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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Print Recipe

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