Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Light and moist Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Easy to make and delicious topped with marzipan carrots. Great for birthday parties!

carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting on cake stand

Carrot Cupcakes

How could one possibly resist one of these little beauties? Small and dainty, snow-capped with a luscious cream-cheese frosting, these carrot cupcakes are elegant in looks but not pretentious in taste.

Carrot Cupcake Recipe

I have a fond affection for Nigella’s baking bible, How to be a Domestic Goddess, and this recipe is one which I have returned to on many occasions.

carrot cupcakes cream cheese frosting on cake stand

Decorating Carrot Cupcakes

In Switzerland, it is very common, almost obligatory, to decorate any carrot cake with marzipan carrots.

If you are like me and possess little to no piping skills, marzipan carrots can be a life-saver; they look adorable, children love them, and all you need to do is open a packet.

These carrot cupcakes may not land you a spot on Cupcake Wars, but they will certainly bestow the maker with a certain sense of pride and achievement.

carrot cupcakes cream cheese frosting with marzipan carrots

Citrus Zest

The carrot cupcakes are light and sweet, simply fragranced with a touch of cinnamon and citrus zest.

One oddity about this recipe is that Nigella calls for the zest of half a lemon and half an orange or satsuma in the cake batter, and then for lime juice in the cream-cheese frosting, thus requiring you to use three different citrus fruits but not the whole of each fruit.

I would recommend simply using the zest of either a whole lemon or a small orange and, to that end, using the juice of your chosen fruit in the cream-cheese frosting. A small simplification on my part but one which makes me feel better about reducing waste in the kitchen.

carrot cupcakes ingredients

With or Without Walnuts

The original recipe calls for the inclusion of walnuts in the cake, but having made these carrot cupcakes with and without the walnuts, I think much depends on your preference.

The walnuts add some body and depth to the cake (think nut bread), but leaving them out gives the cake a softer and more moist texture.

carrot cupcakes process shot

Other Carrot Cake Recipes You Might Enjoy

If carrot cake is your thing, you might also enjoy this lovely Moist Carrot Cake with Lemon Frosting.

I love to also make carrot cake in a loaf tin, and always using Rachel Allen’s recipe for Carrot Cake with Orange Cream-Cheese Frosting.

For a more traditional Swiss-style carrot cake, I recommend this classic recipe for Swiss Carrot Cake from Betty Bossi.


Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: British

Light and moist Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Easy to make and delicious topped with marzipan carrots. Great for birthday parties!


For the Carrot Cupcakes

For the Cream-Cheese Frosting

  • 125 g (4.5 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 250 g (2 cups) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 12 teaspoons lemon or orange juice
  • marzipan carrots or walnuts halves for decoration


For the Carrot Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) (without fan).
  2. Line a muffin pan with 12 muffin cases.
  3. Beat together the sugar and oil.
  4. Add the eggs and continue beating until you have a smooth mixture.
  5. Add the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and zest.
  6. Mix gently until everything is well combined.
  7. Stir through the carrots and walnuts.
  8. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Leave the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Cream-Cheese Frosting

  1. Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth.
  2. Add the icing sugar (powdered sugar), tablespoon by tablespoon, until you have the desired sweetness. You may not need all of the icing sugar.
  3. Add the lemon or orange juice to taste, though be mindful that it will thin the frosting a little.
  4. Spread some cream-cheese frosting on the top of each cupcake.
  5. Decorate with a marzipan carrot or a walnut half.

Kitchen Notes

This recipe is adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 378
  • Sugar: 29.4g
  • Sodium: 176.5mg
  • Fat: 19.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.6g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Protein: 4.7g
  • Cholesterol: 33.4mg

Did you make this recipe?

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This recipe was first published on 28 February 2012. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.

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1 comment

  1. Julia 13 April 2018

    I want to try it immediately.A good recipe. Thank you for sharing