Carrot Cake Cupcakes {Cream Cheese Frosting}

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes that I have ever had! They have a little crunch from toasted walnuts and the perfect hint of cinnamon! Topped with an impossibly creamy cream cheese frosting they are irresistible! 

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes | A recipe I learned in culinary school that my husband said were the best ever!

If you’ve been following along my culinary school journey on The Gram, you probably recall the three pictures I posted of a carrot cake that look strikingly similar to these little cupcakes.

This is it! This is the very first recipe that I’m sharing from culinary school. #nobigdeal

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes | A recipe I learned in culinary school that my husband said were the best ever!

My husband, a HUGE fan of carrot cake, proclaimed that this was the best carrot cake that he’s ever had!

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes | A recipe I learned in culinary school that my husband said were the best ever!

But you know I had to turn the cake into cupcakes. Because…

{Are you new around here?!}


You know I live for some cupcakes!

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes | A recipe I learned in culinary school that my husband said were the best ever!

It is the moistest, most tender cake you’ve ever had with a little crunch from the toasted walnuts and a prominent carrot cinnamon flavor.

The cake is tender and so moist it practically dissolves in your mouth and is topped with a traditional tangy sweet cream cheese frosting.

And adorned with a little marzipan carrot. Adorable. Plus who doesn’t love marzipan?

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes | A recipe I learned in culinary school that my husband said were the best ever!

So truth be told, this isn’t my first time around the carrot cake block…

This carrot cake recipe is actually shockingly similar in texture and taste to one I made last year from one of my vintage cookbooks. It tasted divine and the frosting was to.die.for. Why didn’t I post it?

Because as I cut into my magnificent 3-tiered cake, I realized my carrots had turned green.


These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes | A recipe I learned in culinary school that my husband said were the best ever!

Apparently if carrots come in contact with baking soda, they will transform like a Teenage Mutant Nina Turtle into a horrible, sickening shade of green.

Think shamrock.

If you’re really nice to me, I may just post a picture of the green cake in all its glory. Maybe.

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes | A recipe I learned in culinary school that my husband said were the best ever!

In culinary school we weigh all our ingredients, because it is 1000x more accurate and at least 234x easier. I converted this recipe to volumetric measurements because I love you, but I suggest you dust off that scale in the back of your cupboard and weigh your ingredients.

When someone gives you weighted measurements it’s like a gift from the Goddess of Precision herself, and you don’t turn down gifts. Or at least I don’t! 😉

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes | A recipe I learned in culinary school that my husband said were the best ever!

If you aren’t into kneading gel coloring into marzipan and meticulously shaping carrots (even though it is so easy!), you can do like my friend David and pipe adorable little carrots on top with frosting. #toocuteforwords

Carrot Cake Cupcakes {Cream Cheese Frosting}

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes {Cream Cheese Frosting}

These are the moistest, most delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes that I have ever had! They have a little crunch from toasted walnuts and the perfect hint of cinnamon! Topped with an impossibly creamy cream cheese frosting and an adorable baby marzipan carrot!


    For the Carrot Cake:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (or pastry flour if you have it) (190g)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs (150g)
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar (330g)
  • 1 ¼ cup vegetable oil (255g)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded carrots, packed (250g)
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped (90g)
  • For the Cream Cheese Frosting & Finishing:
  • 20 oz cream cheese (not light, not whipped), room temperature
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (220g)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (20g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • toasted walnuts, chopped, for garnish, optional
  • 50g marzipan, optional


    For the Carrot Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the vegetable oil and set aside.
  4. Squeeze out the excess juice from your carrot; discard or drink it! So healthy!
  5. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip together the eggs and sugar to the ribbon stage. This is when the batter will hold a ribbon on its surface before slowly disappearing. It will look something like this…
  6. With the mixer running on high, slowly pour in the vegetable oil mixture and whisk until completely emulsified (i.e. you can’t see any oil)
  7. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the dry ingredients all at once just until streaky.
  8. Fold in the walnuts and carrots until there are no more lumps of flour and the batter is just combined. Please don’t over mix. If you think it’s done, it is.
  9. Scoop into prepared tins no higher than ¾ full. You will have just enough batter to fill 24 cups.
  10. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes back clean.
  11. Cool 5 minutes in pan then turn out onto wire rack and cool upside-down. Yes, upside-down! Let cool completely before frosting.
  12. For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  13. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar on medium low speed until soft and smooth, 10-12 minutes. It is very important your ingredients are at room temperature or you will have lumps of butter and you will have to soften over a water bath and your frosting will be runnier (Like mine. Don’t let impatience happen to you.)
  14. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and stir to combine.
  15. Pipe onto frosting using your favorite tip. I used a Wilton 1A.
  16. Gently scoop some toasted, chopped walnuts into the palm of one hand and pat them around the edges of each cupcake.
  17. For the Marzipan Carrots:
  18. Color ¾ of the marzipan orange and ¼ green, by kneading in gel coloring into the marzipan.
  19. Shape little carrots from the orange marzipan and mark them with the back of a knife to resemble the lines on real carrots. Make a divot in the top of each carrot.
  20. Roll out the green marzipan into long, thin ropes and cut into small pieces. Group several pieces together and press into the divot in each carrot.
  21. Top each cupcake with a small carrot. Adorable.


