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Carrot cake with applesauce and a caramel drizzle

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Applesauce

A moist, spiced Carrot Cake in cupcake form. With applesauce, shredded carrots, pumpkin pie spice, and extra cinnamon, these cupcakes will be your new favorite spring dessert!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 17 mins
Cooling 10 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cupcakes


  • Medium Cookie Scoop this is crucial for getting perfectly even cupcakes! One of my most used kitchen tools!


  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 and 1/4 cup Brown Sugar packed
  • 3/4 cup White Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3/4 cup Flavorless Oil
  • 1/2 cup Applesauce unsweetened
  • 1 Orange zested
  • 3 cups Shredded Carrots chopped into smaller pieces


  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese room temperature
  • 2 sticks Butter room temperature
  • 2 and 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Milk


  • 1/4 cup Caramel sauce drizzled over top


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prep ingredients by chopping shredded carrots into 1/4 inch pieces, and zesting the entire orange. Line the cupcake tins with liners.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together both sugars, eggs, oil, applesauce, and the orange zest.
  • Slowly, add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • When the mixture is almost all mixed together, stir in the shredded carrots.
  • Using a medium cookie scoop, fill the cupcake liners a 2/3's of the way full.
  • Bake in the oven for about 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean!
  • While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting
  • Combine cream cheese and butter into the bowl of stand mixer and mix on high until light and fluffy.
  • Turn the mixer on low and add in the powdered sugar and salt.
  • After all the sugar has been mixed in, add heavy cream and vanilla to the bowl.
  • Once the frosting is finished, add to a piping bag with a large star tip attached.
  • Start by piping a star in the middle of the cupcake and then slowly work your way around the edge of the cupcake. Start to gradually pipe on top of the frosting to create a tall swirl. Release pressure and pull the bag away to create a peak at the top.
  • Drizzle the caramel over the top.
  • These Carrot Cake Cupcakes are ready to serve!



If you don't have a cookie scoop, you can use a large spoon or a quarter cup measuring cup! The goal is to make sure the cupcakes are 2/3's of the way full so they don't overflow in the oven.
If you don't have a piping bag, just use a plastic sandwich bag! Those work great!
Don't have the time to pipe the frosting? Just use a knife and smear it on the top! Trust me, a pretty cupcake tastes just as delicious as a rustic cupcake! 
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