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Aug 22


Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

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One word.


And I don’t use that word often.

Whenever we serve these carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese icing at school – the students, cafeteria staff, teachers, custodial staff, administrative staff – everyone – has something to say about how delicous they are.

And I notice, because as much as chocolate and vanilla cupcakes are yummy too, these cupcakes, always get a good instant reaction.

I’m not trying to boast, it is after all, not my creation; I’ve adapted the recipe from the amazing Ina Garten (otherwise known as the Barefoot Contessa), I just need to share with you how delectable these really are, and that they are a must-try recipe. That is, of course, if you like carrots and cream cheese. 😉

A little secret for you regarding the cream cheese icing… To make it a brighter white, add a little bit of white food coloring (I didn’t for these ones though).

Lunchbox Love

I thought I’d go one step further to make these cupcakes enticing for the little ones going back to school…


… and dress them for some lunch box love.

They don’t sound kid-friendly, but these cupcakes are SO good, and your little one will never know there’s carrot in them.

Add these mini gingerbread cookies with edible ink images in honor of  ‘Back to School’…

… to help get them excited about the new year.

The edible ink markers, made by Americolor, make writing fun!


If you’d like to make these carrot cake cupcakes, here are the recipes:

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

{click to print}

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Beat the oil, sugar, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, mixing briefly between each egg.
  3. In a different bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt cinnamon and nutmeg).
  4. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots and raisins to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into cupcake liners (in your muffin pan), until each is 3/4 full.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

Cream Cheese Icing

{click to print}

  1. Cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Slowly add the sugar and beat until smooth.
  2. When the cupcakes are cool, ice them with a large swirl tip. I used Ateco #829 pastry tip.

Back to School Edible Image Cookies

If you’d like to make these, there are detailed tutorials on making edible image cookies HERE and HERE. I used a gingerbread cookie recipe, but sugar cookies would work too. {Click on the highlighted words to find the recipes}.

Here’s a quick pictorial breakdown as well. Speaking of which, a big thank you to Niner of We Choose Organic, for editing the photos in this post for me. You can find this talented girl and her treats on her facebook page here. Not only is she conscious about baking and cooking organically, she bakes spectacular sweets and is a skilled web designer.

Also, sweet thanks to Belinda of Little Bee Hive for sharing her free printable, which I used for these cookies. Her adorable site and art work are a must-see as well.

To make these cookies, print your images onto frosting sheets, using an edible ink printer and food coloring cartridges.

Once the icing on your cookie is dry, lightly coat it with clear corn syrup.

Gently place your image.

Pipe a border with a #3 piping tip.

While the icing is wet, sprinkle the cookie with sanding sugar.

Shake off the excess and you’re done!

Eat and enjoy!



p.s. You can find a video on how to make the cupcake swirl here.

p.s.s. If you’d like to never miss a post, and/or receive more tips on cookie decorating, click on this button below to sign up for free:

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  1. October 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    @ jessica: That’s exactly what I do! =) (I mention it in my previous answer to Sweet Melissa too).

  2. October 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I guess I more meant…do I frost them and then put them in the fridge for 4+ hrs…or do I put the cupcakes in a dome to stay fresh…and put the icing in the fridge until its time to frost them? Thanks!!

  3. Holly RobertS
    October 17, 2011 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I have made a cream cheese icing before and found that the icing wasn’t thick enough to pipe. Has anyone had this problem with this icing recipe? Any tips to avoid the icing not being thick enough to pipe?


  4. marian
    October 17, 2011 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    @ Holly RobertS: Holly, I used this exact recipe to pipe what you see in the picture.
    Chill the icing a bit; it will make it stiffer if it has softened too much for you.

  5. Nicole
    December 11, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    @Holly RobertS: I’ve had that problem with cream cheese frosting to. The issue is that cream cheese breaks down and becomes runny when you beat it for too long. What I’ve been doing with cream cheese frostings is to cream the butter and vanilla first, let that get soft and smooth, and then add the cream cheese and beat JUST until combined. Same when adding the powdered sugar – don’t beat for any longer than you have to. This helps the cream cheese stay stable for piping!

