Carrot & cream cheese cupcakes

Carrot & cream cheese cupcakes

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(203 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 (311)

Jacquie Stringfield's picture

The best and easiest recipe that makes baking so much fun, going to try with apples and other ingredients as don't want to loose that fluffy fresh moist texture.

Kamillanlarsen's picture

Delicious, easy to make and they stayed fresh for longer than I expected.

lizzylovesbaking's picture

Just made these.
Really easy & scrummy too.

kath998's picture

Made two batches of these for the first time today.
Family were very impressed :)
So easy to make, the frosting was lush :-)

sazzlecat's picture

Beautiful and so easy to make. I was surprised how light they were too. I only had low fat cream cheese in the house and as other posters have mentioned, this makes the frosting too runny. I therefore stored the frosting in a small container and just spread it onto a muffin before eating. Delicious!

barrybubbles's picture

These were great, and much quicker to bake than a full carrot cake!
I cut back the sugar to about 140g and oil to 100ml, added the juice of the orange, a handful of walnuts and raisins as suggested by others, and 1/2tsp cinnamon and they were perfect! The muffins rose beautifully, and they were light and not oily at all! I made a half portion of icing too and that was enough for about 9 muffins - plenty.

mistyff999's picture

I've made these cakes a few times now, with a few minor tweaks.They're delicious, but after success with the frosting the first time, every other time since, it's turning to liquid, but I'm using exactly the same ingredients.
What am I doing wrong?

Grubaska's picture

Hi, make sure you use full fat cheese and don't mix it for too long. The more you mix it the more runny it gets.

retha0809's picture

I made these cupcakes for my colleagues at work as a Halloween surprise. They loved it and so did I. Beautifully moist, not to sweet and so full of flavour. I added a bit more sugar to the frosting but not much because I didn't want it to become to runny. It worked really well and one guy said it was the best cake his had in his whole life. No doubt I will make these again soon, maybe with little less oil and some orange juice instead.

Miss Daisy's picture

I've made these carrot cupcakes 3 times now and each time they've been really moist and delicious.I add a handful of sultanas and also some lemon zest to the icing. I've tried to use light Philadelphia cheese but the icing wasn't firm enough - full fat works much better tho not good for the waistline. ! Family and friends love them !

cooks4life's picture

These are delicious, thank you!

rebeccamottershead's picture

Really easy recipe, takes no time at all to make a batch. Made it as muffins, but also as a ring cake in a bunt tin. The icing is nice, but for a lighter version I made an orange drizzle using the juice of an orange, a generous squeeze of lemon juice and 3oz (75g) of sugar.

dansupercook's picture

Loved these cupcakes! Have added orange rind to the icing and it made a big difference. Icing was made by using 200gr of light cream cheese and half the quantity of butter and sugar! Had enough icing for all the cupcakes... Divine!

carlien's picture


wolf52's picture

I don't make individual muffins, but one large cake which is now my signature cake, so thank you Sarah Cook for sharing this wonderful recipe.

It is baking in the oven right now for our bbq later today. Love it.

bexife's picture

Just made these for a BBQ tomorrow. Had to try one and they are delicious. I didn't use the orange juice and they are so moist, the topping really helps. I can't keep away from the topping, it is gorgeous!

westzoe's picture

My husband and children loved these cakes. They remained moist for days afterwards as well, will defintely be making again.

gfm722's picture

lovely and moist, didnt need to add any orange juice. does taste a bit zesty though and maybe a little too much mixed spice. After reading reviews, i decided to use my own cream cheese frosting recipe: 30g butter, 80g cream cheese and 240g icing sugar. the icing is lovely and sweet which goes well with the cake as i didnt think it was very sweet at all.


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