Carrot Cake Cupcakes w/Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting: tender, carrot cake cupcakes with delicate, light texture. Luscious cream cheese icing with vanilla bean flecks. Out of this world good combo! Your favorite, moist and delicious carrot cake in cupcake form! Nice for Easter or any special occasion.
Well I’ve mentioned the weather a good bit here lately because it’s been so crazy. A few years ago we got all excited when the calendar announced spring, then we waited and waited for Mother Nature to concur. Then on April Fool’s Day, she had one more funny up her sleeve and we woke up to a foot of heavy snow.
It wasn’t all bad. The weekend storm afforded me a peaceful day indoors to bake and photograph these delicious Carrot Cake Cupcakes w/Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting for Jon’s upcoming birthday. I have a dear friend who makes this recipe as a 9 X 13 cake and it’s requested everywhere she goes.
So I thought I’d try my hand tweaking it into cupcakes this time. The nice thing about cupcakes is they bake so quickly – these took just 18-20 minutes. Cupcakes also pack great in lunches, and who doesn’t like their own self-contained little bakery treat?
So even though it snowed all through the night that Friday and Saturday too, Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny. The temps were in the mid-50’s. After church and a leisurely lunch, we flew the coop to the coast. If I could choose, I’d be at the water 24-7.
We meandered along the wooden boardwalk by the ocean in Newburyport, MA, dodging the occasional snow clump. Then we walked the brick-cobbled streets, exploring beautiful New England architecture, big old homes overlooking the water, some with widow’s walks. Had a dog at the famous Richland’s, where hotdogs have been 25¢ for decades.
The wind was still whistling a bit, so we tailgated for the cupcakes. Even then we had trouble keeping the candles lit.
It was a quiet, peaceful and cozy 47th birthday celebration for Jon, especially since we were in the process of moving to a new home in just a few weeks. Nice to get a break from packing boxes.
The key to the texture of these cupcakes is the very finely grated carrots. While the grated carrots give wonderful flavor and moisture, it’s not like you’re chomping on carrot chunks. In fact, the texture is light and delicate, and you might not even guess the carrots are in there.
I hope you love these scrumptious Carrot Cake Cupcakes as much as we do. While the cupcakes are temptingly delicious, it’s the vanilla bean specked cream cheese frosting that’s the icing on the cake. (Pun intended.)
It’s best to start with room temperature cream cheese and butter. With an electric hand mixer, whip together both the cream cheese and butter until it’s light and fluffy and there are no lumps.
Then slowly incorporate the powdered sugar in. Finally, stir in the vanilla bean paste. Frost with a butter knife or spreader. Or use a pastry bag and pipe the cream cheese frosting on like I did. (I used jumbo Wilton star tip size 1 M, FYI.) Enjoy!
Carrot Cake Cupcakes w/Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups finely grated carrot
- 1 cup liquid coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting:
- softened 8 oz. package cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans for sprinkling on cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- In medium mixing bowl, stir together cake flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Add in carrot, oil and eggs.
- Mix by hand until moistened,
- Using an electric hand mixer, beat on medium speed for exactly two minutes.
- Line muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
- Fill muffin cups almost 2/3 full. (This recipe makes 2 1/2 dozen (30) cupcakes.)
- Place muffin pans on middle oven rack(s) and bake for 18-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool completely, then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat softened cream cheese and butter together until fluffy.
- Slowly beat in 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar until smooth.
- Stir in vanilla bean paste.
- Frost cupcakes, then garnish with chopped nuts if desired.
Substitute 2 cups of all purpose flour instead of 2 1/4 cups cake flour if you don't have cake flour.
I used a pastry bag and jumbo Wilton star tip 1M to frost these cupcakes.
You may also like: Brick Street Chocolate Cupcakes
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
Allie, the only thing that would get me through a foot of snow on the ground in April is one (or five) of these beauties. That frosting! Those flecks of vanilla! Sheer heaven, in cupcake form. They look amazing. Have a wonderful week!
Oh, my gosh, these are picture perfect cupcakes! I adore carrot cake and sure wish these were in MY kitchen! xo
Happy Birthday to Jon!! These cupcakes are perfect and looks so good! I think he has a gorgeous birthday!! So exacting you move in a new home! XOxo
Ruth Ane says
BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JON!! We just spent two months in Greenville. Visited Covenant one Sunday, just
not the same as when you guys were there…Mike too. Take care…Happy Move…been there done that…so know all too well what you are in for. Grace and Blessing in your new home!!!!! RA & Herb
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
Carrot cake is a favorite around here! Love that you added vanilla bean to the cream cheese frosting!
