Carrot Cupcakes with Orange & Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cupcakes
Subtly spiced carrot cupcakes with a tangy citrus and vanilla cream cheese frosting.
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups grated carrots
  • zst of 1 orange, divided
  • frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces butter, softened
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
  • ½ of the orange zest
  • 1½ cups confectioner sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl. In another bowl beat the butter, brown sugar, egg, orange juice, and vanilla together. Add the grated carrots and half of the orange zest, mix well. Fold in the flour mixture until just combined. Divide the batter between the lined muffin cups, filling each about ¾ full, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a rack.
  3. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the vanilla bean seeds and remaining orange zest, mix to combine. Beat in the confectioners sugar until smooth and creamy. Pipe or spread onto the cooled cupcakes.
I doubled the frosting recipe since I knew I would be piping them with a generous amount of frosting. One batch of frosting is plenty for most.

To decorate these, I used spring-themed M&M's.
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