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This is a WAY overdo post! I made these back in March of 2016 for a good friend for her surprise birthday. Her favorite flavor is carrot cake and it’s been YEARS since I’ve made a carrot cake. I had to try out a new recipe and I’m glad I did because these little puppies are AMAZINGLY good!!

I didn’t use the decorations mentioned in the directions, I candied a few of the carrot shavings, which where ok and a little different.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

(Adapted from Cooking Classy)


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1 1/4 cups (178g) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups (195g) finely shredded carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)

2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar

1/3 cup (78g) packed light-brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup (64g) unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil

3/4 cup (82g) chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, softened

8 oz (226g) cream cheese, softened

3 1/2 cups (412g) powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Optional carrots for decoration

50g Marzipan (about 1/4 cup)

Orange gel food coloring

Cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)

12 small curly parsley stems


For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg for 30 seconds, set aside.


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Shred carrots as directed in notes below, set aside. Perfect job for a toddler itching to help!


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In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar, then add eggs and using an electric hand mixer, blend mixture on low speed 30 seconds, until slightly pale.


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Mix in applesauce and vanilla extract.


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With mixer running on low speed, slowly pour in vegetable oil and mix until combined, then mix 20 seconds longer.


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Mix in half of the dry ingredients, then pour the shredded carrots into the bowl with the remaining flour mixture and toss in flour mixture to coat carrots (they’ll clump together a bit but that’s fine). Pour carrot mixture into the batter and blend until evenly combined.


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Pour batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 19 – 21 minutes. Cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.


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For the frosting:

Using an electric mixer whip together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract.


With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. If frosting is slightly runny freeze several minutes then mix again and repeat if needed. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting then immediately roll edges of frosting in chopped pecans.


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For the decoration:

Tint marzipan with orange gel coloring and knead to evenly incorporate color. Separate small pieces at a time (I did 4g carrots) then roll into carrot shapes (roll a tapered log shape). Dip a toothpick lightly in cocoa powder, shaking off excess then gently roll carrot across toothpick (in random places) while slightly rotating to make slight indentations (to give it that natural look). Poke a small hole in the top of each carrot and insert parsley. Gently press carrots into frosting on tops of cupcakes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Allow to rest at room temperature until no longer cold before serving.

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