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Enjoy carrot cake cupcakes, a classic, without the guilt! You can feel good knowing this lightened-up, low calorie version is delicious and made with whole foods (no refined sugar or flour).
I believe it’s so important that we eat delicious desserts on occasion that don’t leave us feeling deprived or guilty if we overdid it (which I often do when it comes to desserts)!
how to make carrot cake cupcakes
These cupcakes are very easy to make. Follow these simple steps.
- Combine the dry ingredients with a whisk in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, mix your liquid ingredients except milk.
- Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk (begin and end w/ flour mixture)
- Stir just until incorporated so the batter stays light and tender. Fold in the carrots and raisins.
- Pour the batter into muffin or cupcake cups. Or, use a silicone cupcake tray. I’ve been using this a lot lately because the food pops right out!
- Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool before adding the cream cheese frosting.
ingredients for carrot cake cupcakes
Whole wheat pastry flour
With this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour. The difference between the pastry whole wheat and regular whole wheat is where it’s milled.
what is pastry flour?
Pastry is milled from white soft wheat and regular whole wheat is milled from red hard wheat. Because the pastry version has a lower protein content, it’s more tender and perfect for cakes, cookies and other “pastries” (hence the name!). Whole wheat pastry has the nutrients from the wheat without compromising the consistency.
Make sure you add all three spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger because that combination lifts the flavor to a new level.
Instead of using white, processed sugar, I like to use natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. I’ll also use low-carb sweeteners (sugar alcohol) like erythritol or xylitol in my recipes.
For this recipe, I used maple syrup. If you would like less carbs, try using Lakanto maple flavored syrup , which is sweetened with monk fruit.
I also supplemented it with apple sauce which reduces the calories and adds fiber (and who doesn’t want more fiber in their life!)
Because I’m avoiding dairy these days, I used almond milk for the nonfat milk. You could use coconut, cashew or regular dairy milk as well.
Shred fresh carrots, don’t use pre-shredded packaged ones. Freshly grated carrots are more flavorful and moist! 1 1/2 cups freshly shredded carrots equals about 2 medium carrots, but buy extra just in case you don’t get as much from your carrots. You can use a food processor or block shredder to shred the carrots.
how to make cream cheese frosting
This frosting is to die for! It has butter and cream cheese which gives it a rich consistency. Then I sweetened it with Swerve confectioners which makes it low carb/sugar! Does it even get better than that? Throw in the vanilla and it’s a good time!
If you want a dairy free option, try using a dairy-free cream cheese like Daiya, Miyokos or Kite hill. I’ve recently converted to using dairy-free in my cream cheese frosting and love it. I find people can’t taste the difference, especially if it’s made with other ingredients.
can carrot cake cupcakes be frozen?
You can store these cupcakes in the fridge for up to 4 days after they’ve been baked. I suggest pulling them out about an hour ahead of serving time.
If you want to freeze them, let the cupcakes be completely cool then freeze them (unfrosted) in airtight, freezer bags.
I got this recipe from Amy’s Healthy Baking and I made a couple of tweaks. Her site is fantastic because every time I do a recipe of hers I learn something new!Print
A healthier version to a classic! These carrot cake cupcakes are moist, have tons of flavor and topped with the perfect low-carb cream cheese frosting!
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup nonfat milk
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup powdered erythritol (I used swerve)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners (coated w/ nonstick spray)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and sea salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together to cocount oil, egg and vanilla extract. Mix in the applesauce, then the maple syrup.
- Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk (begin and end w/ flour mixture) Stir just until incorporated. Fold in carrots and raisins.
- Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely
For the icing:
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together with mixer until fully combined.
- Add the sweetener and vanilla extract and beat slowly so the sweetener get blown into the air.
- Once sweetener is incorporated, beat on high for 2 minutes or until fluffy.
- Pipe or spread on top of the cooled cupcakes.
- For the flour I used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry flour.
- You can swap plain nonfat Greek yogurt for the apple sauce.
- Honey or agave can be substituted in place of the maple syrup.