clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
carrot cake cupcakes with brown butter cream cheese frosting recipe

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Heather Mubarak
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 12 to 14 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: Cakes & Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


The very best carrot cake cupcakes I’ve ever had! Perfectly light and fluffy, incredibly moist and topped with a dreamy swirl of luscious brown butter cream cheese frosting. Perfect for any occasion!


Units Scale

For Cupcakes

  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt (or sour cream), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) freshly grated carrots, at room temperature (from about 4 medium carrots)

For Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, browned, strained, and chilled until firm for 45-60 minutes
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. *Pro tip: Brown the butter first and place it in the fridge to chill while you make the cupcakes. It will be ready to use once it’s time to whip up the frosting.
  3. Wash, peel and grate carrots using a cheese grater. For best results, use freshly grated carrots rather than the store-bought ones in the plastic bag. They are void of moisture and will be dry.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil and sugars until well combined.
  6. Add in the eggs and vanilla. Whisk until incorporated.
  7. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients, alternating with the sour cream, being careful not to over mix. Begin and end with the flour.
  8. When a few streaks of flour remain, fold in the grated carrots and mix until just barely combined. Do not over mix.
  9. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way using a cookie scoop or spoon. Do not overfill or cupcakes will spill out over the liners.
  10. Bake for 16-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. The cupcakes will be slightly domed on top.
  11. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

For Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. To brown the butter, melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan.
  2. Once melted, continue to stir often and do not leave unattended. The butter will crackle and sizzle as it browns and will begin to foam slightly. Keep stirring occasionally through this stage. Once the sizzling sound stops, continue stirring as golden brown bits will begin to collect in the bottom of the pan. The butter will smell slighty nutty and aromatic. Remove the butter from the heat and strain into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer.
  3. Refrigerate the browned butter for 45 to 60 minutes until firm and cool to the touch.
  4. Once chilled, place brown butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
  5. Beat butter and cream cheese on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  6. With mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. Once fully incorporated, add vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
  8. Increase speed to high and beat for one minute until light and fluffy.
  9. Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and swirl the frosting onto the cupcakes. Or use a spoon or offset spatula to spread the frosting on the tops of cupcakes.
  10. Top with coconut flakes, chocolate bunnies and Easter candies, desired.


Refrigerate left over cupcakes for up to three days.
Cupcakes may be frozen before frosting. Defrost at room temperature and frost before serving.

**Recipe originally posted April 2022. Updated March 2024.