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Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

A moist and delicious carrot cake cupcakes recipe beautifully decorated with smooth cream cheese frosting, grated carrots, and pecans. These moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple are the perfect sweet treat.

Get the flavor of a carrot cake recipe in these beautiful cupcakes. Cupcakes make serving dessert a cinch, and these easy carrot cake cupcakes can be made ahead of time and frozen. No more tossing cake that doesn’t get eaten.

carrot cupcakes on a platter.

The shredded carrot adds so much flavor to these cupcakes. And, crushed pineapple just takes it up a notch adding moisture and brightness to this easy carrot cupcake recipe.

My Easter bunny loves this Bunny Trail Mix, and will love these melt-in-your-mouth carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting too. They’re perfect when you crave a soft-baked dessert spiced with warm cinnamon.

Of course, I think you can make these easy carrot cupcakes year-round. They never fail to please! This recipe makes fifteen cupcakes, which is plenty for a crowd.

Ingredients for the Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple

Ingredients for cupcakes recipe: flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, pineapple, vanilla, grated carrots, chopped pecans.

Make your shopping list now so that you can make this delicious carrot cakes cupcakes recipe whenever you want! Here are the ingredients you will need on hand.

  • All-Purpose Flour.
  • Baking Powder. When is the last time you purchased baking powder? It does lose its potency after a while.
  • Salt.
  • Ground Cinnamon. Nutmeg is also delicious in this recipe.
  • Unsalted Butter. If you use salted butter reduce the salt from 1/2 to 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Brown Sugar. I prefer dark brown sugar but light is fine.
  • White Sugar. Just regular granulated sugar.
  • Large Eggs. The size of the eggs is important in baking. I always use Large Grade A eggs for consistency.
  • Whole Milk. The increased fat content of whole milk will keep the cupcakes moister. You can use another variety and they will still be successful, however.
  • Vanilla. I prefer to use real vanilla.
  • Grated Carrots. Use a box grater and grate fresh for the best results. *See our tips on why.
  • Crushed Pineapple. Canned and drained
  • Chopped Pecans. Optional but recommended. You could also use walnuts for a delicious substitution.

Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for cream cheese frosting: powdered sugar in a bowl, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.
  • Cream Cheese. Room temperature. Make sure you get cream cheese without added fillers for the best results.
  • Butter. Room temperature. I use real butter.
    • l use a good butter such as Kerrygold® or Land O Lakes® because they have less water content and a higher fat content which will make these cupcakes soft and moist.
    • You can use salted or unsalted for this recipe.
  • Vanilla. Pure vanilla extract tastes delicious in desserts. To make a pineapple cream cheese frosting recipe, add pineapple extract instead of vanilla.
  • Powdered Sugar. Sifted. Also known as confectioners sugar.

How to Make this Easy Carrot Cake Cupcake Recipe

Carrot cupcakes beautifully decorated with cream cheese frosting, shredded carrots, and chopped pecans.

These tasty cupcakes come together like any traditional carrot cake recipe. Creamed fats and sugars. Dry ingredients separate. Plenty of mixing. We recommend an electric mixer.

Please note, that the recipe card has more complete instructions. This is intended as an overview.

  1. Preheat the oven first so that it’s ready to go when your cupcakes are mixed! A properly preheated oven helps your baked goods bake more evenly.
  2. Mix your dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. This helps ensure that the salt and baking powder are both evenly distributed throughout the cupcake batter.
  3. Cream your fat and sugar until light and fluffy. This helps suspend the sugar and fat evenly throughout your cupcake batter. I use an electric stand mixer at a medium-high speed for this job.
  4. Add the remaining liquids to your creamed sugar, adding one egg at a time.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Adding the flour mixture all at once can make a mess if you’re using a mixer. I like using a large spoon and spooning it in while my mixer runs on a low speed.
  6. Gently fold in your mix-ins such as pineapple, raisins, etc. so that you don’t break them up or mush them too much.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a couple of crumbs.
  8. Cool completely before frosting!

Cream Cheese Frosting for Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  1. Combine the cream cheese with the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high until creamy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until combined and then turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until smooth. Additional powdered sugar can be added for a thicker frosting and cream or milk can be added to thin the frosting consistency.

