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5 from 10 votes

Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes

When springtime rolls around, I love whipping up a batch of these carrot walnut cupcakes. This batter is very easy to put together and doesn’t even require an electric mixer. Toasting the walnuts beforehand helps bring out the flavor so don’t skip this step!
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Calories: 406kcal


For the cupcakes

  • 2 cups (240 grams) all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup (213 g) packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (120 mL) vegetable oil
  • ½ cup (100 g) applesauce
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups (297 g) grated carrots about 4 medium
  • 1 cup (128 g) walnut halves toasted and chopped

For the frosting

  • 3 cups (720 ml) heavy cream cold
  • 16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (226 g) confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract


To make the cupcakes

  • Prep oven and pans. Position rack to center of oven and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Place cupcake liners into muffin pans and set aside. You will need two cupcake pans for this recipe.
  • Combine dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Combine wet ingredients. Whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar, applesauce, oil and eggs in a large bowl.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and stir to combine. Add carrots and walnuts and mix to combine. Do not overmix.
  • Bake cupcakes. Fill muffin wells to 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack and cool completely.

To make the frosting

  • Make the whipped cream. In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. I start my mixer on low speed, and the increase to medium speed and mix for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Make cream cheese frosting. In a second mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, salt, and vanilla until smooth, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  • Add whipped cream.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in whipped cream into the cream cheese frosting until combined.  Frost cooled cupcakes, or store in the refrigerator for 4 days.



  • Storage: You can store unfrosted cupcakes, in an airtight container, for up to 2 days at room temperature. If they are frosted with a cream cheese frosting, then you must keep them, in an airtight container stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing: I recommend freezing the cupcakes, unfrosted, wrapped individually or stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Then thaw overnight in the fridge, and then frost as normal the next day.
  • Frosting: I like to pipe on a big swirl of frosting but if you use less frosting then I suggest cutting the frosting recipe in half. This recipe generously frosts 24 cupcakes.
  • Applesauce - To lighten these up a bit I used half oil and half applesauce, but if you needed to you could make these with all oil instead.
  • Carrots - I always recommend shredding your carrots by hand for any carrot cake. I find using my food processor makes the carrots too mushy.
  • Walnuts - Totally optional, but I love the texture and added flavor they give. Make sure to toast them first, whole and then chop them after. Toasting the walnuts brings out the flavor, so don't skip this step!


Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 3407IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg