These tender Carrot Cake Cupcakes have the most glorious surprise inside; cream cheese frosting! Perfect for any springtime or Easter or Christmas celebration!
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These could also be considered Carrot Cake Muffins, but I love the idea of these being a decadent mini carrot cake with cream cheese.
But, you may be asking yourself, what is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? For one, cupcakes are miniature versions of cake and the batter is prepared the same way. And of course, then there is the frosting.
Muffins are prepared in the same way as a quick bread and require a gentle touch and hands-off approach when stirring the batter. Why? Too much mixing will cause the air bubbles to burst and you will not have as fluffy and light a texture. Muffins also tend to have less sugar and often considered healthier based on what is mixed in with them.
So, technically speaking, this is a carrot cake muffin based on the way the batter is prepared. But the addition of the cream cheese filling definitely makes them taste like a decadent cupcake!
How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Try to not overfill the cupcake pans. The batter should fill about 2/3 of the liner.
Be mindful of the cooking time, and it can be different in different ovens. Always start with the lowest time first and check to see if they are done. If you cook them too long they will dry out, and no one wants dry Carrot Cake Cupcakes!
These cupcakes are great with raisins folded in as well, feel free to add about 3/4 of a cup to the batter.
Cream Cheese Frosting
There are other variations of this carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting on the top, instead of on the inside. If you prefer a more traditional carrot cake cupcake, you can use this recipe for whipped cream cheese frosting. You can swirl that on top, and leave the center filled as well if you were feeling extra cream cheesy:)
These tender Carrot Cake Cupcakes have the most glorious surprise inside; cream cheese frosting! Perfect for any springtime or Easter celebration!
Keyword: Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake Cupcake, Cupcakes
Servings: 12 Muffins
Calories: 318 kcal
For the Cream Cheese Frosting Center:
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 c confectioners sugar
For the Muffin Batter
- 2 c 256g all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2/3 c 135g firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 c 240g buttermilk
- 6 tbsp. 85g unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large carrots peeled and finely shredded (1 1/2 cups)
Cream Cheese Center
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
Spoon the mixture into a thin log on to plastic wrap. Make the log be about 12-inches in length.Cover fully with plastic wrap and roll a few times to get rid of air bubbles.
Place in freezer for at least four hours.
Preheat an oven to 425°F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until blended. Whisk in the buttermilk and butter.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir just until evenly incorporated. Do not over-mix.
Fold in the carrots just until evenly distributed.
Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake pan, filling them 1/3 of the way full.
Remove the cream cheese frosting log from freezer and divide/slice into 12 equal parts.
Place a piece of the frozen cream cheese frosting on top of and in the middle of the cupcake batter.
Top each cupcake with another 1/3 of the batter, right on top of the cream cheese frosting piece.
Bake until the cupcakes are golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 2 minutes, then turn the cupcakes out onto the rack.
Let cool and serve.
I don’t recommend making this recipe into a cake, but I do have an amazing homemade Carrot Cake Recipe! This recipe is one of the best Carrot Cakes you will ever have! <3
Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.