These Carrot Cake Cupcakes Might Be The Key To Happiness

There’s a very specific sort of kitchen math that runs through my brain every time I stare into my refrigerator and try to figure out what to make.
Unfortunately, the hungrier I am when I approach the refrigerator, the more difficult it is to process this math. If I pray that there’s enough oil, enough eggs, enough canned pineapple, enough sugar, and enough flour — maybe, just maybe I can produce carrot cake cupcakes from a good, long stare in the fridge.
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
I wish for you the same success!
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Shredded carrots by the heap-full are mixed together with sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil. No mixer, even! Just a bowl, a whisk, and a dream.
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves spice this batter. It’s simple!

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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Dried cranberries and crushed pineapple sweeten and moisten the batter. Sorry I made you say "moisten" in your brain. Nobody likes that.
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Every time I decide to make cupcakes, I immediately try to talk myself out of it. All of this individual scooping and individual frosting just seems like an ordeal in the part of my baker’s brain that says, "Don’t work that hard, this could be a Bundt cake!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
But, I’m glad I turned this carrot cake batter into cupcakes. I took them to a backboard barbecue here in New Orleans in an effort to make new friends. People were like, "Whoa, these are really good!" and I was like "Duh, I’m Joy the Baker!" Kidding! Mostly!
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
The cream cheese frosting has a dash of crushed pineapple. The pineapple in the frosting will mimic the pineapple in the cupcakes.
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Photo: Courtesy of Joy The Baker.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes almost three dozen cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
4 cups peeled and finely grated carrots
3 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped (plus more for optional topping of the frosted cupcakes)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

For the frosting:
8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
4-6 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tbsp milk, depending on desired consistency

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. In a bowl, whisk together grated carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, pineapple, dried cranberries, and nuts if desired.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

3. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients, and stir to thoroughly combine.

4. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until testers inserted into centers come out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks, 10 minutes. Turn out cupcakes onto wire racks, and let cool completely. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen for up to two months in airtight containers. Make sure cupcakes are completely cool before frosting.

5. To make the frosting, in the bowl of a electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese until soft and pliable. Add the softened butter and beat on low until well combined. Add the powdered sugar, pineapple, vanilla, and a dash of milk. Beat on medium low until mixture is combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add more milk to reach your desired consistency.

6. Generously spread frosting on each cooled cupcake. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cupcakes are best served within three days.

Click here to print this recipe!

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