Mini-Carrot Cupcakes are easy to make with a homemade taste. They are topped with cream cheese frosting and are moist and full of amazing flavor. The addition of pineapple and toasted pecans takes these tasty morsels over the top.
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Table of Contents
Ingredients for the Mini-Carrot Cupcakes
These cupcakes are made from scratch. The ingredients include the wet ingredients, the dry ingredients, spices, flavorings and the crowning jewels.
- The Wet Ingredients: For the wet ingredients, I used unsalted butter, vegetable oil, eggs and milk. All of these ingredients add moisture to the cupcakes and also richness from their fat content.
- The Dry Ingredients: I used granulated sugar, light brown sugar, all-purpose flour, baking soda and Kosher salt for the dry ingredients. Some would argue that sugar is actually a wet ingredient. Whatever category you would use, both sugars were important additions.
- The Spices: The spices in this recipe were traditional spices for carrot cake – ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. You could also add some ginger if you like.
- The Flavorings: I used both vanilla extract and fresh lemon juice to accent the other ingredients.
- The Crowning Jewels: This is a carrot cake recipe so you shouldn’t be surprised that it contains carrots. I also added crushed pineapple and toasted pecans. The crushed pineapple which I drain, adds a subtle taste and moisture to the cupcakes.
Making the Batter
I know that the list of ingredients might seem pretty long. However, the batter is really simple to make.
Step 1: First, I beat together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil in a large bowl until things were combined.
Step 2: Next, I added the eggs and milk to the bowl. I beat the mixture until everything was combined.
Step 3: Then, I added the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, vanilla and lemon juice. After I beat the mixture, I added the flour.
I beat the mixture on low speed just until the flour was incorporated into the batter.
Step 4: Once the flour was incorporated into the batter, I added the grated carrots, pineapple and toasted pecans.
I folded these ingredients into the batter using a wooden spoon.
Baking the Mini-Carrot Cupcakes
Once the batter was made, it was time to portion it out. First, I lined a mini-muffin pan with non-stick paper liners. It was important to use non-stick liners here. Otherwise, the cake would stick horribly to the liner when it was removed.
Then, using a 1 ½-inch ice cream scoop, I added the batter to each of mini-muffin cups.
I popped the mini-carrot cupcakes into a preheated 350°F oven for about 17 minutes. After 17 minutes, the cupcakes were perfectly baked.
I removed the cupcakes from the oven and let them sit in the mini-muffin pan for about 5 minutes. Then, I removed them to a wire cooling rack so that they could cool completely.
Finishing the Mini-Carrot Cupcakes
While the cupcakes were baking, I made the cream cheese frosting by beating together cream cheese, softened butter, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar.
After the cupcakes had cooled completely, I frosted them using a 1M tip in a pastry bag.
For a finishing touch, I added a small royal icing carrot on the top of each of the cupcakes for decoration.
The Easy Homemade Mini-Carrot Cupcakes were amazingly delicious, not to mention picture perfect. In addition, they were incredibly moist. Yum!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you can’t find non-stick cupcake liners, the you should lightly spray regular cupcake liners with non-stick spray, or omit the liners all together. If you don’t use liners, however, be sure to grease the cups of the mini-muffin pan to prevent the cupcakes from sticking.
This recipe makes mini-carrot cupcakes that are incredibly moist and filled with toasted pecans with a hint of pineapple. Most of its flavor comes from brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and carrots. The cream cheese frosting on top adds a decadence that will keep you coming back for more.
You might think that making these cupcakes from scratch is difficult, but it’s really quite easy once you have all of the ingredients measured out. Also, it doesn’t require any fancy equipment. The resultant cupcakes are far superior to those made with a box mix.
Because the mini-cupcakes are frosted with cream cheese frosting, it’s better to store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. This way, they should last for several days.
If you’re not a fan of nuts, you can certainly omit the nuts. You might consider replacing them with raisins. You can also omit the pineapple. All in all, this recipe is very forgiving.
Other Mini-Muffin Recipes
If you’re a fan of mini-muffins you should check out these amazing recipes:
- Apple mini-muffins
- Pecan Pie mini-muffins
- Banana Craisin mini-muffins
- Morning Glory mini-muffins
- Blueberry mini-muffins
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Easy Homemade Mini-Carrot Cupcakes
- Electric Mixer
- ¼ cup (2 ounces, 57grams, ½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (See Tip 1)
- ½ cup (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (1.88 ounces, 53 grams) light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ¼ cup (2 ounces, 57 grams) milk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup (5 ounces, 142 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ of 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained with excess juice squeezed out (See Tip 2)
- 1 ½ cups (6 ounces, 170 grams) carrots, peeled and grated with small grater blade
- ½ cup (2 ounces, 57 grams) toasted pecans (See Tip 3)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¼ cup (2 ounces, 57 grams, ½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature (See Tip 4)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cups (16 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a mini-muffin pan with non-stick liners or grease the wells of the mini-muffin pan to prevent sticking. (See Tip 5)
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs and milk; continue beating. Add the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Add the flour; beat on low just until flour is incorporated. Add the grated carrots, pineapple and pecans. Stir just until combined.
- Fill the wells of the mini-muffin pan ¾ full (See Tip 6). Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in mini-muffin pan; remove cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely.
- Frost with cream cheese frosting using a 1M star tip. If desired decorate with royal icing carrots or orange sprinkling sugar.
- Yield: 30 mini-cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a medium bowl, beat butter and cream cheese with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract. Then gradually add the confectioners' sugar; beat until mixture is smooth and creamy. (See Tip 7)
Chula’s Expert Tips
- You can use any neutral tasting vegetable oil here. I wouldn’t however use olive oil because it’s not a neutral tasting oil.
- If you can’t find an 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, measure out 4 ounces or a half a cup from the can. Then drain the crushed pineapple and squeeze out the excess liquid. You’ll end up with about ¼ cup of the drained/squeezed pineapple.
- To toast pecans, place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 8 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure that the pecans don’t burn.
- I used Neufchatel or low-fat cream cheese for the frosting. Feel free to use full fat cream cheese if you desire.
- The first time that I made these mini-carrot cupcakes, I used regular cupcake liners. That was a major mistake – the cake stuck horribly to the cupcake liner. Therefore, if you’re going to use cupcake liners, make sure that they are either non-stick or lightly sprayed with non-stick spray. Alternatively, skip the liners all together and just grease the mini-muffin pan before adding the batter.
- I used a 1 ½-inch ice cream scoop to portion out the batter.
- If the frosting is too thick, add a small amount of milk (about 1 teaspoon), beating until the frosting is smooth and creamy. If the frosting is too thin, add additional confectioners’ sugar until the desired consistency is achieved.