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Carrot Cake Cupcake Baskets

Updated: May 1

Whether you're making a cake or cupcakes with this carrot cake batter, you won't be disappointed! This moist cake is spiced with a touch of cinnamon and topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting. A hint of nutmeg makes the frosting next-level good. This is a winner for even the most ardent carrot cake nay-sayers!

Carrot Cake Cupcake Basket with chocolate eggs and a floral handle.

This carrot cake recipe was given to me by a dear Norwegian friend from school. I haven’t seen her in many, many years, but this always takes me right back to a girls trip in Norway. Three of us hit the road touring this stunning country. We swam in crystal clear waters off the south coast, sunbathed on glacier smoothed rocks, hiked in the mountains, ate amazing food, laughed until we cried (we cried too) and sang along to Alanis Morisette.

This carrot cake always reminds me of that first night back together after a couple of years. It was this moment around the kitchen table, as we attacked the cake with forks (no plates needed) that I knew these friends would be with me forever. No matter how much time had passed, we just picked up right where we left off.

As for the cake? Hands down, best ever! I never liked carrot cake until I had this one, so even if you’re raising an eyebrow here, give it a whirl! It’s not too sweet, it’s very easy to make and the cream cheese frosting has a little pepper and nutmeg in it which rounds it off beautifully.

I made cupcake baskets today because I saw everything outside starting to POP to life and thought it would be cute for Easter. Whether you serve this as a cake or cupcakes, be sure to share it with dear friends! Even if it means just dropping off a few at their front door.

xoxo Kirsty

Carrot Cake Cupcake Basket with chocolate eggs and a floral handle.

Ingredients for one 8" x 8" (20cm x 20cm) baking pan, one round 9" (23 cm) pan, or 15 cupcakes

  • 4 eggs

  • 1-1/3 cup (255g) sugar

  • 1-1/3 cup (200g) flour

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (150ml) mild tasting olive oil (not a robust one, but a regular extra virgin olive oil is fine)

  • 5-6 medium carrots, grated

For the Icing:

  • 3.5 oz (100g) cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup (50g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 cup (125g) confectioners’ sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

  • a few grinds of pepper

  • a few passes of nutmeg on the grater

  • a tiny pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Grease and flour a standard 9-inch (23cm) cake tin or line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sugar until lighter in color, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla sugar, and salt. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Stir in the olive oil and carrots until completely combined.

Pour the batter into the cake tin or cupcake liners. Bake for 40-50 minutes, but check after 40 minutes. If it bounces back when you touch it with your finger, it’s ready! Cupcakes will take 15-17 minutes. When done, remove from the oven and cool completely.

For the icing, cream together the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly combined. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla sugar, pepper, nutmeg and salt. Whisk on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Frost the cake or cupcakes and enjoy!

To make the basket handles, twirl floral wire around blossoming twigs from the garden, and press the ends into the sides of the cupcakes.

Carrot Cake Cupcake Basket with chocolate eggs and a floral handle.

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