Ultra soft and tender carrot cake cupcakes with light and fluffy cream cheese frosting are the perfect spring dessert. So delicious no one will know they’re lightened up and gluten-free!
Can we just live in a world where anything that has a vegetable is automatically healthy? Like, can these be the side veggie side dish for my grilled chicken? Or zucchini bread. Or I’d even settle for throwing some spinach in my milkshake. That constitutes a green smoothie, right??
Okay, so maybe these aren’t quite as healthy as snacking on baby carrots, but sometimes you just need your veggies in the form of a giant, ridiculously good cupcake. And today is one of those days. I’ve been working an absolutely insane amount (which is so worth it because it’s leading to GREAT things that I can’t wait to share!) and pretty much living off canned soup and cheese toast. I am the model of healthy living over here. I miss vegetables, and at the same time I have the overwhelming urge to stress eat about a dozen cupcakes, so I’m pretty sure carrot cake is the perfect solution.
I’ve always been a huge fan of carrot cake (except when it has nuts–no thank you), and I’ve tried a couple of times to make carrot cake cupcakes, but they always ended up as a bust. Especially the time I tried to stuff them with whipped coconut cream and they ended up a soggy mess. That was fun. Finally, I decided to stick to a more traditional version, and they ended up being everything I wanted and more! So flavorful, so tender, and better than any carrot cake I have ever tasted. I seriously couldn’t get enough of them, and they are hands down one of my all time favorite desserts.
- 1½ cups gluten-free baking blend (or white whole wheat flour)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- dash salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ pound carrots, grated
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, coconut oil, applesauce, egg and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined, then fold in grated carrot.
- Fill muffin tins ¾ full with batter. Bake until edges lightly brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.
- To make frosting, beat butter and sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Beat in powdered sugar ½ cup at a time. Add vanilla and continue to beat until everything is smooth and incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Frost completely cooled cupcakes. Serve immediately or store refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-5 days.