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Three carrot cupcakes with icing on a cake stand. The middle cupcake has a small candle lit.

Carrot Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

Tender, sweet, and a bit of crunch, these cupcakes teeter on the fine line between breakfast and dessert! You decide!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Carrot Cupcake Recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Servings 21 Cupcakes
Calories 390kcal
Author Vanilla And Bean


For the Cake:

  • 2 C Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour * (aka Ivory Wheat) 10 5/8 oz
  • 2 Tbs Corn Starch organic
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt 1/4 oz
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda 1/8 oz
  • 1 1/4 tsp Cinnamon 1/4 oz
  • 1 C Brown Sugar 6 1/4 oz
  • 1/2 C Granulated Sugar 4 oz
  • 2 Large Eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 C Coconut Oil melted and cooled (6 oz)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract 3/4 oz
  • 2/3 C Crushed Pineapple + Juice (5 1/2 oz)
  • 2 1/4 C Carrots grated, about 4 medium carrots (6 1/4 oz)
  • 3/4 C Walnuts finely chopped (3 oz) with 1 Tbs reserved for garnish

For the Icing:

  • 2, 8 oz Sticks of Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 12 oz Cream Cheese (one and a half packages room temperature
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 C Powder Sugar sifted (3/4 oz)
  • 2 tsp Lemon Zest 1 Lemon
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice


For the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Line two muffin pans with muffin or cupcake liners.
  • While your oven is warming up, toast the walnuts in the warming oven for about 15-20 minutes. The walnuts should be slightly darker and smell fragrant. Remove from the oven, spread out on a cutting board and allow to cool before chopping.
  • Have all your ingredients out and ready to go (Mise en place) before you start mixing.
  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, corn starch, sea salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Use a whisk to mix the brown and granulated sugar in with the flour mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, beat eggs, then add the cooled, melted coconut oil and vanilla bean paste. Mix just to incorporate (there will be separation).
  • Into the well of the dry ingredients, pour in the egg/oil mixture, stir just until incorporated. Add the pineapple, carrots, and walnuts. Stir gently, just until the ingredients are evenly distributed. The batter will feel thick.
  • Use a #20 cookie scoop like this one (large) to portion out each cupcake or 3 Tbs of batter for each cupcake.
  • Bake the cupcakes on the center rack in preheated oven for about 20-22 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely before icing.

For the Icing:

  • Be sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. You can make your icing in a food processor or in a stand mixer. I’ve used both with good results.
  • Place butter and cream cheese in mixer and beat on medium – medium high with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Scrape down your bowl. Mix in your sifted powder sugar on low, until just incorporated. Add your vanilla, lemon juice and zest, and mix on low until incorporated.

To Ice:

  • Fill a paper or plastic piping bag fitted with an open plain tube like the one in this set.
  • Pipe about 2 1/2 Tbs of icing on to each cupcake. Garnish with the reserved, chopped walnuts.
  • Alternatively, fill a Zip-Lock baggie 1/2 full with icing. Force the icing into one of the corners by twisting the bag closed.
  • Cut a 1/2" hole into the corner and pipe about 2 1/2 Tbs of icing on each cupcake. Garnish with the reserved, chopped walnuts.


*All Purpose Flour may be used instead of White Whole Wheat or a combination of 1/2 each.
Recipe adapted from Vanilla And Bean's Hummingbird Cake.


Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 188mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 2878IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg