mini carrot cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese icing

April 13th, 2010

Well, after feeling a bit out of it for a while I marched myself to the farmers’ market determined to be inspired. While I didn’t see the rhubarb that I keep hoping for (soon, it’s going to be here soon), I did find some dusty carrots… one of the few colorful things currently residing at the market. I can work with carrots… even better, I can bake with carrots! I whipped up some delicious little carrot cupcakes that are as tasty as they are cute. What’s not to like?

I did a little research into various carrot cake recipes and came out with a bit of an improvisation. A little of this, a little of that. I used a combination of sugar and brown sugar, bread flour instead of cake flour to provide a firmer base for the carrots, a bit of cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg and raisins to jazz it up. This is actually the first time that I’ve used freshly ground nutmeg and I’m a convert! It’s obviously more potent, but it smells awesome and looks so cool on the inside.

I poured the batter into some mini muffin tins I have, because mini-anything is always better. I popped them in the oven for about 15 minutes and took a rest.

Carrot cake is not carrot cake without cream cheese frosting. It’s just not. I decided to jazz it up a bit with a little cinnamon because it just sounded good. And it was.

About two seconds after I finished frosting them all I took a bite and loved it! The little cupcakes are the perfect size, about three bites worth. The cake is lovely and flavorful, rich with spice and texture. The frosting… how could it go wrong? Delicious little bites of happiness, that’s what these were.

mini carrot cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese icing
makes about 30 mini cupcakes*

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup bread flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 pound carrots (about 4 carrots), peeled and finely shredded
1/4 cup raisins, optional


cinnamon cream cheese icing

4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 Tablespoons milk, optional

Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease muffin pan or place tins in pan. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until the mixture is thick and light about 5 minutes.
With the mixer running, pour the oil into the mixture and continue whipping until it’s light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar.
Add half of the egg mixture to the dry ingredients, gently stirring until just combined.
Add the remaining egg mixture and stir just to combine. Be careful not to overmix.
Gently fold the carrots and raisins into the batter just until incorporated.
Evenly pour the batter into each of the muffin tins until each is about 3/4 full. Place on the middle rack in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter, cream cheese and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add cinnamon and confectioners sugar and whip until smooth. If the frosting seems dry add 1 Tablespoon of milk at a time, whipping afterwards until icing is smooth and light.
Frost each cupcake and eat up!

These are best eaten the day of, but they keep for 5 days in an air tight container.

*If you’d rather make a cake, this recipe can easily be doubled.

Comments: 20 Total

  1. MsGourmet

    April 13, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Delicious little bites of happiness, couldn’t agree more!

  2. Antonietta

    April 13, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Hellooooooo wonderfulness!
    These look amazing!

    Love the new colors and layout too!

  3. sarah @ syrupandhoney

    April 13, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Beautiful photo of the nutmeg…I’m a convert within the past year as well :)

  4. Shaheen

    April 13, 2010 at 10:42 am

    i love cream cheese frosting and now im wondering why i never added cinnamon to it!t thanks for this

  5. DailyChef

    April 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    You are back with a bang! I love cream cheese icing on carrot cake, and your cinnamon cream cheese icing looks absolutely incredible!

  6. Alisa-Foodista

    April 14, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I love your site, the clean layout and fantastic recipes and photos! I look forward to reading and admiring more of your posts :)

  7. Dana

    April 14, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Sweet little cakes. But I have to tell you I LOVE the new look of the site. Very eye-catching and cool!

  8. Hilsters

    April 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Wow, loving the carrot cakes…how funny, I baked carrot muffins on Sunday with cinnamon, raisins and walnuts…YUM, half are gone already (thanks to husband…) but will make your cream cheese icing for the rest! Loving your blog 8)

  9. m.e (cathie)

    April 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    they look wonderful and I love your pics!

  10. sts

    May 7, 2010 at 6:51 am

    I see a lot of interesting posts here. Bookmarked for future referrence.

  11. Jules

    July 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Tried these at home and they are absolutely delicious!! I wanted these to take a little more desserty than breakfasty, so I omitted the nutmeg and sprinkled some cinnamon and sugar over the top with a sifter just to add a little color and voila – gorgeous! Tons of compliments on these and I will definitely make them again.

  12. Erin Manor

    August 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    I am baking these right now for a baby shower tomorrow!! I added a little crushed pineapple, I hope they turn out!

  13. Hue Altamirano

    January 7, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Nice site, looks very organized. Finally found what I’ve been looking for, thanks!

  14. Dean

    January 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Hello, I followed this recipe to the letter on the weekend with my 2 girls and the cakes were brilliant, thanks millions. Dean

    loved the icing :-)

    photos here:

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