Small Batch Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This one bowl cupcake recipe is perfect tea parties, brunches, and small baby and bridal showers!

Photo by Allison of Culinary Cupcake

Carrot cake is a type of cake that includes shredded carrots and other fun ingredients like nuts and fruit. The earliest written recipe for the modern style of carrot cake was included in The Twentieth Century Bride’s Cookbook. It was published in 1929 by a women’s club in Wichita, Kansas. Carrot cake came into popularity in the 1970s, in the United States, because people wanted to become more health conscious and a cake with vegetables in it seemed to do the trick.

Cupcakes were first described in 1796 in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. They were described as “a light cake to bake in small cups”. The first documented time the term “cupcake” was used was in 1828. It was written in a cookbook by Eliza Leslie called Receipts. They are called cupcakes because before muffin tins were used, cupcakes were baked in individual “cups” like pottery cups, molds, or ramekins.

Carrot cake was actually one of the first cakes I ever made as a kid. I thought it was a crazy concept; a cake with vegetables in it. I wanted to bake it myself because whenever I ate carrot cake from a bakery or restaurant I was amazed at the flavors. The cream cheese frosting balanced all the spicy sweet flavors of the carrot cake, in such a poetic way. My first carrot cake was a success with my family. I distinctly remember my mother sneaking away with pieces of cake to eat when she watched television. It was amusing.

Most cupcake recipes create a dozen or two dozen cupcakes. As much as I love cupcakes, those kind of sizes are for large parties. I enjoy making small batches of cupcakes because they are great for intimate events like tea time or brunch. Please enjoy this small batch cupcake recipe!

Small Batch Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Yields 6 cupcakes

Specialty Tools: Rubber spatula, cupcake/muffin pan, and paper cupcake liners.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Bake Time 18 to 20 minutes

Drink Pairing Suggestion: Milk



1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 eggs

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup carrots, grated

1/4 cup pineapple, chopped

3 tablespoons walnuts, chopped

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1-2 teaspoons milk


Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl stir together all of the cupcake ingredients. Make sure that there are no lumps.

Using a rubber spatula, pour and scoop batter into a cupcake pan that is lined with paper cupcake liners or is greased and floured. You should have enough batter for 6 standard size cupcakes.

Place pan in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting. (About 1 to 2 hours). 

For the frosting, put all the frosting ingredients except for the milk into a bowl.

Using a hand mixer, whip the ingredients until smooth. The frosting will be thick, thin it out to desired consistency with milk.

Frost or pipe the frosting onto the cooled carrot cake cupcakes!

Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

Nut Allergy? Omit the walnuts. Feel free to substitute the walnuts with raisins or shredded coconut.

A hand mixer is preferred when mixing cupcakes. It will create a smooth batter.

Rubber spatulas are a great way to scoop up batter.

Paper cupcake liners are a great for reducing residue in your cupcake pan.


Tag @culinary_cupcake when you upload your photo on Instagram and hashtag #culinary_cupcake


5 thoughts on “Small Batch Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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