Search for the Best Carrot Cupcakes — Basic Carrot Cupcakes

I’m still on the hunt for the perfect carrot cupcake; specifically, one that will make me stop looking. Who knows? That may be impossible, but I’m having fun in the process! My ideal carrot cupcake is sweet, but not cloying so; dense rather that light, because I like a good dense carrot cake; and stuffed with lots of nuts, pineapples and maybe even a golden raisin or two.

Basic Carrot Cupcake

This weekend’s cupcakes were made with one of the most ubiquitous carrot cake recipes out there. You may recognize it as the one that calls for 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 2 cups of sugar, and the 1 1/2 cups of oil that people just love to cut in half or replace with applesauce. The only place where I could find reviewers who mostly stuck to the recipe was King Arthur’s site. King Arthur’s recipe uses the same proportions as this one, though they use granulated sugar in place of brown and throw in other spices. So here’s the recipe as I made it. I used a mixture of melted butter and oil for the fat, kept the spice to just one (cinnamon), and added pineapples and finely chopped nuts, which are definitely a prerequisite to my ultimate carrot cupcake. These cupcakes were quite good, though a little oily. I wouldn’t make them for myself on a regular basis, but for a special occasion or an event where you’re competing with bakery cupcakes and need to go all out, the 1 1/2 cups of fat comes in handy. This recipe is also super easy because you just stir everything together in a bowl.

Basic Carrot Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Basic Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 32
  • 2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups grated and finely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple, drained dry
  1. Directions
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the oil and melted butter and stir until mixed, then add the flour mixture and stir until mixed. Stir in the carrots, nuts and pineapple.
  5. Line about 32 cupcake cups with liners Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes, or until they are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let cool on a rack and frost with your favorite cream cheese icing


Related posts:


  1. says

    Caley, thanks for the link! That one looks good. I’ve tried a lot of carrot cakes, but I want to try them all as cupcakes and keep better track of what I like and what I don’t like. I’ll have to put Sally’s on the list. Right now the ones I plan to try are

    1. The Silver Palate Cookbook Carrot Cake (3 cups flour, 3 cups sugar, uses cooked carrots)
    2. King Arthur’s Kitchen Sink Carrot Cake ( a lot like the one in this post, but with less sugar and some baking powder.
    3. Sam’s Carrot Cake (on and in Southern Living – -the one with buttermilk).
    4. Rabbit’s Carrot Cake from The Fanny Farmer Cookbook (Made in food processor, has baking powder, supposed to be crumblier that the others).

  2. says

    I guiltily raise my hand as one of those people who likes to replace some of the oil with applesauce or Greek yogurt. But I swear, I can’t tell the difference.

    My favorite carrot cake was one they used to serve at a cafe near my university that was not very sweet, probably had molasses, was full of raisins, and had cream cheese icing that was super-rich but had almost no sugar in it. I wish I could tell my student self to ask for the recipe!

  3. says

    The only carrot cake I’ve ever made is the Silver Palate Cookbook cake. We like it a lot. good luck with this quest!

  4. Mela says

    I love Ina Garten’s Carrot Cupcakes, whenever I make it I lessen the sugar and I use Cream Cheese Icing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate This Recipe: