Carrot Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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Happy Easter everyone! Whether you celebrate it or not, I hope your day is filled with happiness! I have no idea how American Easters go, since I grew up in Poland and our traditions are different when it comes to holidays like that. But whatever it is you do, I hope you enjoy it! This is how our Easter breakfast looked like: I didn’t touch the meat though, not exactly my thing. Especially since I started reading The Kind Diet last night, meat isn’t looking super favorable right now.

I was debating on either making a carrot cake or cupcakes yesterday. You can see which choice I ended up making. Typical. I just like cupcakes too much.

Thankfully, these are a healthier alternative to your regular carrot cupcakes. Plus, today was actually the first time I actually enjoyed eating a carrot (cup)cake. I wasn’t a fan of carrot cake before. But then again, I guess taste preferences change over time. Apparently, our taste preferences change every 7 years or so. This fun fact has proven true in my own experience – I used to hate spinach and mushrooms as a kid, but now I love them. I used to hate fish, not I love sushi and fish! Those are just the examples I usually go for, but there have been many more similar taste changes I’ve experienced.

Anyway, I hope your day is filled with joy! It seems like a beautiful day out in Chicago.

Definitely going to be taking advantage of that today with my parents.

I am so thankful for having a food processor.

Don’t be afraid to fill the liners almost all the way up – the cupcakes won’t grow very much. Once they do, they fall back down quite a bit after being out for a while.

Carrot Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting  (yield 12 cupcakes)

Adapted from Handle The Heat.


  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour/whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 heaping cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cup finely shredded carrots (about 2 medium ones)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp finely chopped pecans (or walnuts)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 3 oz reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 1/2 heaping cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (or more, if you want it more lemony, like I did)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

Sift together the first 6 ingredients.

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, brown sugar, and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla, and carrots.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Stir in 1/4 cup of pecans and 1/3 cup raisins and mix again.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, confectioners sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tbsp chopped nuts. The cupcakes should be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.


So yummy and moist. Mmmmm! Not stopping at one, that’s for darn sure!

Kammie wants to know:

  • Do you like carrot cake?

  • What’s your favorite kind of frosting to use on carrot cake or cupcakes? What about add-ins?

Let me know in the comments below!

Last Updated on March 27, 2019

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  1. These look INCREDIBLE! Wow. Springtime just screams carrot cake … and I’ll always choose lemon flavored desserts when I can 🙂 Enjoy your Easter Sunday!

  2. Those look absolutely delicious! Yum!!

    I hated mushrooms as a kid too, now I love them. It’s weird, isn’t it?

  3. These wee cupcakes turned out soo pretty and I love that they are healthier and not too loaded with frosting for a change.. perfect for Easter!! I hope you had a good Easter!!

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  5. Yum! I love carrot cake, one of my faves. It makes cute little cupcakes.

  6. These look so good and I like the potion control of a cupcake. Visiting from a Pinteresting Party and just pinned.

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  8. Pingback: Recipe: Carrot Coconut Raisin Muffins - Sensual AppealSensual Appeal

  9. Mmm these look so good! I am tempted to go to a diner and get carrot cake bc I am too lazy to make them,. haha!

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