Carrot Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes . . . spiced with cinnamon and topped with brown sugar cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes are simply perfect!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting title pageClassic carrot cake gets a fun update with these carrot cake cupcakes. In a “grab and eat” form, they are perfect for serving at any type of gathering. And just about everyone loves a good carrot cake.

I don’t make carrot cake nearly often enough, and I forgot how much I love it. These cupcakes are moist and delicious and have just the right amount of spice.

Carrot cake cupcake with swirls of brown sugar cream cheese frosting

In my world, cream cheese frosting is an absolute must when it comes to carrot cake. Adding a little brown sugar to the frosting adds a richness and depth of flavor that is unbeatable!

I used a star tip to pipe my frosting onto the cupcakes. You can just spread the frosting on if you prefer. Spreading takes less frosting, so you can cut the frosting recipe in half if you opt for that method.

Unwrapped carrot cake cupcake with swirled brown sugar cream cheese frosting on parchment paper

Tips for making carrot cake cupcakes:

-Beat your wet ingredients well, but be gentle when you add the dry ingredients. You just need to stir them in till they are barely combined. Over-mixing can cause tough cupcakes.
-Don’t overfill your cupcake liners. They should only be half full.
-After baking, the cupcakes will be flat. Don’t worry – that just makes them easier to frost!
-When making the frosting, leave enough time for the brown sugar to dissolve before you add the powdered sugar. You don’t want a grainy frosting!

how to fill cupcake liners for carrot cake cupcakes

Give these carrot cupcakes a try. I’m sure that after just one bite you will fall in love with them!

Carrot cake cupcake with a bite taken out of it.


Handy supplies for making carrot cake cupcakes:

-Hand Mixer: I’ve used this Cuisinart mixer for over 5 years, and it is still going strong. Love it!

-Cupcake Liners: I like to use plain white cupcake liners to bake in, then place the cupcakes in fun liners after they cool.

-Food Processor: You can use a cheese grater to shred the carrots, but a food processor does make the job much easier. The one I have is no longer sold, but this food processor is a great deal and has good reviews on amazon.

-Decorating bags and tips: I like to use a 1M star tip for my frosting. This is a great basic cake decorating set that is super affordable.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting collage


Carrot Cake Cupcakes 

Yield: 18 cupcakes

Carrot Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
Perfectly spiced carrot cake cupcakes with a rich brown sugar cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes



  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (light is fine)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
  • Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (more or less)


  1. Whisk together flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, eggs, and oil till thick and foamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and carrots and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and stir till just blended.
  3. Fill paper lined cupcake pans half full. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely.
  4. For frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, and brown sugar till smooth. Let sit for 5-10 minutes till brown sugar dissolves completely. Add vanilla, salt, and enough powdered sugar to make a frosting thick enough to pipe. Use a large star tip to frost cupcakes.


This makes enough frosting to generously pipe frosting on the cupcakes. If you will be spreading it on, you can cut the recipe in half.


If you love cupcakes, here are a few more recipes you should check out:

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

Butterscotch Cupcakes
Triple butterscotch cupcakes. These cupcakes are moist, delicious, and topped with a fantastic homemade frosting!

Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling


  1. Julia Denny says:

    I am going to make these cupcakes for a baby shower but am trying to decide when to make them. Are they better fresh or better being made 2-3 days before. I read on a different carrot cake cupcake recipe that they are even better later because it lets the spices become stronger. Is that true for this cupcake? Please answer ASAP.

    P.S. These cupcakes look AMAZING!!!!!

    • I personally think they are better fresh because if left unfrosted they can dry out, but if frosted they can get soggy. You could definitely make them a day ahead though. If you want to make them 3 days ahead, I’d freeze them, then thaw and frost a few hours before serving. Have fun at the baby shower!!

    • Julia Denny says:

      Thanks Kara Cook!! I know they will be a big hit!

  2. Katherine says:

    These are amazing! I’ve made them multiple times and they’re a huge hit! Is there anyway to turn this recipe into just a regular 8in cake?

    • I think it’s probably too much batter for one 8″ pan, but not quite enough for two. I’d cut the recipe in half and have a shorter cake rather than risk the batter overflowing into the oven. If you give it a try, let me know how it works!

  3. What if i don’t have a sour cream?.. is there any alternate for it?

  4. Araki Hirofumi says:

    This recipe was… how do I say it? Excellent!! Finally I have found a carrot cake recipe I love. Appreciate it!

  5. Wow, just the cupcake recipe I was searching for, so good! Thanks!

  6. Cupcakes look good, saved to my bookmarks!

  7. Thanks for a Carrot Cake cupcake recipe without crushed pineapple or pecans! Looking forward to making these!

  8. I’ve always loved carrot cake, but I think I might like these cupcakes even more. The frosting is incredible!

  9. Superb recipe, some of the tastiest cupcakes I’ve ever made!

  10. I wanted to thank you for this very good cupcake recipe!! I absolutely enjoyed every bite. The frosting is so good!

  11. Lisa Walker says:

    Made this tonight and it was a hit. The icing was the best! Thanks for sharing. Need to work on my frosting skills.

    • It took me a bit of practice to get my frosting to look decent. Don’t worry, you’ll get there! But of course even if the frosting doesn’t look perfect, they still taste amazing! 🙂

  12. Such a fun idea to serve carrot cake in cupcake form! We loved them, and the frosting is divine!

  13. These cupcakes look super delicious. Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe.

  14. Oh yum – I haven’t always been fan of carrot cake – but these cupcakes are phenomenal! And that frosting… SO good!!

  15. This looks amazing!!! I’ve got to try this.

  16. These are amazing and that cream cheese frosting is to die for!! I’ll have to make extra of the frosting next time so I can eat it on its own! 😉

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