Who doesn’t love carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting?! I have made these cupcakes countless times and continue to get request after request for them. What makes them so delicious you might ask? The combination of cinnamon, raisins and carrots creates a mouth-watering, perfectly balanced treat. Topping it off with a sweet cream cheese frosting sends it over the moon!
Now, let’s get started. We start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Celsius. Then we will combine our dry ingredients. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine granulated sugar and brown sugar. I have found that a whisk works best for this, because it breaks up any large lumps that might have formed in the brown sugar. Next, add eggs. Beat with electric hand mixer, stand mixer or the mixing powers of your own arm, until combined (about 30 seconds or so). Mix in unsweetened applesauce and vanilla.
Once combined, while mixer is on low-speed, slowing add oil to the mixture. Continue mixing until the oil is fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Then, mix in half of the dry ingredients.
With the remaining flour mixture, toss in the shredded carrots and lightly coat. By completing this step, it allows for the carrots to be evenly mixed throughout the batter rather than running the risk of a big clump.
Add carrot mixture and mix until combined. Rinse raisins with water and pick out any stems that you can see. My mom always says to wash raisins before eating them. Mother knows best. Add raisins and give the batter one last mix to combine.
Line muffin tins with paper liners. Fill each cup about 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven (350 degrees) for about 18 – 20 minutes. All ovens are different so best to keep watch to avoid catastrophe. When a toothpick comes out clean, they are done! Leave in the pan for a couple or minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
While the cupcakes are cooling, it’s time to get started on the best part… the cream cheese frosting! I would put this frosting on everything… well maybe not everything, but it’s so delicious.
Start by beating together butter and cream cheese (both at room temperature). I’ve made this frosting so much that I don’t really measure the ingredients anymore, and it always turns out nicely. So, even if you have a little more or less cream cheese than the recipe, it should still work out. Continue beating the mixture until combined and creamy. Mix in vanilla extract. The vanilla does turn the frosting a beige-ish colour, so if you want the icing to stay white, you will have to use clear vanilla extract. I usually tint the frosting anyway, so it’s not really a worry.
Slowly add the icing sugar, about one cup at a time at medium to low-speed. The icing sugar always like to jump out of the bowl, so a low-speed to start is best. Beat until combined after every addition. After ever second addition, I turn the mixer on a higher speed and beat for about a minute. This ensures everything is combined and creates a nice smooth consistency. When done, the frosting should look something like this:
Nice and creamy. I would always recommend taste testing the frosting. I know, I know, life is tough. This is the time to add more icing sugar if you want the frosting a bit sweeter.
Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, they are ready to be frosted. Hooray! You can spread the icing onto the cupcakes with a knife, or make them extra pretty by using a piping tip.
For this cupcake, I tinted the frosting pink and used a Wilton #2110 tip to get a nice swirl. I topped it off with some sprinkles for some extra colour. That’s it! Now all that’s left to do is refrain from eating half a dozen cupcakes in one sitting.
Yields about 24 regular sized cupcakes
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon (or more depending on your preference)
- 3 cups shredded carrots
- 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar (I use light brown sugar)
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 cup raisins (or more depending on your preference)
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups (340 grams) cream cheese, softened
- 6 cups icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract