Sometimes I think my favorite part of  holidays is the anticipation in days leading up to the actual celebration, when I think about all of the delicious food we’re going to eat. I’ve spent the last few days thinking about digging into Easter dinner on Sunday, and all of the tasty dishes that will along with it. While my dinner daydreams tend to be focused on savory flavors (I’m visualizing the mac and cheese!), I’ve been having a bit of a sweet tooth craving lately for carrot cake.The cravings took over and I decided to test some carrot cake recipes and translate them to cupcake form! Poor cupcakes, they really had their moment there for a bit, and now they’re old news. I’m rooting for them and I think this tasty carrot cake recipe with cinnamon-spiced cream cheese frosting can only help support their comeback. I’ve always been intimidated to make carrot cake at home because of the process of shredding the carrots — but I used my food processor to break them down and it made quick work of the veggie-prep. I also added in some honey and pecans for sweet and nutty notes, and topped with the essential cream cheese frosting (the real reason I love carrot cake!). It’s such a great cake recipe for this time of year, and always gives me the happiest memories when I take my first bite since it was our wedding cake flavor. Get the recipe below:

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 12-14 Cupcakes
  • ¾ Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. of Melted Butter
  • 1 Tbsp. of Honey
  • ½ Cup of White Sugar
  • ½ Cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 Tsp. of Vanilla Extract
  • 1.5 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ Tsp. of Baking Powder
  • ½ Tsp. of Salt
  • 2 Tsp. Cinnamon
  • ½ Tsp. of Nutmeg
  • 2 Cups of Finely Shredded Carrots
  • ⅓ Cup of Finely Chopped Pecans
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ Stick of Butter, softened
  • 2 Tsp. of Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ Tsp. of Cinnamon
  • ¼ Tsp. of Salt
  • 2.5 Cups of Powdered Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, melted butter, honey, white sugar and brown sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla, and continue to whisk together until smooth.
  3. Combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  5. Fold in the shredded carrots and pecans (use a food processor for small, uniform pieces).
  6. Drop the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling each one about ¾ of the way full.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes; remove the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. While the cupcakes are cooking and cooling, prepare the frosting. Combine the softened cream cheese and butter with vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, and powdered sugar in a bowl. Use an electric mixture to beat the ingredients together until smooth.
  9. Ice the cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting and decorate with sprinkles.