Carrot & cream cheese cupcakes

Carrot & cream cheese cupcakes

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(206 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 22 mins


Makes 12

This crowd-pleasing recipe turns the ultimate afternoon-tea favourite into delightful cupcakes

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen un-iced

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal442
  • fat32g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars26g
  • fibre2g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • zest 1 orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 2 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 150ml sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 200g carrots, grated



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • orange coloured sprinkles, to decorate

For the icing

  • 100g butter, softened



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 300g soft cheese
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases. In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, flours, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and orange zest. Whisk together the eggs and oil, then stir into the dry ingredients with the grated carrot. Divide the mixture between cases and bake for 20-22 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before icing.

  2. For the icing, beat the butter until really soft, then beat in the soft cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. Use a palette or cutlery knife to swirl the icing on top of the cakes, then sprinkle with decorations.

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Comments (313)

Loreleiyjscott's picture

Absolutely gorgeous cakes. Foolproof recipe to follow, will not disappoint:)

deborah66's picture

Did you use cup cake or muffin cases ?

cazzface's picture

This is by far the best cupcake recipe I have ever used, the cakes came out perfectly soft, light and fluffy with a lovely flavour. The only change I made was to add some lemon juice and zest to the icing because I love cream cheese icing to have a bit of a zing to it. I weighed the carrots before grating and found the amount was spot on.

TummyWin's picture

Just made these and they are delicious!

I used olive oil (100ml) instead of sunflower oil to try and make them a little healthier - they do have a slight taste of olive oil but still taste great. I also didn't have enough carrots so added half a courgette into it and used all white self-raising flour (as I didn't have any wholemeal flour in the cupboard).

Great recipe, will definitely make again.

juliemcdulie's picture

Made these which were lovely tasting and light but broke up a lot whilst trying to get them out of silicone moulds... They also seemed a little 'wet' so not sure what went wrong for me

FionaCaspersz's picture

Leave the cakes in the paper cases; apart from the photo there is no need to remove them before frosting and serving. Perhaps your eggs were slightly larger than those used in the recipe, your carrots may have been more juicy or your oven a degree or two cooler. In future you may wish to add a little more flour to the mix or leave the cakes in the oven for a few minutes more.

kavita-peters's picture can this be made gluten free please?

FionaCaspersz's picture

Use gluten free flour, eg spelt. That performs in exactly the same way as wheat flour, even for bread making. I use it a lot and have not had any disasters !

millymollymandy01's picture

You should not use spelt if you are a coeliac. Spelt is a type of wheat and contains gluten.

katejmac's picture

I know this was a long time ago but I would like to point out that spelt flour is NOT gluten free and I would expect someone from the BBC website to know that I really hope Fiona didn't get ill from using it!

Jenster24's picture

These cupcakes are nothing short of AMAZING. I made some changes below and they came out perfectly.

100ml of extra virgin Olive oil (didn't like thought of using sunflower oil)
All wholemeal self raising flower (as opposed to half normal/half wholemeal)
Grated carrots - used half of the amount (was it 200g of carrots before or after they were grated? Makes a HUGE difference!)
Mixed spice - didn't have any so left out
Topping - put half a walnut on top of icing on each cupcake

The sponge was moist and very spongy (raised beautifully). Must say there was way too much icing. I think I could take at least 20g off each amount. Next time I will do that and perhaps add sultanas and orange juice to the mix :)

Hayleybobs91's picture

Made these cupcakes this afternoon and they were delicious!! So pleased with how they turned out. I didn't have any sunflower oil so used vegetable oil which was fine..will definitely use this recipe again :-)

sugerandspice66's picture

will try this recipe for individual cupcakes as very similar to the one I use for my carrot cake. Though did you use your Cream Cheese Frosting and it was delicious so thank you for sharing a great recipe.

RebeccaBleaden94's picture

Made these cupcakes today and they were so easy to create! Would definitely recommend this recipe because the texture and shape of the cakes were perfect.

sparkling_water's picture

Well... for starters, I'm not what you youngsters would call a "carrot craver" so I left that little detail out! I decided to make them with aubergine instead ( I'm am an aubergine admirer as the cool kids call it) I had to mosey down to the fridge, only to find that there was NO CREAM CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!! :( So I took Mr tinkle winkle (my Rottweiler) down town to one of those markets you punks call super, well I don't know what your dictionary says about super, but in my world this ain't it! NO CREAM CHEESE!!!!!!!! :( :( :( :0 So I was forced against my will to make my own!

I replaced bicarbonate of soda with ordinary baking soda (you know potato potarto)

All in all the recipe was a bit of a let down as looked nothing like the picture! Shocking as you lot seem to think its UBER-SPARKILING!

Friend me on moshi monsters at sparkling_water (I need a bigger friend tree)
Toodle-loo!!! And chow from Mr. Tinkle Winkle.

vixg66's picture

Not sure how you can give 2 stars because you didn't even follow the recipe. You made a completely different 'cake'. Bicarb and baking sodas are different and create different effects in baking and aubergines are more savoury than carrots.

Jackjacqui's picture

So you changed The recipe completely and were surprised that the result was not as expected! What an idiot! Surprised you thought you had a right to rate this!

CannyFradock's picture

You might actually be the biggest gimp I've ever heard of in my entire life. Also don't rate a recipe as 2 stars when you didn't use any of the ingredients. Hello, logic!

sugerandspice66's picture

Shame you and Mr Tinkle Winkle couldn't find what you were looking for in our Supermarkets - all major supermarkets such as Tesco, Adsda, Waitrose, Sainsburys will have soft cheese such as philadelphia or their own make also known as cream cheese. The baking soda is different to bicarbonate soda and would have made a slight difference in the rising and tasting of the cakes. Don't give up!!! try again and let us know if you have a success with aubergines as I have never made any with this veg.


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