Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

Carrot Cupcake

I’ve mentioned previously that I adore carrot cake, and just as I enjoy experimenting with new recipes, there are a few favourites that I take pleasure in making time and time again. This is one of those, and it makes delightful, individual cakes that are perfectly moist (but certainly not soggy), and delicately flavoured with vanilla, orange, and just a hint – the right amount – of cinnamon.

On occasion I’ve made them without adding the frosting, which means that I can re-define them as muffins (although strictly speaking this probably isn’t the case, but I’ve never had any complaints), and offer them up as a tasty breakfast treat. On the other hand, this orange cream cheese frosting really does complement them well (sweet, but also tangy and sharp), and it’s my favourite way to eat them – along with a good cup of coffee.

Carrot Cupcake_4

Because of the cream cheese frosting, they do have to be kept in the fridge. However, they do seem to last remarkably – surprisingly – well there in an air-tight container (probably because they’re so moist), and I have eaten them up to a week after baking them. Just try – if possible – to remove them from the fridge and leave them to come to room temperature before eating.

Carrot Cupcake_1

Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

For the cupcakes:
225g carrots, peeled and trimmed
130g raisins
2 large eggs (free range)
130g caster sugar, preferably golden
120ml corn oil
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp grated orange zest
120g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
 Makes about 15 cupcakes
For the orange cream cheese icing:
175g cream cheese
450g icing sugar, sifted
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
Grated zest of 1 orange
This makes plenty to ice 15-20 cupcakes
Optional: Ground cinnamon for decoration


Pre-heat the oven to 160°C (fan) / 180°C / 350°F / gas mark 4 and line a couple of 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake cases.

Finely grate the carrots and drain off any liquid. Combine the grated carrots and raisins in a large bowl using a wooden spoon and put to one side.

In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs and sugar together for several minutes and then add the oil, vanilla extract and orange zest and beat well.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into a separate bowl, then gradually add these ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Pour this mixture into the bowl containing the carrots and raisins and incorporate using a wooden spoon or spatula until they are evenly blended.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes – the cupcakes will be quite dark brown in colour and feel ‘spongy’ to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave the cupcakes in their tins for about 10 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing, place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat well until thoroughly combined and the icing is smooth and pale. This will take several minutes in an electric mixer. Ice the cupcakes only when they have cooled completely, and finish with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon if you fancy it.

As these cupcakes have a cream cheese frosting, they will need to be kept in an airtight container in the fridge (where they should stay moist and fresh for a good few days).

 Adapted from: Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery, Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas

About Georgina

Originally from the South of England, I've also had homes in Australia (Canberra) and the US (Los Angeles). I've been based in the UK city of Sheffield for a couple of years now. My blog is about adventures with food - markets, ingredients, books, recipes, places I've eaten and other related experiences. It focuses on stories from Sheffield, South Yorkshire and nearby Derbyshire, as well as places farther afield.
This entry was posted in Breakfast, Food, Recipes, Sweet things and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

  1. Hi Giorgina! I love carrot cakes too, and not all of them are delicious. Sometimes the spices used are too overpowering. I have all the ingredients you have listed… should time allow, I will make them today and will report back to you! 😀 Fae.

  2. Georgina, I made them!!! Absolutely divine! The most delicious carrot cake I ever had. Use of orange zest, both in the batter and icing was brilliant! I used golden raisins, cinnamon was the right amount, very moist, tasty and delightful icing to go with. A winner! 😀

    • Georgina says:

      Fae, that’s wonderful! It’s my absolute favourite carrot cake recipe – and I’ve got quite a few! The balance of everything is just about perfect, and they really do last well. I’m so glad that you made them, and that you enjoyed them as much as I do. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Dale says:

    Thanks for sharing one of your favourite recipes. I’m not a big cupcake fan myself but I’m surrounded by others who are so I will try these for sure.

  4. BeWithUs says:

    Wow…carrot cupcakes! Looks yummy~ It has been a while since I’ve last ate a carrot cake…missing it! Thank you for sharing~ Cheers!! 😀

  5. they look amazing. as soon as this awful heat breaks, we’ll give these a try. i love the idea of orange creamcheese frosting

  6. Pingback: Look, I made it! → Carrot Cupcakes With Orange Cream Cheese Icing | Fae's Twist & Tango

  7. Fabulous recipe and I just read Fae’s “Look, I Made It!” post. Your frosting sounds amazing. 🙂

  8. atkokosplace says:

    I am a huge carrot cake lover! I haven’t made carrot cake in years. I think it’s about time! 😀 Yours looks amazing. The pictures are fab, I can almost taste it!

  9. radhika25 says:

    Mmmmmm….looks delicious! R

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