You can easily halve recipe to make 12.

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  1. says

    I think we need to have a Carrot Cake fest! I’ll bring my version, you bring these amazing cupcakes…and we’ll have a taste test! (I fully expect that you will win this one, but I just need an excuse to get some amazing cupcakes out of you…haha!) Also, I couldn’t agree more about weight measurements. I know it’s popular in Europe, but it just never caught on here in the States. Clearly, we just need to move to Europe and bake, right? 🙂
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Liege WafflesMy Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      First of all – I am down for a cupcake face off any time. #bringit 😉
      Second- we clearly do need to just go bake in Europe! Done & done!

      • says

        When I actually do bake, I try to measure by weight… it’s crazy how different the measurements sometimes turn out! I wish I had your and David’s crafty “cute” carrot talents… mine would totally come out like a certified pinterest fail! And if I were you, I would have totally held onto those green carrot cake photos and posted it for St Patrick’s Day! People would have probably loved it lol!
        Chris @ Shared Appetite recently posted…Southwest Tuna Melt with Roasted Corn Poblano SalsaMy Profile

        • AmericanCooking22 says

          I am certain that your carrots would be perfectly adorable and Pinterest worthy! It definitely occurred to me to recreate the cake for St Pattys day but it is just so creepy!!

  2. says

    Oh good golly, am dripping in drool over here!
    That velvety frosting …ooh…that…crunchy carrot cupcake….good GAWSH!!!
    Btw, I had no clue carrots turned green when exposed to baking soda – pretty puh-leeze post a picture of that green carrot cake…

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Haha! Thanks!! I was so beyond disappointed when I cut that cake! I tried to salvage it which is why I took any photos at all….but no. 🙂

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Lol! What are you hoarding your questions for?! You could just ask! But I’m pretty sure you know everything there it already, love! Xo

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Everyone needs a go to carrot cake recipe right?! I’ve eaten way too many dry carrot cakes in my 30 years 🙂 I hope you try it!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thank you!!! It’s sooooo much easier and more accurate! Wish it had caught on here 🙂

  3. says

    I can’t believe I wasn’t following you yet! Now I can keep up to date with all the delicious goings-on 🙂
    I love, love, love carrot cake – and it definitely has to have walnuts and cream cheese frosting or the deal is off!
    I always bake in grams because I am gluten free and converting recipes using grams makes for 1000000x better results than using volumetric measurements. Thanks for making this recipe conversion friendly so I can enjoy some cute cupcakes very soon!
    Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life recently posted…Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | VeganMy Profile

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      What is it about carrot cake?! Any other veggie in a cake would turn be off but I love carrot cake! It’s probably the cream cheese frosting, lets be honest! Good luck converting this recipe to gluten free! You must work some magic!

  4. says

    These cupcakes look incredible, Lindsey!! I love the cute marzipan carrot with the toasted walnut rim! And oh my green carrots??? Wow, I had no idea that could happen and would love to see a photo 🙂 My husband is a huge carrot cake fan so I can’t wait to try making these!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Thank you, Kelly! I didn’t either and I seriously couldn’t believe it when I cut the cake. It was craziness!

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Haha! Random people, my neighbor, the people who work at the gym (huge fans), and my doorman! Makin friends one cupcake at a time 🙂

  5. Glenna Williams says

    I used your recipe for my husband’s birthday cake. It made a beautiful 2 layer square cake. I followed your recipe exactly except for baking about 7 minutes longer. It was delicious. The entire family loved it. My first carrot cake. Next time I’ll do the cupcakes. It was pretty easy. I really dislike box mixes and store bought cakes. Thanks for the deliciousness.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      You are so welcome! I am so glad you liked it, Glenna!!! I don’t like box mixes either. All the additives that make it “foolproof” and from scratch always tastes better anyways! I am very impressed that you made a square layer cake – I find those much more challenging to frost than round ones. Happy baking!

  6. Jackie says

    For the cream cheese frosting 1/2 cup butter(2 sticks). 1/2 cup butter is (1 stick). Also, you have salt listed in the instructions but don’t have salt listed in the ingredient’s list.

