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Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Light Cream Cheese Frosting

These moist and fluffy cupcakes pack all the light spices of a traditional carrot cake, and of course the veggie goodness from fresh carrots! We also cut the amount of fat in half, even in the cream cheese frosting, to make these a guilt-free treat for Easter, or any other time you want a yummy carrot cake dessert!

Makes: 12

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Nutrition Facts:  287 calories / 37g carbs / 3g protein / 14.5g fat

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Light Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ cup oil (avocado or canola oil)

  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 ½ cups finely grated carrot


  • 5 oz “⅓ less fat’ cream cheese (room temperature)

  • 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan lining with paper liners. Spray the liners lightly with cooking spray.

  2. Mix the dry ingredients (flour through salt) together in a large bowl. 

  3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (oil through eggs). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the flour is almost all incorporated.

  4. Fold in the grated carrot.

  5. Spoon batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups, filling each about ⅔ full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the cupcakes are lightly golden and a toothpick tester comes out with no wet batter (only crumbs).

  6. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the muffin pan and cool completely to room temperature on a cooling rack.

  7. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. Beat the room temperature cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with a hand-held or stand mixer on high speed for 1-2 minutes.

  8. Add the powdered sugar and pinch of salt. Mix on low until the sugar is incorporated, and then increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating for a further 1-2 minutes. The frosting should be light and fluffy.

  9. Frost the cooled cupcakes with a knife, spatula, or piping bag. Decorate with sprinkles or candies if desired (macros not included.)

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