Adding a vegetable to a dessert doesn’t always work since a little one can be turned off if they find something they weren’t expecting, but these Carrot Cake Cupcakes have two things going for them: The carrots blend in pretty well with the golden brown color from the whole wheat flour and applesauce included in the batter and the cakes are really light and fluffy, so they taste like a cupcake should!
Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes
We’ve been getting some really sweet little carrots in our CSA box so to change up how I serve them, I turned a few into these delicious and wholesome Carrot Cake Cupcakes. I told my daughter what type of cupcakes these were and luckily she focused primarily on the “cupcake” part and happily devoured them. The cream cheese frosting surely helps!
Healthy Carrot Cake Cupcakes
This recipe is a variation on a classic Better Homes and Gardens recipe, so you know it’s a good one. Unfrosted, they make a wonderful snack or breakfast, though in the spirit of full disclosure, we did eat the leftovers for breakfast…frosting and all. So good! I lowered the sugar a lot from the original recipe, to ensure that they aren’t too sweet for the little eaters at the table—but I made sure that they tasted sweet enough.
Cupcakes with Whole Wheat Flour
These carrot cake cupcakes have half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour, which makes them still fluffy but have a little more nutrition than a standard cupcake. You can try using your favorite gluten-free flour as a substitute. I like this one from King Arthur Flour.
Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
I love cream cheese frosting for toddler cupcake recipes because it takes just three ingredients and it doesn’t need cups of powdered sugar to taste good. And the creaminess balances nicely with the flavor of these cupcakes, and it tastes like classic carrot cake recipe should!
Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes
This cupcake recipe is baked in a mini muffin pan so that each one is a two-bite affair for an adult and a perfectly-sized treat for toddlers. This also means that this toddler dessert has a short baking time, which means less time waiting to actually eat them!Print
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 18
- Total Time: 28 minutes
- Yield: 24 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Light and fluffy mini cupcakes that taste like classic carrot cake—but with much less sugar! Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Coat 24 mini muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper bake cups. Combine flours, sugar, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- In a medium bowl combine carrots, applesauce, egg, and vanilla. Add carrot mixture to flour mixture; and stir together gently. Divide among the prepared muffin tin, filling about to the top edge.
- Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Serve immediately.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Stir together (or use a hand-held mixer) 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread onto cupcakes or place into a zip top plastic bag, snip off one corner, and pipe onto cupcakes.
These cupcakes can be made a day ahead and stored at room temperature. Frost right before serving if possible.
Is the serving size 1 cupcake in the nutrition facts?
Thank you! Can I substitute the sugar for honey?
You could try using 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup honey instead of the sugar. The consistency may be slightly different and you may need to adjust the baking time a smidge—set it for the time as directed but be sure to test it with a cake tester and pull them when it comes out cleanly when inserted into the center. Let me know how they turn out!