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Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting-fill your home with the cozy aroma of fall baking. Simply Sated
4.77 from 13 votes

Carrot Cupcakes with Best-in-your-life-Ever! Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cupcakes with Best-in-your-life-Ever! Cream Cheese Frosting will fill your home with the cozy aroma of fall baking. All that is left to say is, "All right, all right, all right." -------------------- Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/57-simple-carrot-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting and The New Best Recipe Cookbook
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 24 -30
Author Susie Gall


  • For the Carrot Cupcakes:
  • 12.5 ounces cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6-7 medium carrots – peeled and grated 3 cups grated carrots
  • cups 10.5 ounces granulated sugar
  • ½ cup 3.5 ounces light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • -----------------------------------
  • Optional Additions: **See Notes
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted nuts - pecan/walnuts or your favorite
  • ------------------------------------------
  • For the Best-in-your-life-Ever! Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese – softened but still cool
  • 5 tablespoons butter – unsalted – softened but still cool
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups 5 ounces confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • pinch kosher salt


  1. For the Carrot Cupcakes:
  2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle (two racks for two pans of cupcakes). *See Notes if making a cake instead of cupcakes.
  3. Heat oven to 350F.
  4. Place cupcakes liners in muffin tins. This recipe will yield 24 cupcakes so two pans are needed if making regular sized cupcakes.
  5. In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
  6. Using a box grater or food processor, shred the carrots (you will need 3 cups).
  7. Pat the carrots dry with a paper towel, then add them to the flour mixture, mix together and set aside.
  8. Using a mixer (fitted with paddle attachment), beat together both sugars and eggs on medium-high until lighter in color and smooth. Approximately 1 minute.
  9. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the vanilla extract and oil. (note: when adding the oil, pour the oil against the inside of the bowl to reduce splattering).
  10. Increase the speed to high for 1 minute until the mixture is light and well incorporated.
  11. Turn off mixer and fold the flour/carrot mixture into the sugar/egg/oil mixture until no flour streaks remain.
  12. Scoop the batter into prepared pans.
  13. Place one pan on the top-middle rack and another on the bottom-middle rack.
  14. Bake 12 minutes then rotate the pans top-to-bottom (and vice versa) and front-to-back.
  15. Bake another 10-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
  16. Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for 2 minutes.
  17. After 2 minutes, remove the cupcakes and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  18. ------------------------------------
  19. For the Best-in-your-life-Ever! Cream Cheese Frosting:
  20. Place cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  21. Using a whisk attachment, mix at medium high speed until well combined and creamy. Scrape the icing down the bowl as needed.
  22. Turn off mixer, add powdered sugar and salt and whisk on low for 15 seconds, then on medium-high 2-3 minutes or until smooth, creamy and fluffy.

  23. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If baking a cake, this recipe makes one 13x9-inch cake. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom only of the pan with parchment paper then also spray the parchment.
Bake the cake 35-40 minutes – be sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking.
Cool the cake on a cooling rack.
*If adding nuts and/or raisins, the cake will need an additional 5-10 minutes baking time in the oven.
These cupcakes freeze beautifully, but freeze without the frosting. Wrapped in plastic wrap, place in a freezer container and wrap the whole thin in aluminum foil twice. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and let warm to room temperature while still wrapped. Add the frosting once they come room temperature.