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)

allie80's picture

After the comments I added the juice of the orange to the mixture - what a disaster, it was way to sloppy.

Then halved the icing ingredients, which gave a good amount for 12 large cupcakes, however as others have found, it was too runny even after the addition of extra icing sugar and putting in the freezer to set.

I would make the cakes again (without the orange juice) but would find a different icing recipe.

mindymoo62's picture

I have made this recipe as cup cakes and they were delicious.
But I also used the same recipe to make a carrot cake for a friends birthday. I devided the mix between 2 round (7 inch??)sponge tins. Turned out fab and the cream cheese frosting was lovely to sandwich the 2 together and smother all over the cake.
yum yum!! Will be making regularly.

mrshollands's picture

I make A LOT of cupcakes/cakes and this is my go to recipe for carrot cake and for cream cheese frosting - the frosting in other recipes can be too sweet - these are perfect!

mrshollands's picture

I make A LOT of cupcakes/cakes and this is my go to recipe for carrot cake and for cream cheese frosting - the frosting in other recipes can be too sweet - these are perfect!

jenm941's picture


deanmacleod17a's picture

This is a great recipe, very simple, worked out perfectly. I added the juice of the orange too, having read previous comments. The cakes were lovely and moist. I think the key to getting the frosting right is to use full fat Philadelphia and mixing the butter, icing sugar and vanilla well first, before adding the cream cheese. The recipe made 15 cakes for me. I'll definitely make them again.

alisar's picture

I made the cakes without the icing, and they turned out fantastic - I didn't add the juice and the mixture wasn't at all dry and was very easy to divide exactly as per the original recipe. I wonder if people are using medium eggs instead of large as that could make it a bit dry - the recipe should be made with large eggs and then no juice should be needed.

christinacanning's picture

A couple of tips on cream cheese frosting: firstly, although the butter should be room temperature make sure the cream cheese is straight from the fridge and is firm: this will help with the finished texture. Secondly, cream cheese can split really easily if beaten too much which can create the runny consistency. Make sure you beat the butter and icing sugar for a good 5 mins on high speed (if using a mixer) to make it nice and fluffy and then add the cream cheese at the end and beat until just incorporated. This should keep it firm enough to pipe. I hope this helps! :) xXx

penny95's picture

if i added walnuts.. how much would be recommended? as the "yummy scrummy carrot cake" people have added about 40g, so would i use the same amount?

hklaustrup's picture

Very nice, but be careful when making the icing - I followed the recipe and ended up with cream cheese sugar soup. Had to put 400g of additional icing sugar in to thicken it up enough to stay on the cakes.

clairesut57's picture

Made these today for the first time and they were a great success. Added the juice of the orange as previously suggested. The sponge was light and moist. Halved the quantity of all the ingredients for the topping. Used full fat Philadelphia and softened the butter at room temperature and the consistency was just right.

carmenmaranda's picture

Made these thismorning !went down a treat...cream cheese icing was fine, and did put a squeeze of orange in as suggested by others . Will top with some zest next time on top , delicious .

adele5050's picture

Has anyone tried freezing them? I need to make lots of cakes this week for an event next weekend but have never frozen cakes before.

slimmer's picture

I made these last night and they were really lovely - another batch will be following shortly. I did find the batter a little dry so as others had suggested, I added the juice of the orange as well as the rind and I also added 50g of chopped pecans for some crunch.

annaberty's picture

These are delicious and moist, and the icing is lovely. I sprinkled grated orange zest on the top. Lots of compliments!

bassec's picture

Love these, I make with gluten free flour and add sultanas or raisins and walnuts and add the orange juice and they are fab. No one can tell they are gluten free.

mindymoo62's picture

PS..........I have just read that a lot of people seem to be struggling with the Icing. I made mine and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill down. It is much easier to pipe/spread it onto the cupcakes when chilled. Also if you are pushed for fridge space you can put your cupckes in an airtight container somewhere cool and keep the Icing in the fridge and pipe onto the cupcakes just before serving. Hope this worked well for me :-))

mindymoo62's picture

Yum Yum Yum!! I made 2 batches of these cupcakes with my step daughters at Easter. They are so easy to make, and taste delicious, really moist. The second batch was made with 50g less carrot and 50g of chopped pecan nuts. They both came out perfect, excellent for a treat with mini eggs added on top for Easter. One point, the cream cheese icing recipe is way too much for 12 cupcakes. We had enough to swirl over 26 cupcakes and we did not skimp!! Will definately make again. I had so many I gave some to family and neighbours and they loved them.

Fun to make and fab to eat........yum!

newtoonquine's picture

I used all s/r white flour and put in the juice of 1/2 orange instead of zest as my orange was not unwaxed. I totally forgot the vanilla extract.

I made 12 - they were gone within an hour! Everybody raved about them and I will be making them again this weekend as they make me appear to be an excellent baker! :-)

needy4cache's picture

Beautiful carrot cake, will attempt this recipe as a large cake before long. The icing was way too runny but that could have been due to my using low-fat alternatives to appease my conscience! Next time I'll just do an orange buttercream or vastly reduce the cheese and butter quantities. Saying that, my cakes attracted rave reviews from a younger friend :-)


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