Saturday, April 23, 2011

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Walnuts

I wanted to make a carrot cake of some sort this Easter, but since my grandpa couldn't make it to our annual blessing of the baskets celebration, I opted for cute carrot cake cupcakes. This way I was able to bring him some ahead of time without worrying about cutting into a cake!

My husband had one yesterday morning and said the cupcake itself was very moist, but not oily which was great to hear because the last few days I have been experimenting and all of the cupcakes had been too greasy and dark. I am chalking my success up to the use of butter instead of oil.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Toasted Walnuts

Makes 15 Cupcakes


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup of water
5 medium carrots, peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 cups)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin or line with paper cups.

In a small bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients (flour through nutmeg). Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine butter and two sugars.

Mix with an upright mixer or handheld until pale and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add vanilla, water and carrots and mix well. The batter with be on the thicker side.

With a spatula, add the bowl of dry ingredients. The batter will be on the thicker side, more like a cookie batter than a cake batter.

Using an ice cream scoop, fill cupcake tins 2/3 - 3/4 full, mashing down slightly.

Bake for 17 - 21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Take the cupcakes out of the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting with cream cheese frosting.

I used the Wilton tip 2D to frost these and most of the time I use a disposable 12 inch pastry bag so I don't have to clean anything more than necessary!

Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a simple frosting that makes about two cups. You're only really going to need about 1/2 of this recipe to frost these cupcakes.


8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted batter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb (about 4 cups) confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons milk (you can add more for a looser frosting)


With the paddle attachment on your upright mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla. On low (this is SO important unless you want powdered sugar all over your kitchen!), add the confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup or 1 cup at a time until combined. Add the milk.

Mix well with a spatula and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Allow to come to room temperature for an hour before using.

Toasted Walnuts Garnish

If you want to add some texture, sprinkle some chopped toasted walnuts to the tops of the cupcakes.


1/8 - 1/4 cup walnut halves


Slightly chop the walnuts and place in a dry pan over medium low heat. Cook for a few minutes until you can start to smell them and before they burn. Chop coarsely and add them to the tops of your cupcakes!

Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator. Enjoy!


  1. Gina, these look so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.



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