Fluffy cream cheese frosting tops these moist carrot cake cupcakes for a decadent treat that’s not overly sweet. Brown sugar, cinnamon, and toasted pecans create a dreamy frosting that’s perfect for special occasions or any day that ends in Y.

Irresistible Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This fantastic recipe has all the hallmarks of classic carrot cake, with a silky smooth cream cheese frosting that’ll take your breath away. Beyond simply adding vanilla extract, I added brown sugar and warm spices like ground cinnamon to bring out the earthy flavor of the carrots while toasted pecans give a nutty finish that you’ll fall in love with.

The unexpected addition of bananas adds a mellow sweetness that balances out all the rich flavors. I’m not sure which I like better, the carrot cake cupcake or the cinnamon frosting. These along with black bottom cupcakes are my favorite cupcakes.

Warm and comforting, these carrot cupcakes have a moist crumb that pairs well with the tangy cream cheese frosting. These would be wonderful as part of a Mother’s Day or bridal shower table alongside other favorite desserts like pecan pralines and brownies

My number one tip for this recipe is to use a box grater to grate the fresh carrots yourself. Pre-shredded carrots are convenient, but they won’t be thin enough to melt into the cupcake batter and will end up being crunchy, which is not the texture we’re looking for! Trust me on this one, the extra step will give you the best results. 

What I love about baking cakes is that you can easily double or triple the batches, or in this case, turn this carrot cake cupcake recipe into a sheet cake! Sometimes you just don’t know how many people are going to be at an event, and no one wants to go without cake!

To turn this into a sheet cake, use a 9 x 13-inch pan and increase the cooking time by about 30 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when your cake tester comes out without any crumbs. 

Why These Are The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes 

  • Best Cream Cheese Frosting – Tangy and creamy, my spiced cream cheese frosting is just the perk these cupcakes are looking for. 
  • Common Spices – Cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla, are easy and always on-hand ingredients!
  • Classic Recipe (With An Upgrade) – Carrot cake recipes are similar–for good reason–but this take gives the classic something a little extra to look forward to. 

Ingredients For Moist Cupcakes

The ingredients for banana carrot cake cupcakes
Gather the cake ingredients.
The ingredients for a cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
Gather the ingredients for the frosting.


Cupcakes

Spices – Vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. 

Dry Ingredients – Flour, baking soda, and sugar. 

Wet Ingredients – Eggs and buttermilk. You can use store-bought or make your own buttermilk for this recipe. 

Produce – You’ll need three to four carrots and a cup of mashed banana. The bananas should be ripe. If not learn how to quickly ripen bananas.

Butter – This recipe calls for melted butter.


Frosting

Dairy – Room temperature cream cheese and butter are needed. 

Dry Ingredients – Brown sugar and powdered aka confectioners’ sugar.

Spices – Cinnamon and vanilla extract. 

Nuts – About a half cup of chopped and toasted pecans.

Do I Need To Toast The Nuts? 

Yes! Toasting nuts is a step I always recommend and it’s so easy to do! Toasting them brings out their oils and a stronger flavor. Once you’ve done it, you’ll never go without it. To toast, just gently heat a pan on the stove and add the nuts (without any added oil) and constantly stir or toss them until they get golden brown. Make sure to stay by them the entire time as they can burn easily. 

How To Make Fabulous Cupcakes

Step One: Preheat and Prep

Preheat oven to 350º and line 24-cup cupcake pans with paper liners or spray a 9 X 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Shred the carrots and mash the bananas.

Grated carrots in a bowl.
Grate the carrots.
Bananas mashed in a cup.
Mash the bananas.

Step Two: Whisk Dry Ingredients

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

The dry ingredients in a bowl.
Whisk the dry ingredients.

Step Three: Combine Wet Ingredients

Eggs and sugar in a bowl.
Combine eggs and sugar.
Shredded carrots with banana in a mixing bowl.
Add the carrots and banana.

With an electric mixer, combine eggs and sugar and mix until well combined for 2-3 minutes. Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in the grated carrots and banana.

Add the dry ingredients and stir just until they are incorporated into the batter. Add the melted butter and stir until it is just incorporated. Do not over-mix. 

Step Four: Scoop Batter

Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each liner 3/4 full using an ice-cream scoop.

Banana carrot cake cupcake batter in a muffin tin.
Pour into muffins cups.

Step Five: Bake

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

A muffin tin with baked cupcakes.

Step Six: Frost

With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and room temperature butter. Add the sugars, vanilla, and cinnamon. 

The ingredients for frosting in a mixing bowl.
Combine the frosting.
Cinnamon frosting in a mixing bowl.
Cream the frosting together.

Once the cupcakes are cool, spread a thick layer of frosting on top of them. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Change Them Up

  • Brown the butter (but let it come to room temperature) before adding to the cream cheese for a delicious brown butter cream cheese frosting. 
  • Add a pinch of ground nutmeg to the batter for a little extra depth and warmth. 

How To Store Frosted Cupcakes

In The Fridge: Store these cupcakes in an airtight container and store in the fridge or you can freeze them.

More Cake Recipes To Try

Caramel Heath Bar Cake
Strawberry Jelly Cake With Cream Cheese Icing
Streusel Coffee Cake
Peach Cake With Blueberries

Homemade Banana Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

Fluffy cream cheese frosting tops these moist carrot cake cupcakes for a decadent treat that's not overly sweet. Brown sugar, cinnamon, and toasted pecans create a dreamy frosting that's perfect for special occasions or any day that ends in Y.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 316kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots finely grated, 3-4 carrots
  • 1 cup banana mashed
  • 8 tablespoons butter melted

Frosting

  • 12 ounces cream cheese room temp
  • 8 tablespoons butter room temp
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar sifted (4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecans chopped and toasted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º and line 24-cup cupcake pans with liners or spray a 9 X 13 inch pan with cooking spray.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, combine eggs and sugar and mix until well combined for 2-3 minutes. Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in the carrots and banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until they are incorporated into the batter. Add the melted butter and stir until it is just incorporated. Do not over mix. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling each liner 3/4s full using an ice-cream scoop.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  • Frosting: With an electric mixer combine the cream cheese and room temperature butter. Add the sugars, vanilla and cinnamon. Spread a thick layer of frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted pecans.
  • Can make into a cake using a 9 x 13 pan, increase the baking time to 30 minutes.

Notes

  • ​Refrigerate the frosting before piping to make it easier to work with.
  • You can make the cupcakes in advance and freeze until you are ready to frost. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 264mg | Potassium: 106mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 1804IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @easy.southern.desserts or tag #easysoutherndesserts!

I first published this Banana Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe on my Southern food blog Butter and Baggage.

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