Carrot cupcake and mini carrot cake on cake stands
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Carrot Cupcakes & Mini Carrot Cake

These Carrot Cupcakes have gotten a lot of rave reviews. The cake is soft and moist, slightly spiced, with a little bit of crunch from the walnuts, and the cream cheese frosting is a must. You can also use the same recipe to make a Mini Carrot Cake!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time19 mins
Total Time49 mins
Course: Cake, Cupcakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 374kcal
Author: Trang

Equipment

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 162 g
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk 180 g
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 107 g
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar lightly packed, 144 g
  • 1 ¼ cup shredded carrot 170 g
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts 30 g
  • More walnuts for topping if desired
  • Melted butter for cake pans if needed

Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese room temperature, 227 g
  • 4 oz unsalted butter room temperature, 113 g
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar 75 g

Instructions

Make the carrot cake batter

  • Toast the walnuts in a frying pan over medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes until fragrant. Let it cool and chop into smaller pieces.
  • Scrub the carrots clean, trim the end and peel the skin off. Cut them into smaller pieces and shred them in a food processor or shred them with a box grater. This should yield 1 ¼ cups.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • If making cupcakes, line a regular size muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside. If making mini cake, brush some melted butter on two 6” round cake pans. Line the bottom of the cake pan with a piece of round parchment paper and brush the parchment paper with butter as well. Set aside.
  • Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Add brown sugar and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add shredded carrot and mix until evenly distributed.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg into a medium mixing bowl. Add the salt and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and fold until incorporated. Fold in the chopped walnuts.

For carrot cupcakes

  • Divide batter evenly among twelve cupcake cavities using a large ice cream scoop and bake for 17 - 19 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 - 15 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the pan, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before adding frosting.

For mini carrot cake

  • Divide batter evenly between two cake pans, about 425 g of batter per pan. Bake for 30 - 31 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10 - 15 minutes. When you can touch the cake pans, use a butter knife to loosen the sides, flip the pan over to remove the cake from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper, and allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack before adding frosting.

Prepare the cream cheese frosting and assemble the cupcakes

  • In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer bowl, cream butter and cream cheese together until thoroughly mixed and creamy.
  • Add vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  • Add powdered sugar and stir until incorporated, gradually increase the mixer speed and beat until fluffy.
  • Add a scoop of frosting on each cupcake and spread it with an offset spatula or butter knife. Add chopped walnuts on top if desired. Serve right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Assemble the mini cake

  • To frost the mini cake, place 1 layer on a cake stand or plate. Put a few pieces of parchment paper underneath the cake to cover the cake stand or plate. This is to keep the frosting from smearing everywhere.
  • Add about ½ cup of frosting on top of the first layer and even it out with an offset spatula. Add the second layer of cake on top.
  • Frost the side and top of the cake with the rest of the frosting. Add chopped walnuts on top if desired. Carefully pull out the pieces of parchment paper underneath the cake.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set or until ready to serve.

Notes

  • This recipe makes a dozen regular size cupcakes and a two layer 6” mini carrot cake.
  • Vegetable oil, canola oil or olive oil will work in this recipe.
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, use regular milk, sour cream or yogurt.
  • 2 medium carrots, about 8 oz total in weight, will yield enough shredded carrot for this recipe.
  • The mini carrot cake will yield 8 good size slices or 6 very generous portions.

Nutrition

Serving: 105g | Calories: 374kcal