I know this may be the unpopular opinion, but I absolutely LOVE carrot cake. It never gets the same love as the other classics, like chocolate or red velvet cake. But I am proud to be a holdout for carrot cake. It’s one of my favorite types of cake anytime of year, and I especially love it during the fall months. The warm, fluffy, and spicy cake is warm, textured, and packs some of the best flavors of the season.
For my version, I decided to make cupcakes, because who doesn’t love their own personal little treat? I love cupcakes because they’re just the right size dessert. Plus, they’re easy to carry on the go or share with friends and family.
And let me tell you, these Carrot Cake Cupcakes are truly a treat. They are made with freshly grated carrots and ginger for a burst of flavor, plus all the best warm spices, including cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. My recipe also uses maple syrup to add some rich sweetness to the cupcakes, and applesauce to help give them the best moist, fluffy texture.
And let’s talk about the frosting for a second. Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, to be exact. It’s creamy, decadent and sweet. It’s literally finger-licking good. Made with cream cheese, real maple syrup and a healthy dose of cinnamon, it’s the perfect complement for these spiced cupcakes.
I can promise, you won’t be able to have just one of these Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. Keep scrolling to make yourself a batch of these little autumnal delights.
Easy & Fresh Carrot Cake Cupcakes…
This cupcake recipe comes together in all of two steps, using some of the best fall ingredients.
Start by mixing up the dry ingredients — all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, a pinch of salt, and all the spices. Warm cinnamon, earthy nutmeg, and a pinch of ground cloves add deep, bold and spicy flavors. Whisk all that together and set aside.
Grab a bigger bowl and mix up your wet ingredients. Start with melted butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Add in two eggs, unsweetened applesauce and some vanilla extract.
Then, it’s time to turn this batter into actual carrot cake. Use the smaller shredding side of your box grater to grate up about 3 medium/large carrots, and a knob of fresh peeled ginger root. Add those to your batter along with a handful of finely chopped walnuts.
Slowly add your dry ingredients mix to the wet batter, and stir it up until everything is totally combined. Then scoop the better into muffin tins. Make sure you use liners, or coat your muffin pan reallyyy well with non-stick spray. Also make sure to only fill each muffin tin about 3/4 full, ass the cupcakes will rise a little as they bake.
Pop these cupcakes in a 350F oven for about 20-25 minutes until they are fluffy and golden brown on top. Meanwhile, whip up the maple cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
PRO TIP: After they come out of the oven, make sure you let your cupcakes cool completely before you try and frost them. Otherwise, your frosting will melt all over the place, making a gooey (if not delicious) mess.
To make the frosting, use a stand mixer or an electric beater to whip together softened cream cheese and butter. Slowly add in powdered sugar to sweeten up the frosting, as well as maple syrup and a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon. Whip the frosting until it’s totally combined, smooth and fluffy. You can store it in the fridge to thicken up a little while you wait for your cupcakes to finish cooling.
You have two options when it comes to frosting your cupcakes.
First, you can scoop all the frosting into a plastic ziploc bag. Seal the bag, and use scissors to make a small snip in one of the bottom corners of the bag. Hold one hand near the snip as you grip the bag and squeeze out frosting onto your cupcakes. Make sure to keep a steady hand while doing this, or you might accidentally squeeze too much out at once. If you can get this method down though, it makes for such pretty, sophisticated-looking cupcakes in the end.
Alternatively, my preferred method of frosting is a little more rustic. I simply like to use a butter knife to swirl frosting around on the top of the cupcakes. It’s not quite as neat, but it gets the job done and I like the homemade look and feel of the finished cupcakes.
Let me know if you give these Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting a try! I love to hear from you in the comments, or tag me on instagram @eat.think.live and let me see your creation! Plus, you can check out the rest of my recipes HERE.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 Cups All-purpose flour
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/2 Stick (1/4 cup) Melted Butter
- 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Maple syrup
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 Tsp Vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 Cups Freshly grated carrots (about 3 medium/large carrots)
- 2 Tsp Freshly grated ginger
- 1/3 Cup Finely chopped Walnuts
For the Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8 oz. package Cream Cheese Softened
- 1/2 Stick (1/4 cup) Butter Softened
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with liners or coat well with non-stick spray.
- Add all the dry ingredients (first 7) in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- In a seperate bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, maple syrup, eggs, applesauce and vanilla. Then stir in the grated carrots, grated ginger and walnuts.
- Slowlsly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until everything is combined.
- Scoop the batter into the muffin pan, filling each cavity about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
To Make the Frosting:
- Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, or the base of a stand mixer. Whisk until everything is combined and the frosting is fluffy. You can also use an electric beater to make the frosting.
- Use a butter knife to swirl frosting on to the top of each cupcake.