Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

In an effort to motivate one of my students to complete his work, we make deals.  Some of the incentives are that if he completes his work he won’t have a lunch detention, others involve me putting my culinary skills to work.  Recently, I was trying to encourage him to turn in all of his missing work.  He said, “OK, let’s make a deal.  If I am all caught up and passing by Thursday, you will bake me a carrot cake.”  Now that my students know of my baking skills, these types of requests have been more frequent.  Many days I will hear, “Mrs. Wilson, my birthday is next week, will you make me something?”  Honored that they enjoy the end result of a hobby I love, I often give in.  I wanted to try to convert a carrot cake into cupcakes for this most recent incentive.  The were moist, with a great flavor and topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting.  An absolute delight and I think worth a night spent doing homework.

The Best Ever Carrot Cake Cupcakes (A Paula Deen Original)

Serves: 24     Cook Time: 48 Minutes


  • 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
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 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, grate on larger side of cheese grater
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • For Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh coconut, shaved and toasted for garnish (optional)

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 pecans. Pour into muffin tin lined with beautiful paper or foil liners.

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 and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pile the frosting high on the cooled cupcakes and garnish with the toasted coconut if desired.

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