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side view of carrot cake cupcakes on a blue speckled background

Small Batch Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Allison Ferraro
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes (does not include time for cupcakes to cool before frosting or for brown butter to cool to room temperature before making the frosting)
  • Yield: 7 cupcakes 1x


These cupcakes are packed with fresh flavor and deliciously moist. They're the perfect dessert for a small Easter celebration!



for the carrot cake cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 grams) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 grams) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 gram) ground cinnamon
  • 5 Tbsp. (62 grams) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), lightly whisked
  • 3/4 cup (72 grams) freshly grated raw carrots (about 1 large carrot)
  • 1/4 cup (32 grams) finely chopped pecans (can substitute walnuts)

for the brown butter cream cheese frosting:

  • 6 oz. (171 grams) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp. (86 grams) unsalted butter, browned and cooled to room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp. (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups (284 grams) confectioners’ sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Place paper liners into 7 wells of a standard muffin pan and set aside.
  2. Make the carrot cake batter. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine vegetable oil and sugar and whisk to combine.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture to the oil mixture and stir to combine. Then add about half of the whisked egg, whisking to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and stir before adding the remaining egg and whisking just until blended.
  5. Add grated carrots and pecans and stir until blended.
  6. Spoon batter into the prepared pan, filling each of the seven wells 2/3 full (about 2 1/2 Tbsp. or 55 grams of batter per cupcake).
  7. Bake the cupcakes for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs (but no raw batter). The tops of the cupcakes will be just slightly domed, and they will flatten (but shouldn't sink down) as they cool. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before removing.
  8. Make the brown butter cream cheese frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer), beat cream cheese and room temperature browned butter on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and salt and beat to combine. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add confectioners’ sugar until all the sugar is added. Then beat on high speed until the mixture is well combined and creamy.
  9. Frost the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, they're ready for frosting. Fit a piping bag with a large piping tip (I used Wilton 8B) and pipe a large swirl of frosting onto each cupcake. Or, if you prefer, use an offset spatula to spread frosting onto each cupcake.


Storage: Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. For best taste, let them sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes before serving.

This recipe makes enough cream cheese frosting for generously piping onto the cupcakes. If you're planning to spread frosting onto the cupcakes, you can reduce the amount of frosting by as much as half.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Western European

Keywords: carrot cake, cupcakes, brown butter, cream cheese frosting, small batch dessert recipe