King Arthur's Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 24 cupcakes

Recipe photo

Always a favorite, this dark, moist carrot cake appears regularly at King Arthur birthday parties, often as cupcakes.

King Arthur's Carrot Cake Cupcakes

star rating (9) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 24 cupcakes
Published: 12/20/2011



  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts


  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract OR 1/2 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups glazing sugar or confectioners' sugar
  • milk or cream to adjust consistency of frosting, if necessary


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two standard muffin pans or cupcake pans. Or line with papers, and grease the papers.

2) To make the cupcakes: Beat together the oil, sugar, salt, eggs, and spices.

3) Mix the flour with the baking soda, and stir in.

4) Add the carrots and nuts, and mix until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

5) Bake the cupcakes for 21 to 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the middle cupcakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven, and after about 10 minutes transfer them to a rack to cool. Allow them to cool completely before frosting.

6) To make the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.

7) Beat in the salt and vanilla, then the sugar. Add a teaspoon of milk or cream if the frosting is too stiff to spread; add additional sugar if it's too thin.

8) Frost the cupcakes, using a piping bag and tip for an elegant presentation.

Yield: 24 cupcakes.


  • star rating 10/11/2014
  • Chris from Virginia
  • Fabulous flavor, both cake and frosting. I don't eat nuts, so substituted an equal amount of dried "Zante currants" (really, champagne raisins). I have two different cupcake pans, one shiny nonstick and one darker plain metal, and did not use cupcake liners; interestingly, the cupcakes in the shiny pan were tighter and nicely domed, while the cupcakes in the darker pan overflowed their cups and were higher than the others. Same amount of batter in each pan's cups, baked on the same rack of the oven at the same time. The darker pan took ten minutes longer to reach doneness.
  • star rating 04/20/2014
  • Cookiegirl52 from KAF Community
  • The cupcake is very good, however, the baking time is way off. After reading another poster's comment about the baking time being too long I cut the amount of time that I baked mine and they were still over baked. So I would try these again, but cut the baking time back even further. To be fair, others who ate these cupcakes thought they were delicious. I do tend to be hypercritical of my cooking & baking products.
    That is great to hear this recipe was a real crowd pleaser! Thank you for your tip on the baking time. Elisabeth@KAF
  • star rating 02/05/2014
  • Megan from Pennsville, NJ
  • This recipe is delicious...I tweak a bit: brown sugar instead of white (for extra moisture), add some vanilla and cut back on the oil. I also found the timing of this to be WAY too long. Thankfully I adjusted it after reading other recipes. Mine are perfect at 18-20 minutes.
  • star rating 12/16/2013
  • Julia from Michigan
  • Perfect recipe! I have been looking for a good carrot cupcake/muffin recipe for my picky eaters for a while now, and this is it. So easy to make, and yet the end result is just right- not too dry, not too spicy, and not at all soggy. A little sweet, but that's how the little mouths like 'em best:)
  • star rating 08/19/2013
  • Josh from Connecticut
  • I made a this for two King Arthur fair baking contests around my state. I made these cupcakes for one, and this in cake form(2 layer). The cake won me first.:) The cupcakes recieved 2nd, but still really good taste wise. I would recommend. Remember to frost little carrots on top to make them appear even better!
  • star rating 03/31/2013
  • geogal34 from KAF Community
  • Best carrot cake anything I've had! We added about an extra ounce of finely grated carrots, but that was the only change. The frosting is outrageously good (we used Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract) and I can't wait to try it on other things. This is the perfect ending to an Easter lunch! Thanks, as always, KAF!
  • star rating 10/11/2012
  • leahnwells from KAF Community
  • These are very good cupcakes. They are dense and flavorful, and the recipe is straightforward. However, I must have overfilled the liners a bit, because the batter popped over the edges, then hardened to the pans. I thought it was going to happen, but convinced myself it would be okay. I put a little more than 1/4 c. batter in each liner. Next time, I'll stick to 1/4 c. They aren't terribly pretty with their weird edges on top, but they are delicious. The cream cheese frosting is perfect. I used the low range for confectioner's sugar and found it just right. I might be tempted to cut back on the vegetable oil by 1/4 c. next time, as they are just a tad bit oily. Overall, very good recipe. My boyfriend, who is self-proclaimed anti-cupcake (says they're usually dry and tasteless), said they were excellent, the best he's had.
  • star rating 03/18/2012
  • BakErin from KAF Community
  • Delicious taste, very very moist, and incredibly easy. I added about a half cup extra carrots because I didn't put walnuts in. So good, per KAF usual :)
  • star rating 02/12/2012
  • mooncakes from KAF Community
  • great job again! I'd just love to say as a professional and avid home baker I'm always testing recipes, and KA is one of the few places i have found for reliable recipes. These are another winner, super moist, though i must admit i altered some things. In place of the required spices I used equal amount of Penzie's cake spice. I also used 1 cup of chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup shredded coconut and 1/2 cup of hydrated raisins. The frosting is killer too, i used vanilla bean in stead of extract. my hubby had one, then another, and another i think he stopped himself at 4 lol, then asked if i could make more for him to take to work on monday because he was sure his coworkes would freak out for them! love em!