Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake cupcakes

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

There’s a very specific sort of kitchen math that runs through my brain every time I stare into my refrigerator and try to figure out what to make.

Six carrots + 8 radishes + 2 sticks of butter + half a pot of leftover chicken soup + 1/2 bundle wilting kale + block of cream cheese – one bagel’s worth of cream cheese + yesterday’s pudding experiment.

Unfortunately the hungrier I am when I approach the refrigerator, the more difficult it is the process this math.

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

If I made the radishes a snack.  If I combine the wilted kale with the leftover chicken soup.  If I pray that there’s oil enough, eggs enough, canned pineapple enough, sugar enough,  and flour enough… maybe just maybe I can produce Carrot Cake Cupcakes from a good long stare in the fridge.

I wish for you the same success!

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

Shredded carrots by the heap-ful are mixed together with sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil.

No mixer, even!

Just a bowl, a whisk, and a dream.

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

Cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves spice this batter.  It’s simple!

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

Dried cranberries and crushed pineapple sweeten and moisten the batter.

Sorry I made you say ‘moisten’ in your brain.  Nobody likes that.

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

Everytime I decide to make cupcakes I immediately try to talk myself out of it.  All of this individual scooping and individual frosting just seems like an ordeal in the part of my baker’s brain that says ‘don’t work that hard, this could be a Bundt cake!’.

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

But I’m glad I turned this Carrot Cake batter intocupcakes.  I took them to a backboard barbecue here in New Orleans in an effort to make new friends.  People were like, ‘whoa these are really good!’ and I was like ‘DUH, I’m Joy the Baker, dummy!’.  (But I only said that last part in my head, so….).

Calling someone a dummy while trying to make new friends is not suggested.

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting with a dash of crushed pineapple.  The pineapple in the frosting will mimic the pineapple in the cupcakes.  It’s like matching your purse and your belt.  You know.

carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple cream cheese frosting

Springtime friendship makers.  Soft and sweet with really great frosting.  They’re like little cupcake weapons… for friendship.

Try them.  You’ll see.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

makes almost 3 dozen cupcakes

adapted from Martha Stewart

Print this Recipe!

For the Cupcakes:

4 cups peeled and finely grated carrots
3 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped (plus more for optional topping of the frosted cupcakes)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

For the Frosting:

8oz cream cheese, softened
1  cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4-6 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk
depending on desired consistency

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. In a bowl, whisk together grated carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, pineapple, dried cranberries, and nuts if desired.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

Add the dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine.

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until testers inserted into centers come out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks, 10 minutes. Turn out cupcakes onto wire racks, and let cool completely. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen for up to 2 months in airtight containers.

Make sure cupcakes are completely cool before frosting.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese until soft and pliable.  Add the softened butter and beat on low until well combined.  Add the powdered sugar, pineapple, vanilla, and a dash of milk.  Beat on medium low until mixture is combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add more milk to reach your desired consistency.

Generously spread frosting on each cooled cupcake.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Cupcakes are best served within three days.  

67 thoughts on “Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Joy – It’s really hard to say what I enjoy more – reading your posts or eating your food. Silly never tasted so good.

  2. Yep winning friends with cupcakes are the only way to get around. I simply love the pineapple in the cream cheese; it reminds me of cross between the frosting on a humming bird cake and morning glory muffins (we all know the two things are glorious)

  3. You absolutely HAVE to try carrot cake with pistachios in the batter, cream cheese frosting, and topped with more pistachios. It’s magical. Seriously. Something special, like telling your mom she doesn’t have to make your favorite cake ever for your birthday and she says okay, but then (SURPRISE!!!) she made it anyways! :D (hint: this is the favorite).

  4. I love carrot cake – it was the first thing I learnt to bake as a child, and I have to say it did make me some friends! Pineapple sounds like a awesome addition.

    1. Hi do you have some quantity advice for replacing the sugar with juice? I’d love to do that for DS’ second b’day, he’s a massive fan of pineapple what a genius idea, thanks!

  5. Love any kind of carrot cake. Have you ever made one with a whole ground up orange, minus the seeds in it? I did, once, but have lost the recipe.

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