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Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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With just a few simple recipe swaps, this recipe turns basic cupcakes into the best Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes you’ve ever tried. They’re moist, warmly spiced, and topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting.

Want more gluten-free dessert ideas? Try my GF Vanilla Cupcakes or these Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes!

A carrot cake cupcake with the cupcake liner pulled down

The Best Gluten-Free Carrot Cupcakes

These perfectly spiced, moist cupcakes are the gluten-free version of my popular carrot cake cupcakes, both of which were inspired by my sweet potato cake.

Like the original recipe, these gluten-free cupcakes are topped with an absolutely irresistible salted caramel cream cheese frosting. While you could certainly use a basic cream cheese frosting, the salted caramel flavor really makes these cupcakes pop!

These easy carrot cake cupcakes come together in just a few minutes and end up so perfectly moist and flavorful. These are great for Easter, definitely, but I love making them year-round!

Two gluten free carrot cake cupcakes stacked on each other, the top with cream cheese frosting

Key Recipe Ingredients

Here are some of the main ingredients you’ll need for these cupcakes. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredient list.

  • Gluten-free flour – You want to use a 1:1; Measure for Measure All-Purpose gluten-free flour for this recipe.
  • Oil – This is an oil-based cupcake recipe, instead of butter-based, which takes away the time needed to bring the butter to room temperature and gives more moisture to the cupcakes.
  • Carrots – Grate the carrots using a box grater or food processor for ease.
  • Cinnamon – Cinnamon gives that warm flavor to the carrot cake.
  • Walnuts & raisins – Optional ingredients that add some flavor and texture.
  • Salted caramel sauce – Adds a lovely flavor to the frosting.
Close-up on a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Recipe Variations

If you want to make these gluten-free cupcakes your own, here are a few ideas. Just be sure to always check the labeling to ensure the mix-ins are gluten-free as well.

  • Try different nuts. Instead of walnuts, try pecans or another type of nut.
  • Swap out the raisins. Instead of raisins, try currants or cranberries.
  • Add some coconut. Toasted shredded coconut adds a nice flavor that complements the carrot flavors well.
  • Stir in some chocolate chips. Gluten-free chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips are a great add-in for chocolate lovers!

How to Make Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This is a gluten-free dessert that can be whipped together with just a few minutes of prep time.

  1. Prepare. Preheat the oven and line your pan with cupcake liners. Shred the carrots with a food processor or box shredder.
  2. Make the batter. Beat the eggs with a fork then add the sugar and beat on low speed. Add in the oil and beat until well mixed. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, beating until incorporated.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients. Beat in the shredded carrots. Fold in the walnuts and raisins if adding them.
  4. Bake. Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle, comes out clean. Cool completely.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

The frosting also comes together in a few simple steps!

  1. Beat the butter. Cut the butter into 1-inch blocks and beat until it’s whipped and fluffy, matching the consistency for the cream cheese frosting.
  2. Add the cream cheese. Beat the cream cheese into the butter until fluffy and free of clumps.
  3. Add the sugar. Add the confectionary sugar 2 cups at a time with the vanilla extract, caramel, and salt. Add the heavy cream only if needed to further soften the frosting. Beat until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Frost the cupcakes. Generously frost the cooled cupcakes. Keep in the fridge until serving.
Cream cheese frosting on a spatula over a mixing bowl of it

Tips for Success

Here are a few tips for the best gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes.

  • Use a cookie scoop to divide the batter. The easiest, most mess-free way I’ve discovered to fill cupcake liners is to use a large cookie scoop. It helps to evenly distribute the batter without making a mess.
  • Use cold ingredients for the frosting. Both the butter and cream cheese should be cold when you begin making the frosting. This allows the frosting to be thick enough to pipe.
  • Use the heavy cream only if needed. As you combine the creamed butter and cream cheese, you may discover that you don’t need the heavy cream at all. Add it only if needed for taste and consistency.
  • Serve at room temperature. While these cupcakes should be refrigerated after frosting, I do like to pull them from the fridge 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Serving them at room temperature allows the frosting to soften just a bit.
A carrot cake cupcake laying on its side with a bite missing

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover carrot cake cupcakes should be stored, and covered, in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Again, let them set out on the counter for a few minutes before serving.

If the cupcakes are not frosted, they can also be kept at room temperature.

Can I Freeze These?

The cupcake portion can definitely be frozen but I don’t recommend freezing the frosting. Wrap the individual cooled cupcakes tightly with plastic wrap then place in again container. Freeze for up to two months and thaw on the countertop. Frost before serving and enjoy!

More Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes:

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A gluten-free carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 48 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cupcakes

Description

With just a few simple recipe swaps, this recipe turns basic cupcakes into the best Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes you’ve ever tried. They’re moist, warmly spiced, and topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups (380g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (236ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 cups (280g) 1:1 Measure for Measure All-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8.5g) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (8.5g) cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated raw carrots
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)

For the Frosting

  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, cold
  • 67 (780g) cups powdered confectionary sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) salted caramel sauce
  • 12 teaspoons (5-10ml) heavy whipping cream or milk (as needed)
  • Pinch of Salt

Instructions

Make the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Use a food processor to shred carrots into smaller pieces.
  2. Lightly beat eggs with a fork then add sugar and beat on low speed until smooth.  Next, add the oil and continue to beat on low speed until well mixed.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients and beat until incorporated.
  4. Add shredded carrots to the batter and beat until combined. Fold in walnuts and raisins if desired.

Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full/ Bake for 18-22 minutes until slightly risen. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Cool Completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. Cut the butter into 1-inch blocks. Beat the butter for 1-2 minutes until it is slightly softened.
  2. Add the cream cheese and cream together for 2-3 minutes until they are fluffy and free of lumps, scape down the bowl occasionally.
  3. Slowly add confectionary sugar, 2 cups at a time along with some of the liquid ingredients (vanilla extract and caramel) and salt. Reserve the heavy cream only if needed to achieve taste or consistency. Once all the ingredients have been added, beat until desired consistency is reached. Add an additional ½-1 cup confectionary sugar for a stiffer consistency, if desired.
  4. Frost cooled cupcakes. Once frosted, keep these cupcakes stored in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.

Notes

Storing: Leftover carrot cake cupcakes should be stored, and covered, in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Again, let them set out on the counter for a few minutes before serving. 

Nutrition Information:
1 Cupcake
515
52.7 g
292.7 mg
27.5 g
66.6 g
1.5 g
4.1 g
71.1 mg
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gluten free cupcakes, gluten free desserts, easy carrot cake cupcakes

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

2 Responses
    1. Julianne - Beyond Frosting
      Beyond Frosting

      Hi Liz, these have only been tested with the 1:1 All-purpose gluten-free flour. In my experience, almond flour is quite different and not a 1:1 substitute.

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