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A close up of two cupcakes with one carrot cake cupcake having caramel poured on top
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5 from 3 votes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Made with a blend of warm spices, juicy pineapple, fresh carrots, and loads of creamy brown butter cream cheese frosting, this perfect Carrot Cupcake recipe is the BEST dessert ever!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Servings: 30 servings
Calories: 511kcal


For the Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups self rising flour self rising flour usually has salt in it which is why it was omitted here but if you want a bit more you can add 1/4 tsp of salt as well
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple you can omit this if you want but I think it is essential/ I ONLY DRAIN PARTIALLY
  • 1 cup chopped roasted walnuts optional

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 16 oz cream cheese somewhat softened but still a little stiff/ 16 oz is 2 (8 oz) packages
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar if you want the frosting more stiff, add another 1/2 cup going up to 4 cups total
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Homemade caramel sauce found here


For the Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and baking soda and set aside.
  • Next line the bottoms of 2-3 muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat sugar, oil and vanilla together at medium speed. Next add eggs, one at a time, blending after each incorporation.
  • Next slow down the mixer to lowest speed and add flour mixture in increments.
  • Fold in carrots, crushed pineapple if desired and walnuts if desired.
  • Using an ice cream scooper, evenly add batter to cupcake liners.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool cupcakes until completely room temperature before adding frosting.

For the Frosting

  • In a small saucepan, add butter and melt over medium heat. Once the butter has fully melted, a white foam will begin to appear over the top of the butter.
  • Watch carefully as the butter’s color changes to brown and the smell of the butter becomes somewhat nutty.
  • As soon as the butter is an amber brown color, remove from heat and cool in the refrigerator until it the butter has become solid again (can take about an hour or so).
  • Add cooled brown butter and cream cheese to the bowl of your mixer and beat on high speed until it begins to thicken and fluff.
  • Next slow down mixer and carefully add in confectioner’s sugar. Once all sugar has incorporated, turn mixer back to high to continue whipping.
  • Add salt and vanilla extract and continue whipping until it is smooth.
  • Add frosting to a piping bag and frost completely cooled cupcakes. Top with homemade caramel and nuts if deserved and serve.


Both the pineapple and nuts are optional in this recipe.  Due to nut allergies in my family, I usually just add the pineapple without the nuts.
If you are adding the nuts, you can also add nuts as a gorgeous garnish to the design of the frosting as well on the outside!


Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 192mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 4631IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg