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Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Iced cupcakes are delicious snacks or desserts. Unfrosted, these carrot-filled cupcakes are perfect for breakfast on the run or a lunch-box treat.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 12
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Source: Everyday Food, May/June 2003


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
  • 8 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and eggs.

  2. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut.

  3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

  4. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.

  5. Frost cupcakes, and garnish with shredded coconut.

Reviews (44)

  • pari_on_earth05 26 Feb, 2015

    This recipe is great but I found the batter way runny, so I added more flour (1 cup). I will definitely bake it again.

  • Diana madrigal 9 Apr, 2014

    These cupcakes are incredible! If your cupcakes fell in the center it is because they lack flour( to all of those who say they "bake a lot", you should know this!) If your batter looks too runny just add flour 1/4 cup at a time until it looks thick enough to make a solid structure during baking so they do not collapse. I added 1/2 cup more flour to the recipe, substituted walnuts for pecans and coconut for dried cranberries. The cranberries added extra sweetness but not too much...delicious!

  • yumfactory 8 Sep, 2013

    Wanted to try a new recipe for a cupcake version; very disappointed. I read all the reviews and followed the recipe exactly except that I used foil liners as these were for a party and needed to look nice. As many reviewers pointed out, the centers fell. I bake a lot and so I know my oven is calibrated and am a careful measurer using quality ingredients. While my husband says they taste good, I feel I wasted effort and energy and have to remake with another recipe to achieve a better product

  • Fari Guti 3 Aug, 2013

    Loved it! I used gluten-free flour and had to substitute brown sugar for the granulated sugar and it came out amazing! Moist and fluffy, full of flavor...highly recommend it.

  • Herne Bay Housewife 3 Feb, 2013

    Easy peasy and yummy!

  • megs23 29 Feb, 2012

    I love this recipe for carrot cupcakes but was wondering if it can be baked as one whole cake?

  • luv2carolyn 24 Sep, 2011

    I was really disappointed at this receipe it looks good but the flavor didnt make it . For a carrot cake I wanted a rich and flavorful receipe, also the cake didnt rise as it should.

  • pasadenachef 20 Mar, 2011

    These were incredibly moist! The best carrot cake muffins I have ever had. I'm a chef and pastry chef as well, I highly recommend these lovely muffins!

  • 22cupcakeprincess 17 Oct, 2010

    the taste is great but twice they overflowed in the tins and I followed directions exactly. nolt sure what happened. but am left with crispy edges

  • motherwarrior 18 Jul, 2010

    My family loves these!!! Of course I add my own little touches to the recipe. I always add a little more sugar to sweeten it up a bit.

  • POOHBEAR3132 20 May, 2010

    Absolutely delicious. My family and I loved them. Moist, flavorful....another great Martha recipe. This is a definite keeper. (One little side note...I did reduce the sugar to just under 3/4 cup and the cupcakes were still perfect.)

  • AmyBee 18 Apr, 2010

    I thought these were disgusting - they weren't very sweet

  • MaineStyleCoach 6 Apr, 2010

    Though delicious these were a bit flat but I used raisins instead of coconut and nuts.

  • AndreaUrsula 2 Apr, 2010

    I add about two tablespoons of finely chopped crystalized ginger to the cream cheese frosting, plus a quarter teaspoon of ginger powder or half a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger to the dough. Yum!

  • johanessburg 17 Mar, 2010

    Mine only baked for 20 mins

  • johanessburg 17 Mar, 2010

    These cupcakes were yummy, very nice and soft and nice taste. i didnt have walnuts so i used pecan nuts and didnt have shredded coconut so used dessicated coconut. I used canola oil too. family ate them all in one go haha

  • donaliza 29 Dec, 2009

    these carrot cupcakes are awesome! a big hit at thanksgiving dinner...

  • newdawnnewday 14 Dec, 2009

    Loved these! Doubled the recipe to freeze half for later (baby due in a few weeks, trying to stock up on goodies). Forgot the baking soda, mine rose and were lovely. I didn't have OJ so I used apple juice! LOL. Will be making another double batch to freeze, tonight!

  • glanejupiter 6 Dec, 2009

    Baked in dark,nonstick pan; they STUCK - what a mess; flavor was wonderful but only CRUMBLY cakes - any advice??

  • tati0309 13 Nov, 2009

    I made these cupcakes last night for my husband and we both loved them. I followed the exact recipe and the cupcakes were moist and delicious, I baked them for exactly 25 minutes.

  • 141414 22 Mar, 2009

    Cupcakes are delcious!!!

  • JSCR 20 Mar, 2009

    Well like so many others, I too had sunken cupcakes. Should we add more powder or soda? Also I thought I would mention that there is an alternative to vanilla extract...use a grated vanilla pod, ironically this is what I did. So good when the vanilla is fresh.

  • Briony 26 Feb, 2009

    Simply my favourite cupcakes! Every time I make them they turn out perfectly, and everyone loves them without fail.
    I always add a bit of extra spice (I just shake in powdered cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger), but that is just a personal preference.

  • SweetieSmith 22 Feb, 2009

    I tried these and they didn't rise for me either, and I don't live at high altitude. My suggestion is try another recipe!

  • Geigersmom 7 Feb, 2009

    I tried these twice, and mine sunk as well. I thought maybe, high altitude, I'm above 6000. Anyone know the conversion?

  • HugsnQuiches 27 Oct, 2008

    It could be that the baking powder is old.

  • detroiterchick 27 Oct, 2008

    I made these with all of the ingredients called for and they drooped in the middle (more like a valley) and the did not puff up. Any suggestions?

  • detroiterchick 27 Oct, 2008

    I made these with all of the ingredients called for and they drooped in the middle (more like a valley) and the did not puff up. Any suggestions?

  • majormichel 3 Sep, 2008

    I did not have allspice so I use 1/8 tsp each cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. It was good and tasty. Would make again. also I only use 1/2 cream cheese with 2/3 cups confectioners sugar and vanilla it made enough to iced all 12 cupcakes. The kids enjoyed the icing as well.

  • bakingirl93 5 Jul, 2008

    These were delicious! I made them for a horse's 36th birthday, and garnished them with little frosting carrots, using the Cream Cheese Frosting in a pastry bag. I loved the orange zest in the frosting, it added a lot!

  • mykids88 12 May, 2008

    Best carrot cake/cupcake recipe. Super easy. Very moist. Might try adding cinnamon or ginger for more flavor.

  • TammyJeanB 6 May, 2008

    I used papers in the muffin pan and these did not rise much, in fact the batter spread onto the top of the pan. I wish I would have sprayed the pan with Pam even though I used the papers. What a mess to get them out of the pan. My suggestion, don't use the papers, or maybe the 8x8 pan would be a better idea. I followed the recipe exactly and I had fresh baking powder and soda, so I can't figure what went wrong.

  • JGreiving 11 Apr, 2008

    Great recipe! Very quick and easy to follow. Make sure you finely grate the carrots, it helps them soften. You could possibly reduce the amount of oil - I made mine in an 8x8 pan and it seemed a little dense.

  • auntiemaryann 10 Apr, 2008

    i've used kahlua (coffee liqueur) in chocolate cake, and soaked raisins in rum for bread pudding, and diluted orange marmalade with triple sec and blended it in the blender for carrot cake. some cookies call for brandy. don't be afraid. they all tasted great, if i do say so myself. vanilla is great, but if you're out, you have to improvise.

  • bigmarcella 3 Apr, 2008

    In regard to the question, "what is a suitable sub for vanilla extract", I'm afraid there is none!

  • mjSVCA 2 Apr, 2008

    To #1: Allspice is one of my favorite spices. I use whole allspice to season my homemade chicken broth -- maybe 1 to 2 for every quart of liquid. I also mix some in with the whole peppercorns in my grinder.
    To #6: I think the recipe should read "finely" shredded carrots. When I shred carrots for carrot cake in my food processor, i use the shredding disk, and I give them an extra whirl with the regular steel blades just to make sure they are small enough. It always works.

  • bearsforever 1 Apr, 2008

    Allspice is not, as is mistakenly believed by some people who have only come across it in ground form, a mixture of spices. Rather, it is the dried fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant. The fruit is picked when it is green and unripe and traditionally dried in the sun. When dry the fruits are brown and resemble large brown peppercorns.
    Look for it wherever ground spices are sold. Hope this helps.

  • olivemeyer 19 Mar, 2008

    These wonderful cupcakes were so moist, sweet and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly except I did not have any coconut. They do not rise too much, but slathered with the cream cheese frosting puts them over the top! Definitely a keeper! I plan to double the recipe and make two 9" layers for carrot cake with the cream cheese frosting between and on top for my Easter dessert.

  • ChantalfromCanada 27 Feb, 2008

    Simply delicious and good news, I was able to use less sugar (3/4 cup instead of 1 cup), les oil (1/4 cup insatead of 1/3) and some whole wheat flour (1/4 cup of whole wheat flour plus 1/2 cup of white flour).

  • hajaranuar 27 Feb, 2008

    its been a long time i'm searching for this recipe and i can't wait to try it. but what is allspice?

  • juiceandflavor 16 Feb, 2008

    Does anyone know a suitable substitute for vanilla extract?

  • micheleh 10 Jan, 2008

    It was moist and good except the carrots didn't cook soft enough for my taste.
    Maybe next time I will boil them a few mins to soften up a bit.
    Frosting was delish!

  • heyjude1969 20 Nov, 2007

    Perfect recipe. Makes just enough for a small family. Really moist.Extremely tasty. I also made it in a 8 X 8 pan for a picnic. Came out perfect and was completely gone!

  • heyjude1969 20 Nov, 2007

    Perfect recipe. Makes just enough for a small family. Really moist.Extremely tasty. I also made it in a 8 X 8 pan for a picnic. Came out perfect and was completely gone!

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