  6. Michelle
    January 29, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I made these last night and they were absolutely fabulous! I shared some with my neighbours and they also agreed that they were incredible! Thank you for taking the time to maintain this website Marian, I love your creativity!

  7. March 31, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I have to make these cupcakes. I wish I had one right now they sound delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

  8. jessica
    April 14, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Tried cupcake recipe and the flavor was delicious but the consistency was a little off and I think it might of been the baking time. The second batch I made I baked at400 degrees for 10 minutes and then at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. They came out moist and bounced back when you touch the tops. That was the only change I made to the recipe.

  9. katty_mo
    May 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    cupcakes and icing came out delish! I was wondering though how long can I keep this icing in fridge? has some left over..

  10. marian
    May 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the input @ Nicole!

    I’m so glad you guys like them @ Michelle!

    Thanks for @ jessica! Every oven is different and finding what works with yours is key!

    HI @ katty_mo: About 4-5 days is good. Enjoy!

  11. June 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    I am definitely going to try these carrot cupcake cookies. They look sooo yummy! the good thing about them too is that they are soo pretty my daughter will definitely love them!

  12. August 13, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Marian, have you used this recipe for a cake? I have a customer that wants a 1/2 sheet carrot cake. I’m concerned about the sturdiness of the cake. Thanks!

  13. marian
    August 13, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Sorry, @ Randy, I haven’t tried it.

  14. Patty
    August 27, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    @ Holly RobertS:
    I have had the same problem, even after assurances that the recipe always works for them! Don’t know if its because I live in hot, very humid South Carolina, but my cream cheese icing is always too soft to pipe and I resigned myself to only using it to frost a 13×9 cake left in the pan. It literally slid off of cupcakes before my eyes.
    Recently, I started making cupcakes on a regular basis, and was determined to frost them with cream cheese frosting. Purists may balk at this, and I cringed myself at first, as I don’t even allow margarine in my house, but I can’t help the weather. I started substituting solid Crisco for half the butter. It sounds gross, but it really helps the frosting to hold up to piping. There is enough cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in the recipe that you really can’t tell there is shortening in it.
    They turned out looking exactly like I wanted them too, and they were delicious. Good luck.

  15. leopardbonapart
    November 4, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    hello, we’re just wondering if the red animal (not the fox one) is a cat, a squirrel or a chipmunk? it’s very important for us!

  16. Bel
    August 20, 2013 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    hi can i disregard nut meg and raisins instead replace it with walnuts? Does pineapple crush or apple sauce help in making it moist because i saw other recipe that calls it? tnx

  17. March 25, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    These look so good. I love carrot cupcakes.
    I’m going to try your recipe!! =)

  18. Karla
    January 12, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Hi, I love this recipe but is there any way this baby boys can be more sponge? They keep baking too flat.What do you sugest? Thank u so much!!

    • marian
      January 13, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Hi Karla,
      Mix 1 tsp of baking powder into the flour. 🙂

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  1. By Wedding Cookie Cakes | Sweetopia on April 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    […] flavours were; carrot, vanilla and chocolate. The flowers were from Petra International. (See my flower post on Petra […]

  2. […] When you want an instant reaction about how delicious your cupcakes is, this is the recipe to try. The carrot cupcake with carrot bits and raisins has just the right amount of bite and although you know they are healthy, these certainly don’t taste like health food. The cream cheese icing has just the right amount of tanginess to balance out the cupcake underneath in both taste and texture. Tangy, sweet and delicious; just the way you like it. Source Sweetopia […]

  3. […] When you want an instant reaction about how delicious your cupcakes is, this is the recipe to try. The carrot cupcake with carrot bits and raisins has just the right amount of bite and although you know they are healthy, these certainly don’t taste like health food. The cream cheese icing has just the right amount of tanginess to balance out the cupcake underneath in both taste and texture. Tangy, sweet and delicious; just the way you like it. Source Sweetopia […]

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