These small batch carrot cake cupcakes with brown butter cream cheese frosting are packed with fresh flavor and deliciously moist. They're the perfect dessert for a small Easter celebration!
Remember in the 2000's when we were all obsessed with cupcakes before the trendy dessert seemed to run its course? With the rise in popularity of small batch baking over the past year (for obvious reasons), it seems like the right time for cupcakes to make a comeback. They are, after all, just perfectly-portioned mini cakes.
So here you have it! My favorite Easter dessert - carrot cake - turned into the most delicious cupcakes. These cupcakes are adapted from my all-time favorite carrot cake recipe, so they're delightfully moist, packed with fresh carrots and a hint of cinnamon, and have just a bit of crunchy pecans. This recipe is a must-have for Easter, but I'd gladly eat these cupcakes all year round!
These carrot cake cupcakes are perfectly moist, which makes for the most delicious texture. It also means that their tops are flat rather than domed. Since we're covering them with cream cheese frosting this isn't an issue, and the taste trade off is 100 percent worth it.
This small batch recipe makes seven cupcakes. With just the right ratio of ingredients for perfectly moist cupcakes and being careful to fill the liners just ⅔ of the way, that's where we netted out. If a bakers' dozen includes 13 baked goods instead of 12, then this is a bakers' half dozen. Trust me, you'll be fighting over who gets to eat that "bonus" cupcake!
Step-by-Step Recipe Instructions
This small batch cupcake recipe is quick and easy to make! The batter is stirred by hand, so there's no need to pull out the stand mixer.
- First, line seven wells of a standard muffin pan with paper baking liners. Set the prepared pan aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and ground cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, combine vegetable oil and sugar.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and a whisked egg to the oil mixture, stirring until all the ingredients are blended.
- Add freshly grated carrots and finely chopped pecans to the batter and stir to blend. (If you prefer, you can substitute chopped walnuts.)
- Spoon batter into the prepared pan, filling each baking liner just ⅔ full.
- Bake the cupcakes at 325°F for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, make the brown butter cream cheese frosting by blending room temperature cream cheese and browned butter, vanilla extract, salt, and confectioners' sugar. Spread frosting onto the cupcakes using an offset spatula or fit a piping bag with a large piping tip (I used a Wilton 8B piping tip here) and pipe a large swirl of frosting onto each cupcake.
The brown butter cream cheese frosting is easy to make and adds deliciously creamy flavor to these cupcakes.
Carrot cake cupcakes should be stored in the fridge, especially once they're frosted with cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes will be fine at room temperature for a couple of hours, and leftover cupcakes can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. However, these cupcakes will taste best at room temperature, so let refrigerated cupcakes sit on the counter for 30 to 60 minutes before serving.
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