These are the best, Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes! They are supremely moist & super carrot-y! This is an easy Easter dessert recipe that is quick to put together using a secret ingredient that is next level genius. Still 100% from scratch and homemade! Top these cupcakes with sweet and creamy mascarpone buttercream frosting.
Easter just isn’t the same without Carrot Cake.
This is a family recipe that my mom has made for YEARS. These cupcakes have such a beautiful flavor and the cake is always outrageously moist.
The best part about this cake is that it is ridiculously easy to prepare. I don’t just mean easy, I mean EEZZEEE. The recipe literally calls for you to just dump all the ingredients in a bowl, mix and bake. You can’t screw it up.
These carrot cake cupcakes are not made with shredded carrots
The reason I love this recipe so very much is that there are no shredded carrots, no walnuts, no pineapple and no raisins. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a little texture is nice. But for me, I love the smooth feel of rich, moist cake and frosting.
So if we’re not grating carrots into the cake, what are we using?
Pureed carrots. Better yet, carrots that you don’t even have to puree yourself! Here’s the secret ingredient; baby food. That’s right. Two jars of carrot baby food. 100% pure, carrots, ready to go.
The Cake Batter
This recipe comes together SO quickly and you’ll have everything you need for it in your pantry (especially if you’re a new mom 😉 ). The only special ingredient I had to buy was the baby food.
Using baby food makes this such an easy recipe, plus, unlike grated carrots, the flavor gets mixed through every morsel of the cake. These carrot cupcakes are intensely carrot-y.
As I was mixing up the batter, the scent of carrots and cinnamon was intoxicating. I just love how pure this cake is. Also, FYI-this recipe yields a very thin batter, so don’t be alarmed!
How to Frost these Cupcakes
Instead of cream cheese frosting, I opted for Mascarpone Buttercream. Cream cheese is obviously a classic pairing, but I do have to say, Mascarpone elevates this cake so nicely. Mascarpone has a delicate, subtle sweetness. There’s no tartness or tang like you might get from cream cheese; the flavor is rich. It has a luxuriousness that just isn’t the same in cream cheese.
If you have worked with Mascarpone Buttercream before, you know this cheese is on the softer side. Therefore, I recommend frosting these cupcakes two different ways.
You can simply spread the frosting with a butter-knife or offset spatula. This method is super easy and really shows off the creaminess of the frosting.
Start by putting a generous dollop of buttercream in the center of the cupcake. Using your knife or spatula, press down gently in the middle and push the frosting towards the edges of the cupcake, but not too far to the edge.
Or, you can put the frosting in a piping bag fitted with a large, basic shape tip (I chose the star tip) and pipe the frosting as so. If you choose to pipe the frosting, a few words of caution; don’t pipe too much on your cupcakes and it will also warm up quickly in your hands. I recommend popping the frosting in the fridge for 15 minutes first, to keep it easy to work with.
Otherwise, this might happen…womp wommpppp….oh the things that go on behind the scenes!
Can you freeze carrot cake cupcakes?
You betcha! These cupcakes freezes wonderfully. This recipe is very sturdy and will hold up well in the freezer. The Mascarpone frosting will also freeze well, due to the high fat content. Feel free to make this easy carrot cake cupcake recipe ahead of time.
Speaking of, make sure the cupcakes are refrigerated until ready to serve (remove them 10-15min before). A) You’re using fresh dairy, so it’s not safe to leave these out for an extended period of time. B) The buttercream has a lower melting point and gets soft quickly if the air temp is warm.
I hope you give this recipe a try and I hope you love it!
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 c canola or vegetable oil
- 2 c sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 4oz jars of carrot baby food (100% carrots)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 c all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 oz Mascarpone cheese room temp
- 1 stick butter room temp
- dash vanilla
- 1 pinch salt
- 5 c powdered sugar
- 3-4 tbsp milk, more or less depending on the thickness of the frosting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare two, 12CT cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, mix the oil, sugar and eggs, baby food and vanilla with a hand mixer on low speed.
- Place a sifter on the same bowl and sift in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt.
- Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, ensuring to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Mix for 2 minutes at a medium speed.
- Pour the batter into each cupcake cavity, filling it 3/4 of the way.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Once the cupcakes are done baking, allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat together the mascarpone cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla & salt. Mix well.
- Slowly add the sugar. For every 2 cups of sugar you add, begin to add a tablespoon of milk. You may need more or less milk depending on the thickness of the frosting. I usually end up using 3 tablespoons of milk for soft yet pipable frosting. Feel free to add more sugar if you accidentally added too much milk!
- After adding the milk and sugar, beat the frosting for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Frost your cupcakes!