With a super moist cake and silky smooth cream cheese frosting, CARAMEL PECAN CARROT CUPCAKES are more than a dream come true.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
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I could eat carrot cake all year round! I love the cinnamon flavor and how moist the cake is. Plus, it’s a great way to eat more vegetables. Kidding! These Caramel Pecan Carrot Cupcakes are my absolute favorite (crazy since they don’t have chocolate) and well loved by all who eat them. Deciding between these, Warm Caramel Carrot Cake, and White Chocolate Easter Egg Cupcakes for Easter is torture… so I make both!
How to make moist carrot cake and take it to the next level?
1) FINE grated carrots- Use the side of the cheese grater that has the smallest holes. Yes, it will take an extra minute to grate the carrots but it’s worth it. It helps make the cake moister and less chunky.
2) Crushed Pineapple (or applesauce)- this adds to the moisture, sweetness, and flavor. Don’t leave this out!
3) Silky Creamy Cheese Frosting- Hello gorgeous! This frosting is so smooth and tastes like a million bucks. It uses less powdered sugar than normal since you’ll be putting caramel on top so this makes it less stiff and perfectly sweet.
4) Caramel- Oh yeah! You can make homemade caramel sauce or use store bought caramel topping.
5) Toasted pecans- Toasting the pecans makes the nuts a little crunchier but also really bring out their flavor. It’s a must in my book.
Can you see the moistness?! And because the carrots are FINE grated they’re as small as the cake crumbs. Perfection! And I doubt little kids would even be able to tell there are carrots in there.
These look all fancy but they really are so easy to make. If you want a really ruffled frosting look all you do is hold your piping bag (fitted with a large closed star tip) vertically and squeeze as you slowly raise the bag up. Voila! The ruffles catch the caramel and nuts perfectly. I’m pretty in love with these cupcakes. Are you?
Carrot Cake Recipe
Caramel Pecan Carrot Cupcakes
For the Cake:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup finely shredded carrots
- 1 small can, 8 ounce crushed pineapple, well-drained (or 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce)
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped, toasted*
- 1/2 cups raisins, optional
For the Frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup caramel topping
- 1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped (toasted)
- 12 whole pecans, toasted
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well and add oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Stir in carrots, pineapple, raisins, and nuts until combined.
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter. (I use atrigger ice cream scoop)
- Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
For the Frosting:
- With an electric mixer (hand or standing), cream butter, 2 1/2 cups sugar, vanilla, and salt together starting at a slow speed (takes about 2 minutes to come together). Continue to cream for a couple minutes until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese 2 ounces at a time and beat 2 more minutes (scrape down as needed). Add more powdered sugar if needed to thicken the frosting.
- Place frosting tip (2D or 1M) in a piping bag and fill with frosting. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. For lots of ruffles, hold the bag vertical. Squeeze out the frosting as you slowly move the bag straight up.
- Using a spoon, drizzle the caramel over the tops of the frosted cupcakes. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
***The frosting is made with less sugar due to the sweet caramel you drizzle on top. You can add more powdered sugar if you want the frosting more stable. To make this in CAKE FORM, double the cake ingredients (not frosting) and bake at 350 degrees F in a 9×13 inch pan for 50-60 minutes or two 9-inch round cake pans (greased and floured) for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. The 9x13 inch cake can cool in the pan but for the round pans, remove them onto a cooling rack after 20 minutes. Once cool, frost the top of the 9x13 inch pan or if making two 9-inch round pans place one cake on a platter, frost, top with the second cake and then frost the top and sides of the cake.
Recipe Source: Garnish & Glaze original recipe
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