    • AmericanCooking22 says

      Hi Jackie! Thank you so much for catching that! It should be 1 cup of butter! I will fix both right now. Great catch!

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Candace, I tried to add you but it is telling me there is an error with your email address. I tested one of my email addresses and it worked. Perhaps you typed it incorrectly? I would love to add you but it is not letting me!

  7. Angela says

    These sound amazing! But I noticed that you are including baking soda in this recipe and now I”m worried that my carrots are going to turn green!!!!!

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Angela! Well I have been there…the beautiful cake that you cut open only to find has turned green. Unless you want a flat cake or you use an egg-foam, you need to use baking soda or baking powder, which contains baking soda. As long as you whisk the soda into the flour to disperse it, you will not have a problem. I’ve made this recipe half a dozen times and have never had a problem. Also we made it in culinary school and no one, in my class of 20, had green carrots! 🙂 Happy baking!

  8. Joanna says

    Hi! I’m looking at making these for Easter and I noticed that the cup/gram measurements for flour don’t quite match. I MUCH prefer to measure by weight (so much more accurate!), but thought that 190 grams looked low for two cups of flour. I’d be using pastry flour, if that makes a difference. Thanks so much!

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Joanna! My original recipe is by weight so I know the gram measurements are correct. I use pastry flour as well for this recipe and the 190g is for pastry. I basically scaled out the flour and the scooped it into cup measurements. I would have to do it again to double check. You will love these cupcakes! Try to find “horse carrots” if you can…they are bigger and they taste way better than the ones you buy in the bag at the average grocery store. Happy Baking!

  9. Rosemary says

    Beautiful carrot cupcakes! I would love to get the recipe by weight. Do you think you can email it to me? Also, where do you get your marzipan? Thank you!

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Rosemary, The recipe is already converted into weight in parenthesis. I buy it at a grocery store in NYC. I’ve also made it. It’s also generally found in cake decorating supply stores. Happy baking!

    • Lindsey says

      I always use unsalted butter when baking and cooking because then you can control the amount of salt in the final product. Different brands use different amounts of salt and it is impossible to know how much you are using!

  10. Emily says

    Hi I just had some questions is it possible to add pineapple and coconut to these cupcakes? If so how much of each to add?

    • Lindsey says

      Sure! I haven’t tried them with either, so I am not sure. I would squeeze the pineapple to get rid of any excess juice or they will make the cupcakes soggy in places. I would probably try 1/4 cup coconut and 1/2 cup diced pineapple but it’s entirely up to you and your taste!

  11. kayla says

    I am confused on whether or not the “t” for baking soda and powder is teaspoons or tablespoons
    Thank you!

    • Lindsey says

      Standard recipe abbreviations are “t” for teaspoons and “T” for tablespoons. I’ll spell it out in the recipe though, it’s better. Thanks for the question!

      • Amy says

        I made these for Easter and they were a huge hit. Thanks for the great recipe! They are not overly sweet and the frosting is divine. I did everything as directed except I added an additional 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and I got lots of compliments on the cinnamon flavor. I also elected to just sprinkle walnuts over the top vs. on the sides. They looked adorable!

  12. Jennifer says

    I made this today for an early Easter celebration, I cut the recipe in half (which you indicated can be done) and it was a complete fail. The cupcakes sank I’ve never in all my years of cooking or baking had something turn out so horrible. I’m thinking this is a recipe that really can’t be cut in half or maybe it’s a hit or miss. Either way all 12 cupcakes went in the trash and I was out a dessert. Everyone had a laugh at my Pintress fail.

    • Lindsey says

      Well I’m sorry you had that experience, Jennifer. I know it works in half because that is how I made these cupcakes…I don’t need 24 cupcakes hanging around! This is a trickier cake recipe than others because of the egg-foam, so challenge your friends to try it instead of laughing! The only suggestion I can offer without knowing exactly what happened is that you need to be super gentle with the batter. It is partially leavened by whipped eggs and so you need to preserve as many of those bubbles as possible.

    • Lindsey says

      Behgopa and I are old blogging friends! She is one of the first blogs I followed. 🙂 I’m so glad you liked it!!!

  13. Heather says

    I measured out 190g of ap flour and it looked like there was too little to make 2 cups. So I used the spoon/level method and measured what I got and it came to 270g. Do you think there’s that much of a weight difference between ap flour and pastry flour??

    • Lindsey says

      Hi Heather! You have just demonstrated the problem with volume measurements! As a quick reference, I use King Aurther’s Flour’s conversion charts. They have 240g for 2 cups, and, yes, 40g is a conceivable difference in weight between pastry and AP. I hope you enjoyed the cupcakes!

  14. Heather says

    I spooned/leveled a second time and weighed my results and it was 250 this time. I feel like that is more accurate for ap flour.


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