, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

    So beautiful presented and delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing this recipe because I love cake!

  34. #
    34 — September 28, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

    OMG I just saw these….I am bookmarking it. I also love how the frosting looks with the tip you used, I need to get one :-)

  35. #
    Anonymous — March 21, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    Hi! Do you know how I would make these if I wanted to turn it into a single cake? Is it the same baking time and same batter? And what size would the pan be? I want the same taste as these cupcakes! Thank you!

  36. #
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — March 21, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

    Yes, you can make the same batter for these cupcakes into a cake. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30-40 minutes in a 9-inch cake pan.

  37. #
    Anonymous — May 3, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    Hi I did you cream cheese frosting and it tastes amazing however mine was so runny and I don’t know why can you please help me I can’t frost my cupcake


  38. #
    Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking — May 3, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    Did you use melted butter instead of softened, or too-soft cream cheese?

  39. #
    Kelly — June 29, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    My frosting did the same thing and got really runny! I left it in the fridge for a while and it solidified a little bit but i don’t know what happened!

  40. #
    Gynnie — August 7, 2013 @ 6:44 pm

    Having a Breakfast Baby Shower and needed something simple, saw your blog and I’ve never made a Carrot cake or cupcake so will be giving these a try!! Hopefully everyone will love them. Will be back to let you know how they turned out :)

    Wish me luck!

  41. #
    Nissa — January 23, 2015 @ 10:45 pm

    These.are.just.DIVINE! Thank you so much for sharing, I just made them and will absolutely be making them again! So delicious.

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