Super moist and easy to make carrot cake cupcakes frosted with brown butter cream cheese frosting!
I took my classic Carrot Cake and turned it into cupcakes because sometimes, the mood just calls for cupcakes. Some people prefer cupcakes over cake so I wanted to have the option for both, and you can never have too many carrot cake recipes! For a little twist on the OG carrot cake, I made a brown butter cream cheese frosting because life is just better with brown butter.
How to make Carrot Cake Cupcakes
There are two parts to my Carrot Cake Cupcakes, the cupcake and the frosting. The cupcakes are moist and perfectly spiced and the frosting is a spin on the usual cream cheese frosting by adding brown butter. Brown butter can be annoying, not because it’s hard or takes long to make but because you have to wait for it to chill back to room temperature. The best way to do it, is to just brown the butter before you even make the cupcakes.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
The most time consuming part about Carrot Cake Cupcakes is shredding the carrots and chopping the pecans, and there are ways around both to make it quicker and easier. The easiest way is to buy shredded carrots and chopped pecans. However, if you’re like me and you don’t like the size of pre shredded carrots, you can use a stand mixer attachment or a hand grater. You can also use the stand mixer attachment for the pecans or hand chop them to whatever size you like.
- Fat: Carrot Cake can easily become dry and crumbly, especially if you don’t eat it right away. So, to make the cupcakes soft and moist I used oil instead of butter.
- Flour: I usually stick to all-purpose flour in my recipes because that’s what most people have on hand. However, I recommend using a digital scale, when measuring any kind of flour because over-measuring the flour is the most common baking mistake!
- Sugar: I used just light brown sugar in this recipe but it can easily be swapped for granulated sugar if you’re in a pinch.
- Liquid: I love the texture and flavor in my cupcakes when I use sour cream. However, if you don’t have sour cream you can use greek yogurt as a 1:1 substitute.
- Whole Eggs: I used large, room temperature eggs for my cupcakes. If you forget to leave them out before baking, you can warm them in hot water while you prepare the other ingredients.
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting is already so delicious and pairs well with carrot cake, which is probably why it became it’s traditional frosting. Using my brown butter recipe to substitute the butter elevates the flavor without taking away the classic tanginess of cream cheese frosting that we all know and love.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know when the cupcakes are done baking?
My favorite way to test if cupcakes are done baking is to gently press the center of a cupcake. If it bounces back it is done baking. If it creates a dent they still need a few more minutes.
Can I bake these as mini cupcakes?
Yes! As you can see in the photos these make fabulous mini cupcakes. If I’m being totally honest, I don’t remember exactly how many it would make but it’s at least 48 mini cupcakes (possibly more). I would check for doneness around 12 minutes. You want them to not be wet and spring back when you press on them.
Can I use a different nut?
Yes! You can pretty much substitute the pecans for any nut. I recommend walnuts or pecans. You can also use shredded coconut or just completely remove them and not add any if you’re not a huge nut fan, but I would substitute in an extra tablespoon of flour then.
Can I skip the brown butter?
If you don’t prefer the flavor of brown butter or don’t have time and want to skip this step, you can replace the brown butter with regular butter. It is essentially half of the frosting recipe in my Carrot Cake and will still taste amazing with the cupcakes.
If you want to skip the cream cheese frosting altogether and try a completely different frosting, I suggest picking up a copy of my book Frosted where you can find 60 different frosting recipes!
What else can I make with carrots?
If you have leftover carrots to use up and want to make the most of going through the step of shredding carrots, I have a few recipes that you can also try out:
How to store Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes are best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week. They’re best served slightly chilled or at room temperature. If you want to store them for longer, place them in an airtight container, place the container in a freezer bag, and squeeze out all the excess air. You can store it in the freezer for 1-2 months.
Thanks so much for reading today’s post! If you have any questions just comment down below, I’m happy to answer! If you make these Carrot Cake Cupcakes I would love to see the results, so please make sure to tag me @baranbakery on instagram and order my cookbook, Frosted. As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!
CARROT CAKE CUPCAKE
- 1/2 cup (118mL) vegetable oil
- 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 cup (56g) sour cream
- 1 1/4 cups (150g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1/4 cup (30g) finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cups (115g) shredded carrots
BROWN BUTTER CREAM CHEESE ICING
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, browned and chilled back to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4oz or 112g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
- Shred all the carrots (I use a kitchen aide mixer attachment but for this amount, you can use a grater).
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin pan.
- Combine the flour, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, use a whisk or an electric mixer, to combine the oil, sugar, eggs and sour cream until they're smooth.
- Add in the dry ingredients and mix until it's just barely combined.
- Fold in the carrots just until they're evenly distributed.
- Fill the muffin tins just passed half way and bake for 22-25 minutes, until they spring back when you press on them gently.
Cream Cheese Icing
- Use the flat beater of a stand mixer to beat the butter, cream cheese and vanilla for 1-2 minutes at medium-high speed, just until they're combined.
- Add in the powdered sugar and beat at low speed until the sugar is combined and then increase to full speed for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is fully dissolved.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.