Perfectly spiced Carrot Cake Cupcakes with a honey-sweetened cream cheese frosting. The perfect sweet ending for all your fall dinners.
I know lots of people think of carrot cake as a spring dessert. The recipes often show up right around Easter. Maybe it's the association of carrots with the Easter Bunny? I don't know. But to me it's a fall recipe all the way!
Carrots are one of the root vegetables that I always think about in the fall along with turnips and sweet potatoes. And the spices -- cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg -- are all fall flavors in my book.
But, do you know what? These delicious little cupcakes are good any time of the year! They're just like little miniature carrot cakes. And the cream cheese frosting with its honey and vanilla notes just can't be beat.
How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Mix Wet Ingredients
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin or grease and flour the individual muffin tin cups.
Measure the milk into a measuring cup. Add the eggs and whisk them together.
Mix Dry Ingredients
In a medium bowl, measure out the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Mix together lightly.
Cream Butter and Sugar
Using a large bowl and an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy (about 3 minutes).
Add Wet and Dry Ingredients
Lower the mixer speed to medium-low and add half the egg mixture, then half the flour mixture, beating well after each addition. Add the remaining egg mixture and flour mixture. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
Fold in Carrots and Nuts
Use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold in the grated carrots and pecans.
A note about the carrots: Please take the extra few minutes to grate your carrots by hand. They'll add a lot of moisture to the cupcakes if you do. Of course, you can buy shredded carrots but they'll be so much drier than freshly grated ones.
Fill Muffin Tin
Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.
Bake the Cupcakes
Bake until the tops are golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean - about 22-25 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
Mix the Frosting
When the cupcakes are completely cool, make the frosting. Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to stir the cream cheese, vanilla, and honey together until smooth.
Frost the Cupcakes
Pipe or spread the icing on top of the cupcakes. I personally like just a little frosting on my cupcakes but if you want more, feel free to double the frosting ingredients.
Make it Ahead
Of course these cupcakes can be made ahead. Actually, they're even better after a day or so when the flavors have a chance to blend together. Just keep them covered in a cake keeper or put them back in the muffin tin and cover it with foil or plastic wrap.
Increasing the Recipe
If you're baking for a big party or get-together, you can easily double this recipe to make 24 cupcakes. No problem!
Don't like pecans? No problem. You can easily substitute walnuts if you like. And low-fat or Neufchatel cream cheese works great for the frosting.
More Cupcake and Muffin Recipes on Never Enough Thyme:
- Lime Cupcakes
- Cornmeal Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Blueberry Lemon Muffins
- Peaches and Cream Muffins
- Strawberry Lemon Muffins
Fall Themed Cupcake Recipes from Other Bloggers:
- Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting from My Baking Addiction
- Pumpkin Chai Cupcakes from Dessert for Two
- Apple Pie Cupcakes from Inspired Taste
- Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Sage Frosting from Vanilla Garlic
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Carrot Cake Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 tbsp butter room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 cups grated carrots about 4 medium
- ½ cup chopped pecans
For the Frosting:
- 6 oz cream cheese room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp honey
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin.
- Whisk the eggs and milk in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Using a large bowl and an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the butter and brown sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Lower the mixer speed to medium-low and add half the egg mixture, then half the flour mixture, beating well after each addition. Add the remaining egg mixture and flour mixture. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
- Use a wooden spoon or spatula to fold in the grated carrots and pecans.
- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Bake until the tops are gold and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean - about 22-25 minutes.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the tin and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Using a wooden spoon or a spatula, stir the cream cheese, vanilla, and honey together until smooth. Pipe or spread the icing on top of the cupcakes.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
Lana Stuart is the cook and occasional traveler here at Never Enough Thyme. Lana has been cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove and started this blog in 2009 to share her delicious home cooking recipes. You'll find about 700 recipes here so there's sure to be something your family will like!
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