Easy Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Pecans

By on 2/28/2012 10:53:00 AM

Sometimes a cake mix and a can of commercial frosting just do not seem quite special enough for a dessert. I was recently assigned the task of providing a dessert for my daughters’ elementary school’s Parent/Teacher Conference night teacher dinner. I didn’t want to send in a store bakery dessert—but, one of my daughters wasn’t feeling well and spending hours in the kitchen wasn’t going to work for me either. My last minute solution? A quick and easy semi-homemade carrot cake cupcake recipe with a quick homemade cream cheese frosting and a few special cake mix add-ins.

Ingredients for Semi-Homemade Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Pecans

The Carrot Cake Cupcakes
  • 1 Pkg. Carrot Cake Mix, mixed according to package instructions with required amounts of oil, eggs, and water 
  • ½ c. Fresh Carrots, Shredded finely 
  • ½ c. Raisins 
  • ¼ c. Apple Juice 
  • ¼ c. Pecans, finely chopped 
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 (8 oz.) Pkg Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter, softened
  • 2 c. Powdered Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ c. Pecans, finely chopped (for garnish if desired)
Instructions for  Easy, Semi-Homemade Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Pecans
  • Preheat oven and prepare muffin tin. Preheat oven according to cake mix package directions. Line cupcake tin with paper or foil liners—or spray tin lightly with non-stick cooking spray. 
  • Hydrate raisins. Place apple juice in a small saucepan with raisins. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover tightly with lid, remove from heat and allow raisin mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes. Drain raisins and discard non-absorbed apple juice.
  • Prepare cupcake batter. Mix cake mix according to package directions. Add carrots, raisins and chopped pecans. Fold in gently until incorporated.
  • Bake and cool cupcakes. Bake cupcakes according to cake mix directions. Remove cupcakes to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  • Prepare frosting. With a hand mixer, mix cream cheese and butter until fully combined. Add powdered sugar by 1/2 c. increments until frosting ingredients are incorporated.  Add vanilla extract and beat an additional 30 seconds.
  • Frost and garnish carrot cake cupcakes. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting as desired. I used a pastry bag and then roughed up the frosting into peaks with a knife. Sprinkle carrot cake cupcakes with nuts if desired. I used pecans—but, walnuts also work well.

About Angela

Angela is a freelance travel writer and lifestyle blogger, blessed with 3 beautiful daughters, 5 moody cats, 1 spoiled dog, and 1 very supportive husband.


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