Tips for Making the Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

a single cupcake with a bite out of it.
  • Use freshly grated carrots! Don’t use pre-shredded carrots, they’re typically too large a grate and contain anti-clumping ingredients that make them dry.
  • I used canned crushed pineapple but you can use the tidbits if you want larger chunks of pineapple. I wouldn’t use anything larger, however. Make sure the pineapple is well drained or you can use fresh.
  • Feel free to use raisins or your favorite add-ins in this recipe. This batter can hold about ¼ cup to ½ cup of add-ins.
  • Walnuts or your favorite nut can be substituted for the pecans.
  • Sifting the powdered sugar makes the frosting smooth and creamy. This is an extra step but I highly recommend it.
  • I always turn my pan halfway through baking. Even the best ovens can bake unevenly.
  • Test the cupcakes for doneness a couple of minutes before the minimum baking time. These cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the tin when they’re warm but not hot to finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Common FAQs for Pineapple Carrot Cupcakes

How do you shred carrots for carrot cake?

We use a box grater to grate the carrots which produce a small shred that’s perfect for these carrot cake cupcakes. You could also use a food processor.

Do you skin carrots for carrot cake?

Yes, I recommend it. Carrot peels generally have a tough dry texture and can have a bitter taste.

How many carrots are in a cup

2 to 3 medium-sized carrots make up one cup.

Can you make carrot cake cupcakes ahead of time?

Yes! Unfrosted Carrot Cupcakes freeze well for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

Storing Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • Unfrosted cupcakes will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Frosted cupcakes up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • Frosting can be refrigerated and piped before serving.
  • We recommend adding the garnishes to the top of the cupcakes just before serving.
  • Unfrosted cupcakes and the frosting can be frozen in separate containers for up to three months in airtight containers. They thaw very quickly at room temperature.

Equipment You May Need

cupcakes cooling on a rack.
  • Muffin Tins. I prefer heavy muffin tins for an even bake.
  • Cupcake Liners. The foil ones work really well!
  • Mixing Bowls.
  • Electric Hand Mixer. Pro Tip: When your hand mixer finally breaks, save the beaters, replace it with the same brand and you’ll have extra beaters.
  • Box Grater. Perfect for shredding vegetables like carrots and cheese very finely.
  • Cooling Rack. Allows your cupcakes to cool evenly so that moisture doesn’t pool.

Pin these Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Still looking for sweet treats?

cupcakes recipe presented on a platter with frosting and grated carrots.

Don’t Forget To Come Back And Let Me Know How Your Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple turned out!

3/4 view of carrot cake cupcakes frosted and topped with crushed pecans and grated carrot.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

Author: Julie Menghini
Deliciously moist carrot cake cupcakes recipe with pineapple topped with smooth cream cheese frosting make the perfect sweet treat.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword: Carrot Cake, Cupcakes
Servings: 15

Ingredients
 
 

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter – softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs – large
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple – drained then measured
  • 1/4 pecans – chopped, optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese – softened to room temperature
  • 6 tbsp butter – softened to room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar – measure and then sift

Instructions
 

Carrot Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2-12 cup muffin tins with liners.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat on medium-high until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy.
  • Add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.
  • Fold in the pineapple by hand until mixed in and then fold in the carrots.
  • Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full and bake 15 to 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs or clean. Don't overbake.
  • Cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Combine the cream cheese with the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high until creamy.
  • With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until combined and then turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until smooth. Additional powdered sugar can be added for a thicker frosting.
  • Store the frosting in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Frosting may also be frozen in an air-tight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

  • Feel free to use raisins or your favorite add-ins in this recipe. This batter can hold about ¼ cup to ½ cup of add-ins.
  • Walnuts or your favorite nut can be substituted for the pecans.
  • Sifting the powdered sugar makes the frosting smooth and creamy. This is an extra step can but I highly recommend it.
  • I always turn my pan halfway through baking. Even the best ovens can bake unevenly.
  • Test the cupcakes for doneness a couple of minutes before the minimum baking time. These cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the tin when they’re warm but not hot to finish cooling on a cooling rack

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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Recipe Rating




Michaela Kenkel

Monday 21st of February 2022

Carrot cake is my favorite and these cupcakes were PERFECT!! that frosting!! OMG!! SO GOOD!

Julie Menghini

Thursday 24th of February 2022

Thank you! I love carrot cake anything!

Jerry Burroughs

Sunday 20th of February 2022

I will try this recipe, but others that I have tried always produced dry cupcakes. Any suggestions?

Julie Menghini

Thursday 24th of February 2022

Hi, Jerry! I believe that the addition of pineapple in this recipe helps keep them very moist. Please stop back and let me know what you think.