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says
A very Happy Birthday to Jon. These carrot cake cupcakes look so droolicious, Allie. Vanilla bean addition sounds wonderful. And that Luscious cream cheese frosting was a perfect touch. Indeed these carrot cupcakes look so moist, delicious, light and tender. I agree that they are out of this world good combo. YThey would surely make a great Easter treat. PS: And what a co-incidence, I have also made carrot cake cupcakes last weekend for an upcoming Easter post, but mine does not look as good as yours. 🙂
You are so sweet Anu, but I don’t believe mine will look any better than yours. Ha ha. I so look forward to reading your carrot cupcake post when it goes live. Thanks so much for dropping by, friend.
It’s so odd, but I was thinking about carrot cupcakes yesterday! Wondering if I should try making some (I never have, but I love them!). These look so wonderful, I am sure that they helped make Jon’s birthday happier. How exciting that you are moving, soon… but it’s lots of work. I’m sure it will be well worth it in hindsight. Enjoy the rest of the week and happy birthday to Jon. ?
Susie Mandel says
Oh, Allie, these look amazing and sound delicious!! I love carrot cake but I think Jac loves it even more. These sound like a wonderful treat! And so glad you were able to get to the coast for Jon’s birthday celebration. The pictures are so cute. He was really enjoying himself. So happy about your new house!!
May your new home be filled with love and laughter, good fortune, sunshine, and happiness. Congratulation in advance Allie. BTW the cakes are too yummy. 🙂
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
Oh that weather! I’m glad you were still able to have a fabulous day inside! These cupcakes look amazing! I love carrot cake and this frosting…YUM!!!
Luci's Morsels says
These cupcakes look exquisite! I’m a sucker for cream cheese frosting and the addition of vanilla bean only makes it more tempting!
Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.
Shashi at Savory Spin says
From that picture of your hubs with those candles, I’m willing to bet he loved these cupcakes! Homemade cupcakes are so so delicious and lighter and fluffier than store bought ones – and these here are all the proof I need! Happy belated birthday to Jon – I hope warmer weather comes y’alls way sooner than later and all the best dear with packing and selling and eventually moving!
Christy Smith says
Woot! Woot!! I’ve got my dessert for Easter! I was looking for a “little something sweet” and this fits the bill perfectly, especially since my dad is quite fond of carrot cake!!
Oh yay!!! I hope he loves these, sweet Christy – and that you all have a wonderful Easter together!!! XO
how to write the assignment Pen Essays writing resume services says
It should be truly delicious! I hope that you’ll make more notes on the recipes like this. I would like to variate my nutrition.
Hi. My frosting looks runny for some reason. Followed your recipe exactly. I use a pastry bag to frost and my frosting won’t stand up. Don’t want to add more sugar because that might make it way too sweet. Any suggestions?
Hmmm… just seeing this now Vicki. There’s not a typo in the recipe, I just checked. Not sure why yours is runny. I’m assuming you did use powdered sugar, right? Since you have a pastry bag it sounds like you must be pretty experienced with frosting, but just making sure. I might try chilling it for a bit and see if it firms up. If not, I wld prob. add more powdered (confectioner) sugar. There aren’t too many other options. I hope you can get it to work. I have also heard of using flour to thicken frosting, but use it very sparingly as you don’t want the frosting to have a starchy taste. I would prob. add powdered sugar though. Powdered sugar contains corn starch which is also a thickener. Best wishes, I hope it works for you!
P.S. – If you try adding the flour, just add 1/2 teaspoon at a time and thoroughly mix with a hand held electric mixer. Keep adding 1/2 teaspoon (and mixing with electric mixer afterwards) until you get the consistency you want.
Hi there! I apologize if anyone else already asked this- but how do you find vanilla bean paste? Can you make it on your own with vanilla beans? Thank you!
Hi Kelsi – in my grocery store it comes in a small glass jar and is right in the baking area where they carry the pure vanilla extract. The kind I have is by Nielsen Massey and is labeled “pure vanilla bean paste” and is in a little 4 oz. jar. I hope you can find it wherever you are, it’s a nice touch in all kinds of baked goods. I know you can get it online through Amazon or King Arthur Flour. GOOD LUCK and hope you love this recipe!
Laura Cook says
The story & pictures of Jon with these delectable cupcakes are truly the icing on this recipe.
AWWWW Laura. You’re the best. Love you. <3
Kelly | Foodtasia says
Allie, carrot cake is a huge favorite around here and that vanilla bean frosting is just gorgeous! I’m so craving these right now!