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Mar 27

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Santa Claus gets milk and cookies set out for him on Christmas Eve, but what should a host or hostess looking to thank the Easter Bunny offer? I’m no Emily Post, but my guess would be these Carrot Cake Cupcakes.

Carrots have tons of health benefits including improved vision, healthy skin, and prevention of heart disease and cancer. I love eating them on their own (or with a little hummus), but I love them even more in cupcake form. Isn’t everything a little better in cupcake form? Especially when those cupcakes are slathered in sweet cream cheese frosting, and only 159 calories or 7 Weight Watchers SmartPoints each. The cake in this recipe is perfect. It’s not too sweet (so it’s just the right match for the decadent frosting), it’s packed full of carrots, and the plump, juicy raisins offer little bursts of added flavor throughout.

I’m pretty sure I see some cupcake envy in Santa’s future…

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Yield: 18 cupcakes


  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (you can use white or regular wheat, this is just my preference)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ¾ cup reduced calorie “light” breakfast syrup
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 cups grated carrots (I just washed and peeled a bunch of carrots and threw them in my food processor to shred them up and then measured out 2 cups for this recipe)
  • 8 oz of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (separate from above – this one’s for the frosting!)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line 18 cups of a muffin tin with liners and set aside.
  2. Put the raisins in a small bowl filled with warm water and let them sit for 10 minutes to plump.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, applesauce, juice, syrup, milk, vinegar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and orange extract and stir together until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl containing the dry ingredients and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Add the shredded carrots. Drain the raisins and discard the water. Add the raisins to the other ingredients and stir the batter together until carrots and raisins are incorporated.
  5. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
  6. While the cupcakes cool, combine the cream cheese and 1 tsp vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electronic mixer, adding the powdered sugar in a little at a time until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints:
7 per cupcake (SP calculated using the recipe builder on

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
4 per cupcake (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

Nutrition Information:
159 calories, 25 g carbs, 15 g sugars, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 3 g protein, 2 g fiber (from

adapted from Cook 4 Seasons


13 Responses to “Carrot Cake Cupcakes”

  1. #
    Reagan Fox — March 27, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

    Look so yummy…but I have a question…with so many cupcake recipes out there, can you freeze them?? If I have 24 iced cupcakes on my kitchen counter…well, thats just the work of Satan right here at Easter time. Just curious…thanks!

    • Anonymous replied: — April 9th, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

      We own a mini cake company and we do freeze our mini cakes just make sure you wrap them very well/tight with clear plastic wrap and they should keep for 6 weeks. Good luck!

  2. #
    Chris — March 27, 2013 @ 11:53 pm

    Emily, can I substitute the ‘light’ breakfast syrup for something else? Maybe 3/4 cup water with Truvia?

    Thanks for all of your awesome recipes.

  3. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — March 28, 2013 @ 12:09 am

    These look so delicious 🙂 I’ve never had carrot cake before but this would be a great way to start 🙂

  4. #
    SandyH — March 28, 2013 @ 12:56 am

    Really awesome photo!!

  5. #
    Audrey Breen — March 28, 2013 @ 3:53 pm

    Just finished making them. And, they smelled so good I couldn’t wait until one cooled completely to try it. It was so good! Had all of the flavor of a carrot cake. Yummy! I didn’t add the raisins (personal preference), so I only had 17 cupcakes. The only thing I’d say is that I should have checked them a little earlier. They were overdone a tad at 19 minutes. But that’s my fault. I’ll make these again!

  6. #
    McKenna Ryan — March 28, 2013 @ 5:36 pm

    These look so yummy! My husband loves carrot cake cupcakes, they are his favorite. I might have to try out this new recipe. xx. McKenna Lou
    p.s. We are so excited about our newest giveaway c/o Honey Press! Be sure to check it out:

  7. #
    Amy — March 29, 2013 @ 1:34 pm

    These look so good! Thanks for sharing!

  8. #
    cupcake with filling — April 1, 2013 @ 12:19 am

    thanks for the great and healthy recipe…

  9. #
    Carole — April 19, 2013 @ 1:30 am

    Hi, this is a great post. I wondered if you would like to link it in to the new Food on Friday which is running right now over at Carole’s Chatter. We are collecting recipes using carrots and/or leeks. This is the link . I hope you pop over to check it out. There are lots of great recipes already linked in.

  10. #
    Anonymous — August 3, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

    These taste fantastic. Well done.

  11. #
    Nicole — March 23, 2015 @ 5:14 pm

    Have you ever tried making these into one large cake instead of just cupcakes? I’m tempted for my son’s first birthday party.

    • Emily Bites replied: — March 24th, 2015 @ 1:18 pm

      I haven’t, but I’m sure you could! The cook times would likely need to be modified.

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