Carrot Cake Cupcake Recipe with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

This carrot cake cupcake recipe just might make you want to run out and buy a big bag of carrots today. A moist walnut-studded carrot cupcake, topped with a maple cream cheese frosting that smells like Spring, but tastes like Autumn!

Typically, I make loads of cookies for the holidays, and you can be sure you’ll see plenty of cookie recipes to keep you baking through the end of the year. For today, though, I want to share this yummi cupcake recipe with you, because I thought you might need a little cream cheese indulgence in your life.

Brian is a huge carrot cake lover, but thanks to my lack of self control, I don’t make it very often. I just can’t say no to seconds when there’s a moist cake with healthy carrots, walnuts, and Fall spices like cinnamon and ginger involved.

 Give this carrot cake cupcake recipe a try and you'll get a bite full of yummi decadence! A carrot cake cupcake is topped with a maple walnut cream cheese frosting. SO yummi!

Top that beautiful carrot cake cupcake with a decadent maple walnut cream cheese frosting and my self control just packed up and took the first flight to sinful eating city.

A Cupcake Recipe versus A Muffin Recipe

Yes, Virginia, there really is a difference between cupcakes and muffins!

FOOD FACTS: The difference between cupcakes and muffins:

  • Muffins are for breakfast and cupcakes are for dessert (ok ok, that was cheating)
  • Muffins are technically a yeast-free quick bread, made via the muffin method, In comparison, a cupcake is a small cake, made using any one of several cake methods
  • Typically, cupcakes are only made in a sweet form, whereas muffins can be sweet (ie, blueberry) or savory (ie, cornbread)
  • Most often, cupcakes are topped with a sweet frosting (such as buttercream) and muffins are left plain, or are topped with a crumble or streusel topping.
  • Most cupcakes are baked just to the top of the paper liner, whereas muffins can have a huge top in comparison to its body size. Muffins are encouraged to expand over the edges!

What an awesome cupcake recipe: Carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting. Dessert in 20 minutes!


Now that you know the nitty gritty baking science behind this cupcake recipe, what do you say we bake some up and take ’em for a test drive in your mouth?

I hope you love these carrot cake cupcakes!

Oh, and for more carrot cake goodness, be sure to check out my recipes for carrot cake steel cut oatmeal and carrot cake cookies!

Orange-Carrot Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, as seen in the Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Cookie Book - get the recipe on

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Cupcake Recipe: Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time 8 min Cook Time 20 min Yields 24

Moist carrot cake is studded with walnuts and baked up in a convenient cupcake size, then topped with a sweet maple cream cheese frosting. It's an awesome way to feed your stomach!


  • 10 ounces (2.5 cups) low carb baking mix (I use b[]Bob’s Red Mill [/b]), or all-purpose flour
  • 1.25 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
  • 0.25 teaspoon allspice
  • 10.5 ounces (1.5 cups) cup-for-cup sugar replacement, (I use b][Erythritol[ /b]), or granulated sugar
  • 3.75 ounces (0.5 cup) packed brown sugar replacement (I use b][Splenda , or light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 ounces (1 liquid cup) canola or vegetable oil
  • 0.5 cup Greek yogurt, or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups very finely shredded carrots (but not pureed)
  • 0.5 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are typically used)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces (0.5 cup butter), softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoons real maple syrup (use as much as needed for


  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line 24 cupcake pan wells with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice in a bowl; set aside.
  3. In the large bowl of a stand mixer that’s been fitted with a paddle attachment, or using an electric hand mixer, beat the eggs for 2 minutes, until light and frothy. Add in sugar, oil, yogurt and vanilla and mix until combined.
  4. Slowly add in flour mixture and stir until combined. Fold in carrots and walnuts.
  5. Fill cupcake liners two-thirds full and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Remove from oven and transfer pans to a wire rack to cool for 2-3 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and allow to cool completely before applying frosting.
  7. Place cream cheese and butter into large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or use an electric hand mixer. Beat on high speed until well combined, stopping mixer to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
  8. Turn speed to low and slowly mix in powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Add in vanilla and mix until combined. Start with 2 Tablespoons of syrup and combine. If frosting appears too stiff, mix in 1 teaspoon of additional syrup at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from I Heart Naptime

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Give this carrot cake cupcake recipe a try and you'll get a bite full of yummi decadence! A carrot cake cupcake is topped with a maple walnut cream cheese frosting. SO yummi!

What an awesome cupcake recipe: Carrot cake with maple cream cheese frosting. Dessert in 20 minutes!

10 Replies to "Carrot Cake Cupcake Recipe with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting"

  • Debbie December 2, 2014 (6:09 pm)

    I love a good carrot cake, or cupcake recipe and this one sounds pretty tasty.

  • Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes November 6, 2014 (8:04 am)

    I always forget about the sponge method. I am working on a bundt right now and I think that may be the solution. It is too dense, and I am using the muffin method. Totally glad I read this today! Love these cupcakes. Pinned!

    • Chef Becca November 6, 2014 (8:07 am)

      Thanks so much, Katie! I think the muffin method is so quick and easy that it’s used more than any other, but spending a couple of extra minutes on your bundt recipe could really help it “rise” to the occasion. 😉 Good luck!

  • Shashi RunninSrilankan(dot)com November 4, 2014 (7:56 pm)

    I am trying to get over my shock after reading that “Muffins are for breakfast and cupcakes are for dessert” what if they have carrots – I protest! I am gonna have to eat your carrot and walnut “muffakes” with a huge side of that maple cream cheese frosting while I ponder…

    • Chef Becca November 5, 2014 (8:49 am)

      First off… muffakes = best name ever for this dessert! Secondly, because you’re such an incredible friend and amazing blogger, I think you should be allowed to eat whatever you want for breakfast, Shashi. Let’s go on a breakfast cruise! Now serving carrot cake cupcakes on the Lido deck!

      • Shashi November 5, 2014 (8:52 am)

        You are such a tease – I WANT to be on that cruise so so bad! 🙂

  • Amanda November 4, 2014 (7:24 pm)

    These cupcakes look so good!

  • David November 4, 2014 (6:51 am)

    Ummm…I love cupcakes. Maybe more than I love cookies. And I have a secret love affair going on with carrot cake (sshhh…don’t tell my wife!). I’m pretty sure these carrot cake cupcakes are my new not-so-secret love affair. Looks delicious!!

    • Chef Becca November 4, 2014 (8:17 am)

      I’m all over that love affair with carrot cake, Dude! This cupcake recipe is perfect for people like us.. we slip them in unnoticed. Your secret’s safe with me!

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