These cute little Vegan Carrot Cupcakes with vegan Cream Cheese Frosting are light, moist and fluffy. They are studded with raisins and nuts and deliciously spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon.
Vegan Carrot Cupcakes
Carrot cupcakes may not be the healthiest way to get your daily veggies, but they certainly are the most delicious, hands down.
Especially these vegan carrot cupcakes with a smooth, decadent vegan cream cheese frosting. It's just like eating the most scrumptious vegan carrot cake, in a portion-controlled size.
I've been making these carrot cupcakes for years--they were among the first desserts I veganized--and they've always been a big hit with family and friends. And as crowd-pleasing as they are, they are also really easy to make.
It takes under 10 minutes to stir up the batter, in one bowl. Rinse out the bowl and use it to make the delicious cream cheese frosting, which also comes together easily and effortlessly.
The cupcakes are a moderately healthy dessert, what with the hefty dose of veggies involved, but you can make them healthier by using wholegrain flour and cutting down on the sugar in the frosting. Read more about that in the tips and substitutions section below.
Easter might seem an obvious time to make these cupcakes, although I make them year-round, for my little bunny, Jay, and my kid at heart, Desi.
What you'll love about these vegan carrot cupcakes
- They're delicious. Be warned, it'll be hard to stop at one.
- They're easy to make. It's a perfect project to make with your children. Get older kids to help with grating the carrots and mixing the batter. Little ones can help frost -- and taste, of course.
- The ingredient list is quite simple--you probably have most of these things in your pantry or refrigerator, and there are no crazy ingredients.
- You need just one bowl to mix up the batter. Then rinse the bowl and use it for the frosting, making cleanup a breeze.
- They are much lower in fat than a traditional carrot cupcake would be.
For the carrot cupcakes:
- Unbleached all purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Vegetable oil
- Nondairy milk
- Apple cider vinegar
For the vegan cream cheese frosting
- Vegan cream cheese
- Vegan butter
- Powdered sugar
- Pure vanilla extract
- Walnuts for sprinkling (optional)
Tips and substitutions
- Begin by grating the carrots using the large holes on a grater or in the food processor. You need 1 ¼ths packed cups, which would be two medium-small carrots or one large carrot.
- When making any cake, you will usually start out by whisking all the dry ingredients together. In this case the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. You can use whole wheat pastry flour if you want to make these whole-wheat--it works amazingly well.
- Once your dry ingredients are whisked, add all of the wet ingredients in, including the carrots, ginger (I use fresh ginger, but use powdered ginger if that's all you have available), sugar, vegetable oil, nondairy milk and apple cider vinegar.
- Stir in the raisins and the chopped walnuts. Toast the walnuts slightly before adding them to the batter. You don't have to use raisins and walnuts--one or the other is fine too.
- You can substitute the walnuts with pecans.
- The batter for these cupcakes is quite thick, but that's okay. The carrots will express more moisture. Use an ice cream scoop or a cup measure to portion them out into the cupcake pan.
- Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes, then make sure that a toothpick in the center comes out clean before removing them from the oven.
- Let them cool thoroughly on a rack before frosting. Adding frosting to a warm or hot cupcake will result in a gooey mess.
- The frosting is really easy to make--mix all the ingredients and whisk them until smooth. I use 2 cups of confectioners' sugar for a very sweet frosting, which Jay loves, but you can cut it down to 1 ½ cups for a still delicious but not-as-sweet frosting.
- I use 3 tablespoon vegan butter in the frosting, but you can cut that down as well to just 1 tbsp.
Looking for more vegan cakes?
- Vegan Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Gluten-Free Vegan Skillet Cornbread Cake
- Vegan Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake
- Vegan Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake
Vegan Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the carrot cupcakes:
- 1 ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour, or a mix)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon fresh ginger (finely grated. Or use ½ teaspoon dry ginger)
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cup nondairy milk
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ¼ cup carrots (finely grated)
- ½ cup walnuts (lightly roasted then chopped)
- ½ cup raisins
For the vegan cream cheese frosting
- 8 oz vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
- 3 tablespoon vegan butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Make the carrot cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Add the sugar, vegetable oil, nondairy milk, vinegar, carrots, ginger, walnuts and raisins and mix until everything is just incorporated.
- Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with liners. Divide the batter equally among them.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool thoroughly on a rack before frosting.
