Carrot Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrots, pineapple, and applesauce contribute to this richly textured and flavorful classic. Frost the cakes with this delicious caramel and cream cheese frosting for a real treat.

Serves: 24Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 1 hour 25 minutesDifficulty: Easy


Serves: 24

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 package (16 oz.) baby carrots
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple
  • 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1⁄4 cup plus 1⁄3 cup softened unsalted butter, divided
  • 1⁄4 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1⁄4 cups brown sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 5⁄8 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄8 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup caramel ice cream topping

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 24 muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Place baby carrots in food processor; process until very finely chopped. Set aside. Drain pineapple, leaving 2 tablespoons juice with the fruit; set aside.
  • In large bowl, combine oil, 1⁄4 cup butter, applesauce, granulated sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir in to wet ingredients. Fold in grated carrots and pineapple. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each about 2⁄3 full.
  • Bake for 18 to 23 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched with finger. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, beat cream cheese with remaining 1⁄3 cup butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add remaining 1⁄4 cup brown sugar and beat until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1⁄8 teaspoon salt and beat 1 minute. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until thick and creamy. Spread onto the cooled cupcakes. Drizzle with caramel topping.