Moist homemade carrot cake cupcakes, sweetened with a touch of applesauce and topped off with silky cream cheese frosting. A classic springtime dessert, perfect for any occasion!

Lions and tigers and bears… oh my! Only not in the movies, but in our backyard. Yikes! Growing up in southern New England, I barely saw wildlife. Birds, sure. That’s a given. The most exciting animals we ever saw as kids were giant toads or frogs. Maybe an occasional bunny. That’s it. Living in New Hampshire, we’ve had our share of wildlife in our neighborhood and our backyard… from deer to fox, hawks and owls, turtles and bunnies and so much more… but not to be forgotten, our neighborhood turkey family. We once had 24 turkeys roaming our yard. It was a sight! Our most recent visitor… a bear! Massive, sleepy and yet also super cute. It made an appearance a few nights in a row and then continued on it’s journey.

In other bear news…. my kids have always enjoyed watching Bear Grylls. So when the new Netflix special came out, we clearly had to watch it. You get to choose which food, tool or path to take. The first few episodes were near and then they went downhill fast. Every episode worse than the last. Mentions of really old ropes that appeared brand new and modern with no sign of wear. I get that they wanted to try something new and fun, and it was at first, but my kids were even annoyed at how fake it was. Oh well!

Growing up, spice cake was my absolute favorite. The only competitor was marble cake because how can you go wrong with vanilla and chocolate in the same cake? You can’t. But spice cake… so amazingly delicious, topped off with cream cheese frosting and it’s taken to another level. Now, one of my absolute favorite cake flavors is carrot cake. Anytime of the year, carrot cake is at the top of my list. I’m positive this love for carrot cake is due to my spice cake love. They’re super similar, with the only main difference being the obvious… carrots. Besides that, moist delicious spiced cake.

If you’ve only ever had spice cake. Carrot cake is definitely your next step and a guaranteed new favorite.

If you’re already a carrot cake fan, you’re in the right place because these are hands down the absolute best carrot cake cupcakes you’ll ever try and the only recipe you’ll ever need. Super moist, perfectly spiced and 100% delicious. These easy homemade carrot cake cupcakes are topped off with silky classic cream cheese frosting.

Nothing says spring and Easter more than carrot cake! Be sure to add these delicious bites of happiness (aka carrot cake cupcakes!) to the top of your spring baking plans and Easter menu! They’re a guaranteed family favorite!

Tips tricks and questions answered…

What if I don’t like cream cheese frosting?
Cream cheese frosting is a classic addition to carrot cake, but if you prefer something lighter, try one of the following:

Help! I need more cupcakes than this recipe makes.
No problem! Just double or triple the ingredient quantities until you reach your desired number of cupcakes.

What is the best way to shred the carrots?
On a standard hand grater, use the fine shredding side, followed by chopping a bit by hand. Alternatively, you can toss carrots into a small food processor prepared with a chopping blade. Measure enough shredded carrots for the recipe.

Can I make substitutions to the ingredients?
The short answer is yes and no. Baking is a science. This recipe works with the exact measurements listed below. Altering one or several of those can cause the recipe to fail. If you are familiar with baking substitutions, go for it! For specific substitution questions, ask in the comments below.

How do you pipe the frosting to look like that?
Using a piping bag fit with a jumbo round piping tip, hold your tip just above the center of your cupcake top. Squeeze frosting out with steady pressure, creating a large dollop. Stop piping when the desired frosting dollop has been reached.

How should I store these cupcakes?
If eating within a day or two, they can absolutely be stored at room temperature. Any longer than that and I’d suggest storing them in the refrigerator, where they can be kept for at least 4-5 days, maybe a bit longer. If you refrigerate the cupcakes, the frosting will firm up a bit. If you prefer softer frosting, bring the cupcakes to room temperature prior to eating.

Moist homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel
5 from 1 rating

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Yield: 9 cupcakes
Moist homemade carrot cake cupcakes, sweetened with a touch of applesauce and topped off with silky cream cheese frosting. A classic springtime dessert, perfect for any occasion!



  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C carrots, finely shredded
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/4 C applesauce


  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard cupcake pan with 9 liners. 
  • Finely shred carrots, using a hand grater or small food processor. 
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together vegetable oil with sugars. Mix in egg and vanilla, followed by salt, spices, baking powder and baking soda. Scrape bowl as needed. Add in carrots, mixing until just combined. Mix in flour, followed by applesauce. Mix until fully combined and no streaks remain. 
  • Divide batter equally between prepared liners using a large cookie scoop. Liners should be roughly 2/3 full. 
  • Bake at 350°F for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for several minutes or until easy to handle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • When cupcakes have cooled completely, prepare frosting. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla, followed by 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time. Beat until fully combined and desired consistency is reached. Transfer frosting to a piping bag fit with a piping tip. Frost and decorate as desired. 
  • Enjoy immediately. If making ahead, cupcakes can be stored at room temperature or chilled in the refrigerator for up to several days. 


A jumbo round piping tip was used for this recipe.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel


Calories: 450kcal, Carbohydrates: 70g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 205mg, Potassium: 88mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 52g, Vitamin A: 1602IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most accurate data, use your preferred nutrition calculator with the actual ingredients you used to make this recipe.
Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Snap a picture and tag @bakedbyrachel on Instagram!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: Cupcake

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Moist homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting recipe from @bakedbyrachel