Make the vegan cream cheese frosting
- Using a hand mixer or a whisk, beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and confectioner's sugar until smooth and creamy.
- Frost the cakes. You can sprinkle on some chopped walnuts over the frosting or serve just as.
These came out great! I used coconut sugar and they are delicious!
So awesome to hear. Thanks for letting me know!
These are our favorite cupcakes. We make them all the time and can't have enough.
What kind of sugar? White sugar is not vegan.
You can easily find vegan cane sugar now.
So great to hear!
Yes Nisha, it is 2/3 cup. You don't need a lot of flour for this recipe. Have fun baking!
Madhu, thanks for your kind and encouraging words-- I am so glad you like the blog and the recipes I post. Also happy your family liked the cupcakes-- these are among my favorites too. Come again! 🙂
Followed ur recipe and made these cupcakes.... it was awesome.... it was moist and rich... made it for my in-laws and they couldn't believe that something healthy could taste so good ;)... all thanks to u and i keep following your site pretty closely.... everytime i see a new recipe i get all excited and can't wait to try 'em.. thank u so much for sharing your recipes :)...
Mumbai incident is really horrible, no other go other than our prayers.
I just luvd your cupcakes and other recipes too.
What happened in Bombay was definitely very upsetting. I can understand how it would have felt for a person raised there. Looking at the state of affaris these days, it's clear that there is no end for terrorism, which is again very terrifying even to think of.
Happy blog anniversay Vaishali. The cupcake looks very moist.
that was a horrible incident Vaishali! I understand your attachment with Mumbai! So sad that so many innocent people lost their lives! Hope your family and friends are doing fine.
Happy birthday Holy Cow! Wish you many more such birthdays in future. The cupcake is the perfect way to celebrate it.
Very sad news and heart breaking.... So many innocent lives are taken away.
Happy birthday to ur blog, i really enjoyed ,learn lot from ur Vegan cooking!
Cake looks wonderful!
Happy blog anniversary...
I am too shocked abou the Mumbai incident...
Cake looks moist n perfect!
I too feel sad about what's happening in mumbai.. very upsetting...
cake looks delicious Vaishali.
Congrats on your blog's first year.
The Mumbai incident is very sad. I wish there was soemthing we could do...
Happy belated BDay HolyCow.
We should show these people that we are tough,not broken,we are strong and we will rise from the ashes.We must stand united and bring back the lost glory.TheNot just the hotels but entire India is our pride and we must & will rebuild it
Hope ur friends are fine there.
happy blog anniversary and yummy cupcake but as you said our hearts are bleeding and we were in no mood to enjoy thanksgiving! Hope no more such activities takes place and it really hurts!
Happy Birthday - Holy Cow!:)
I know what you meant by the feeling for 'Taj'. In May I had taken the kids over to show them our 'Taj' - I don't know who is more proud of it! The Tatas or we! I feel so bad to see a wing charred, apart from the massacre of 80 people. I remember going past Leopold Cafe as a youngster wondering what goes on in there, and then my sister and I went in to have chai just because we did not want to be the ones who hadn't 'been there and done that'. It held its own space in Colaba. I miss the freedom we had here - we could walk alone anytime and never fear manhandling, and now we cannot trust crowds! But one must smile in the face of terror and not get bogged.
I too was glued to the news. BBC was running it all night on the radio. I am always left really confused and sad by events such as these. I am glad to hear your friends are alright.
Happy Blogging Birthday. The cupcakes look delicious
What happened in Bombay is really horrible and sad. I cannot even imagine how you must feel as the sad news continue.
Nevertheless, happy blog anniversary!
The carrot cupcakes look divine.
thats a beautiful recipe..looks delicious..
I know and can understand how u might be feeling,its really terrifying and a heinous crime against humanity. Hope everything ends happily.
Carrot cake looks so moist and delicious. Happy b'day to yor wonderful blog.
Yeah we were all glued to the news yesterday and today morning too.
Vaishali It is indeed so sorry to hear the news.
The cake has come out so well and it is my favorite cake. Happy birthday holy cow. Cheers and good luck.
I feel very upset too with all that's happned in mumbai. I've not even visited mumbai, so i can understand how much impact it should have on u.
Cupcake looks yum and happy birthday to your blog. The timing may not be great, but your one year of blogging (hardwork) deserves some wishes atleast.