We adore these easy to make cupcakes! Fully loaded with walnuts, pineapples, coconut, and plenty of carrots, these cupcakes are bursting with flavor! While the cupcake can stand on it’s own with any cream cheese frosting, we stepped it up with a Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting that perfectly compliments the cinnamon and nutmeg in the cupcakes. Need these for a special occasion? We have you covered! Top these off with candied carrots (yum!) for a pop of color and textural change! People will be coming back for seconds and thirds!
While this recipe notes that it takes 1 1/2 hours to complete, it can take much less time than that if you are preparing the next component while your carrots or cupcakes are baking. For example, I like to make the frosting while the cupcakes are baking and the carrots are simmering, it all depends on how comfortable you are. All the components of this recipe can also be made a day or two ahead of time to save time on the day you need them.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups carrots matchstick
- 1 cup coconut shredded
- 1 cup walnuts chopped
- 8 oz crushed pineapple
- 16 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- ½ tbsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup carrots matchstick
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F and add liners to cupcake pan.
- In a large mixing bowl (or standing mixer) add flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, ground cloves, and cinnamon. Mix ingredients together. Add white sugar, vegetable oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Drain crushed pineapples in a fine mesh strainer so that all extra juice runs off but do not press liquid out. This will help keep the cupcake moist while they are baking. Add pineapples, carrots, coconut, and walnuts to batter and mix well.
- Scoop batter into cupcake pan, baking for 19-21 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
- In a large mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and unsalted butter. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Once all powdered sugar is fully incorporated, add remaining ingredients. Blend well. All done! Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 225°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- *Adjust sugar/water amounts so your carrots are completely covered, keeping the water/sugar to an equal amount. This amount will vary depending on the size of the pan you are using.* In a sauce pan bring sugar and water to a boil just long enough for the sugar to completely dissolve. Add matchstick carrots and reduce to a simmer. This is IMPORTANT because if you keep the sugar at a boil you could easily caramelize the sugar and have to start over.
- Stir carrots occasionally, allowing carrots to simmer for 15-18 minutes. Drain and spread out on parchment paper. Sprinkle 1-2 tsp of granulated sugar, until the carrots are well coated. Make sure to spread out the carrots so they don't stick together while baking.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until moisture has evaporated from carrots. They will still be pliable when testing due to the heat. Let cool at least 30 minutes before using.
- Once cupcakes are cool, frost and add candied carrots on top. These can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 5-7 days.