Thursday, November 17, 2011

Best Ever Carrot Cake Cupcakes

A few years ago I made some cupcakes for a friend and somehow that turned into a full time job! These days I make a lot of cupcakes. I'm always on the lookout for new ideas or improvements on old recipes. I had been using a carrot cake cupcake recipe from a well known cupcake cookbook, (that shall remain nameless) and it was good. Adequate...tasty enough but nothing to write home about. Earlier this week I was asked to make some carrot cake cupcakes so I started Googling recipes and came across this one. The name grabbed me right away, The Best Ever Carrot Cake Cupcakes. That was exactly what I wanted. Not just it's an okay, tastes pretty good, carrot cupcake but The Best EVER! With pineapple and applesauce in the batter, I knew these would be a super moist cupcake. I decided to top them with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Guess what?? These really are The Best Ever carrot cake cupcakes.
I may still look to perfect other cupcake recipes but my search for the perfect carrot cake cupcake is over.

Best Ever Carrot Cake Cupcakes


4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 8-oz. can of crushed pineapple, well drained
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Small pinch of ground cloves
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

For Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Toasted pecans, chopped (optional for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, apple sauce, sugars, pineapple and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and small pinch of ground cloves. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecan. Line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers. Fill each liner 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 min. Let cupcakes cool completely. While cooling, prepare frosting.

In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add milk a tablespoon at a time, if needed to get a smooth consistency. Top with the toasted chopped pecans.

Source: Paula Deen for Smithfield

A perfect dessert for Thanksgiving!


Casey said...

Awesome! Carrot cake is always a favorite flavor!! I'm working on some cake recipes, so I am going to have to try this one out! Thanks for sharing :]

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I've always hunted around for the best carrot cake recipe too. So glad to hear you found yours! Im definitely going to be trying this. I bet it tastes good because theres 2 whole cups of sugar in there! Wow! The applesauce and juice would make it moist..I can see why this would be the best :)

Charlotte + Jade said...

Wow, these sound incredible! I have a weakness for carrot cake but never seem to be able to make it quite well enough. Will have to try these! :-)

Charlotte @

grace said...

high praise, though i've never really met a carrot cake cupcake that i didn't like. something about the spices and the moistness from the carrot makes them no-fail!

Lily Cupcakes said...

Amazing! I love carrot cake and I'm obsessed with cupcakes! I need to take on this recipe, soon. Once I'm more experienced, maybe?

Empress said...

These look amazing! Yum I absolutely love carrot cake, and Christmas is the perfect season to indulge in these sweet treats.

Anonymous said...

Best ever is right!! These cupcakes are the best! Thank you , thank you , Thank you!! I followed your recipe to a t (one exception , I had to omit the nuts , my husband and son are allergic). Omg I could eat the whole batch :)
Thank you for posting! I'm a follower of your blog!

Rosa said...

So delicious! At the last minute we couldn't locate our cupcake tray and baked it in a sheet pan instead for about 25 minutes. It was a huge hit with everyone

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this awesome recipe! I tried it out using half the recommended amount of sugar in the batter and only a quarter of the sugar in the frosting and the cupcakes turned out PERFECT. :)

Monica Salazar said...

how many does this recipe yield please? thanks!

Half Baked said...

I got 2 dozen regular size cupcakes from this recipe.

Anonymous said...

Amazing carrot cake recipe! I made it for the first time and it is so moist and perfect, not too sweet, just like carrot cake should be! I cut down to half of the sugar in the recipe however, but it is still great! This is the recipe I will use from now on... Thanks a lot!

Colleen D. said...

Hi! I am going to try these for Easter. Would you recommend making them the morning of? If i make them tonight, should i leave at room temp or refrigerate? Thanks!

Half Baked said...

It's fine to make them tonight. They will stay moist for several days. I refrigerated mine in an airtight container. They would probably be fine for a day at room temp but I usually err on the side of cation when it comes to refrigeration!

peedee said...

This recipe is very similar to mine, which has been a favorite for about 3 decades. I don't use applesauce (I DO use crushed pineapple) but am willing to try. My ONE complaint about my recipe is that it never "mounds" when making cupcakes the tops are always flat. I don't have the same problem with baking a carrot cake, with the same recipe. Any suggestions? I'd be willing to share my recipe if anyone is interested. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I make a lot of cupcakes and this is the only carrot cake recipe I use now. I must have tried a dozen different recipes before this one in my search for the best one, but my search ended when I found yours. Thank you so much for posting this.

Perla said...


Instead of using vegetable oil, would it be possible to use butter and would that equal out to be the same?

Half Baked said...

Hi Perla,
I haven't tried it but I think it would work. Butter has more liquid (from milk fat) so the cupcakes will be denser and possibly not quite as moist. You will need to melt the butter to use it for this recipe. Let me know if you liked the results with butter!

LJ said...

Ever tried the recipe with coconut oil instead of veg oil? Would the amount bd the same?

LJ said...

How about using coconut oil in place of the veg? Would the ratio be the same?

Half Baked said...

Hi LB, I have not tried it for this recipe but it would be a good substitute for the veg oil. You would need to melt the coconut oil and the amounts would be the same.

fireworks06 said...

Hi! Would the cooking temp and time change if I made it into a cake instead of cupcakes? What size of pan would I need?

MMB said...

Made these for my mom's birthday yesterday and the consensus was that they definitely deserve this title! So good! I made one "plain" batch and one with chopped walnuts and raisins (per the birthday girl's request). The nuts and raisins did work well with the recipe but I personally preferred the straight-up carrot. I used the full amount of sugar but agree with others that some could probably be cut - I think it's because the pineapple is also so sweet, they don't need quite as much as they otherwise would. Highly recommend this fantastic recipe! Don't know if this link will work but here is a pic of mine:

Anonymous said...

OMG amazing! Thanks so much for this, they are heavenly! :)

Makayla Hill said...

How much milk did you use in the frosting? When I look at recipe on computer, it just says milk. Thank you!

Half Baked said...

Add milk a tablespoon at a time, if needed to get a smooth consistency.

Anna Cardwell said...

Any idea how many calories per cupcake?

Half Baked said...

@Anna No I have no idea. Sorry. There are some online calculators that you can put the ingredients in an it can give you a rough estimate.

Rachel Page said...

This cake is awesomely overloaded with moist, sweet, tender goodness. It’s appropriate for breakfast too, right?

Madz said...

hi. for the applesauce, is it sweetened or unsweetened?