Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe - bakedbyrachel.com

Here’s a first for me, text on a photo. I kind of love it, at least with this particular one. Maybe I’m just having a crazy day. I’ve honestly been avoiding it for ages. I promise it’s not necessarily a new thing, but I am curious: if you have an option of pinning or sharing an image that has text or doesn’t, do you prefer one over the other? Or is it more about the food and the actual shot of the food?

So let’s talk about these cupcakes. I’d been saving carrot cake recipes for a while because the Mr put a request in for it, I don’t even know how long ago but definitely sometime in the last decade handful of months or so. I’d honestly, that I know of or remember, never had carrot cake prior to this week. Spice cake, sure! In fact, spice cake is one of my absolute favorite flavors. Light, fluffy and perfectly spiced. I was truly  surprised at the similarities with these cupcakes and spice cake. Obviously there’s the giant difference of one having carrots and the other doesn’t. But hey, it’s close.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe - bakedbyrachel.com

I was kind of turned off by the idea of adding vegetables to something that was suppose to be sweet. Which btw means you’ll likely never see zucchini bread. I know bread isn’t typically sweet but veggies and sweets and bread just seems odd to me. At least in this case, it totally worked and wasn’t even obvious.

In my search over the months, I saw some cake and cupcakes with seriously thick slices of carrot. I’m sure that’s partly my issue with carrot cake. It shouldn’t be noticeable. Blend it, not literally, in there. Finely shred and even chop further if necessary to make those shreds even smaller. No weird stringiness going on with the cupcakes – at all.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe - bakedbyrachel.com

So the cupcakes are amazing, super moist and perfectly spiced.

The frosting, while not my cup of tea since it’s cream cheese based (I’m a traditionalist requiring sweet buttercream, piled high. I can’t help it.), it tastes good. This cream cheese frosting is smooth and luscious while ever so slightly flavored with pure maple syrup. Don’t skimp and use pancake syrup, use the real stuff. You can even buy a mini bottle if you don’t plan on using it much.

Since Easter is nearly a week away, you should absolutely save this to make for your family and friends. Or for any Spring party, because it’s officially Spring and we should be celebrating! I made this a more manageable recipe, yielding 6 cupcakes. Who wants a dozen cupcakes sitting on the counter taunting them if you don’t have people over to help you eat them? But if you’re having company, simply double the ingredients to make 12 cupcakes.

BTW have you noticed how late it’s still light out already?! So exciting.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Easy and moist homemade carrot cake cupcakes topped off with smooth cream cheese frosting, lightly flavored with pure maple syrup.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcake
Servings: 6 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C applesauce
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 C carrots finely shredded (roughly 2 carrots)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour

Frosting ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/4 C unsalted butter
  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 2-3 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Instructions

  • For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 6 cavities of a muffin tin.
  • Finely shred carrots, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together applesauce and vegetable oil, followed by egg and vanilla. Mix in carrots. Mixture will be sloppy. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth. Using a large cookie scoop, divide batter among prepared liners.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, prepare frosting. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar, mixing until well incorporated. Finally, add enough maple syrup for desired taste and spreading consistency. Frost and decorate cupcakes as desired.

Notes

An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

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