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)

gaygaygaygay's picture

I want to try this recipe but I have a flour issue - I don't know if the wholemeal flour in my pantry is self-raising (I've emptied it out of it's bag and put it into a container so don't know what it is!). Does it matter what type it is? Also, can anyone tell me if I can use just regular brown sugar or does it have to be brown muscovado sugar? I may omit the zest of an orange - will that make much difference? I'm also thinking of adding some dried apricots - anyone tried this?

Thanks for any help :)

janette72's picture

I love these cakes - they are simply stunning. I use a different cream cheese icing, and put walnuts, a little less oil, and a squeeze of orange in. Divine, I have had so any positive comments x

khubbard1's picture

Delicious! Moist even without following the tip about the orange juice. Had trouble with the icing though, it was very runny and not at all like the frosting I was expecting.

jenniehornsby's picture

Absolutely fantastic!! Didn't need the extra hit of orange juice, as used foil cases so kept the cupcakes very moist. Really went down a storm with my work colleagues x

laura0606's picture

Absolutely amazing! Cannot fault. They are so moist and tasty and then the cream cheese topping just tastes brilliant! I make them all the time when I have friends and family over and sometimes top them with a little marzipan carrot which looks great instead of the orange sprinkles. Would definatley recommend to anyone and everyone!

sbaxter5's picture

Made 2 batches so far, the feedback was "Human beings could not have not made these cakes". Friends have asked for recipe. Best recipe I have used, easy to do and guaranteed good results.
Why on earth packet cake mixes are successful, beats me!

dimuthu's picture

Cakes were very tasty, but both icing and cakes were too soft for my liking.

nickyjm's picture

I've baked these many times & they have always been perfect, i have so many good comments on them, but has anyone used this recipe to make 1 large carrot cake? my daughter wants 1 for her birthday.

scarie's picture

I have just made these cakes and will certainly be making them again! I have not tried one as am on a diet mission, but my mum and grandmother both raved about them. In fact, my mother said that it was the nicest thing she had had in a very long time. They were moist, not too sweet and very morish apparently!
I halved the ingredients as I only wanted a small batch and the cakes cooked wonderfully in about 20 minutes and then I turned the oven off and let them sit in for another 5 minutes.
I too thought the mixture was too stiff. I had put a few sultanas and the juice of half an orange in the microwave for 30 secs and added this to the mixture along with a handful of finely chopped walnuts.
The frosting was really good for me, I had to add a bit more icing sugar and a little more vanilla essence, and it piped out of a piping bag with star nozzle a treat. Just popped them in the fridge for it to set for a while and the were perfect.

karagourlay's picture

This is my fav cup cake recipe! I add all the juice of the orange and the cakes always turn out moist and delicious. The topping is also great as long as the cream cheese is room temperature before i mix it. They always go down really well whatever the occasion.

notsomuffintop's picture

"This is a foolproof recipe and one I really enjoy making and eating, This time I will put mascarpone with icing sugar and tiny bit of lemon and zest for the frosting.

karagourlay's picture

These cupcakes are amazing!! I have made them several times for family and work and have always gone down well. I added the juice from the oranges and this made the cupcakes lovely and moist.

geordie-girl123's picture

These cupcakes are delicious, I didn't use the wholemeal flour, using 200g of SR flour. I also used half quantity of the icing but please don't use light soft cheese-it doesn't work!!

notsomuffintop's picture

Well all I can say is these wont last five minutes, they are truly scrumptious, even my eldest son (21) likes them, he just kept looking at me with every bite with a huge grin!!!!!!! i will definitely be making these again, the frosting finishes them off just nice. Also I must just add, i added the juice of the orange and they are moist without being heavy..

notsomuffintop's picture

Mine are cooking as i type, they smell divine, i too added the orange juice too, they are rising nicely, i am going to try the courgette and chocolate cake next, i have tried the parsnip and maple syrup cake and that too is fab, only thing i changed with that was just put mascarpone straight from the pot and spread on the top of one of the cakes and then sandwich together, as the recipe does not go according to plan for me, its too runny. oooh my oven is about to ping. give 5 star just for the smell alone. kitchen smells great.

sophie_304's picture

Loved these cupcakes they were nice and moist even without the orange juice however i didn't have and mixed spice so instead i used 1/2tsp of ground ginger, 1/2tsp of nutmeg and 1tsp of ground cinammon.
I made these for a friend who has a very sweet tooth so instead of the cream cheese dressing I made marshmallow icing which was yummy (after a sneaky taste) and she loved.
To make the marshmallow icing whisk two egg whites and 50g of caster sugar for 5 mins in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, then take off the heat and whisk for a further 7 mins until marshmallow-y, then mix in 1tsp of vanilla essense.
Thanks v much for the fab cupcake recipe!! :)

winnann's picture

Yum. Moist and tasty, even after a couple of days in the tin. Made with white or wholemeal flour, doesn't make much difference. One I will keep making as they were a big hit with all the family.

zoeajhunter's picture

Recipe was great, I did as recommended by others also add the juice of an orange & I also added some chopped walnuts. For the icing I only made two thirds of the amount & instead of adding the vanilla extract I added the zest of an orange & the zest of a lemon, they were scrummy!!

gem-murray's picture

Cakes were nice and looked good. Topping bit runny on mine.

beebug's picture

I have just made these for a picnic b'day . The recipe was very easy and straight forward . I added the juice of the orange like advised . I also found it a little odd not to be adding fruits or nuts .... but never the less , the sponge itself was really tasty . The problem I had was with the frosting - way way too runny ... I wanted to avoid more sugar so I added a spoonful of cornflour to thicken it .
They turned out perfect ! Thanks for the recipe :)


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