• Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing are a classic in the dessert world. Light but full of flavour, the moist cake is made even more delightful with dollops of dreamily creamy icing. 

    Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing

    Serves: 24
    Cooking Time: 1 hr + 1 hr


    • Carrot cupcakes

    • 440g castor sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) vanilla essence
    • 250ml (1 cup) sunflower/canola oil
    • 230g carrot pulp (from about 6 carrots)
    • 245g (about 3) bananas, mashed
    • 100g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
    • zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 220g cake flour
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) baking powder
    • pinch salt
    • 10ml (2 tsp) bicarbonate of soda
    • 145g desiccated coconut
    • 125ml (½ cup) milk
    • Icing

    • 230g block cream cheese, at room temperature
    • 120g butter, at room temperature
    • 500g icing sugar, sieved
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
    • fondant icing carrots, to decorate (optional; available at speciality baking stores)



    Preheat the oven to 160°C and place cupcake holders of your choice into 2 x 12-cup muffin tins. Add the castor sugar, eggs, 15ml (1 tbsp) vanilla essence and oil to a bowl. Beat well with an electric mixer until pale, about 3 minutes. Stir in the carrot pulp, mashed bananas, pecan nuts, and lemon zest and juice.


    Sieve the cake flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda into the mixture, then add the desiccated coconut and fold into the mixture gently, using a spatula. Once incorporated, fold in the milk. Divide the mixture among the cupcake holders and bake in the preheated oven, about 15 minutes.


    While the cupcakes bake, make the icing by beating the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer, until smooth and fluffy. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until fluffy and incorporated, followed by the other half of the icing sugar, lemon zest and vanilla essence. Beat until fully incorporated and fluffy, then set aside at room temperature.


    Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour, before icing and decorating, if desired.