Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

It seems that as soon as spring hits, everybody makes carrot cake. Sure, anything with carrots is super popular for spring, especially for those celebrating Easter, but in my family, carrot cake has always been a year-round dessert. I may be biased, but my (Angela’s) family recipe that my mom has made since I was little, and my sister has perfected over the years is my favorite of all the carrot cakes I’ve ever had. So, I’m sharing that family recipe with you today in the form of cupcakes to test out yourself! These Carrot Cake Cupcakes are heavenly with a light, fluffy and irresistible brown butter cream cheese frosting!

Tips for Added Flavor

There are a few additions to this version of carrot cake cupcakes that gives it an added layer of flavor and texture. Let’s break these down:

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
The Brown Butter Cream Cheese frosting is irresistible!

Toasted Coconut. Toasted coconut is hands down better than when it’s not toasted (in our humble opinions, of course). The coconut texture changes so that it has a slight crunch and it gains a deeper, almost nuttier flavor profile. We always prefer this as a topping on the frosting, but adding toasted coconut into the cake itself gives the cake a little something special.

Brown Butter. We are brown butter lovers in this house! We absolutely love the flavor of brown butter and we feel that it often improves a variety of dishes, and the nuttiness is amazing in sweet applications. So browning the butter for the cream cheese frosting was a no-brainer here for us. If you want to see more recipes with brown butter, check these out: Brown Butter and Pecan Rum Cake, Brown Butter Bourbon Caramel Gelato, Brown Butter Cardamom Linzer Cookies with Passion Fruit Jelly,


We hope you enjoy this recipe for Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes on a serving plate
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Course: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • For the Cupcakes
  • 3 large 3 eggs

  • ¾ cup buttermilk

  • ¾ cup vegetable oil

  • 2 tsp 2 vanilla extract

  • 2 cups 2 granulated sugar

  • 1 cup 1 all purpose flour

  • 1 cup 1 wheat flour

  • 2 tsp 2 baking soda

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 2 cups 2 grated carrots

  • 1 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained

  • ½ cup toasted coconut (see note)

  • 1 cup 1 chopped pecans

  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

  • 2 tsp 2 cinnamon

  • 1 tsp 1 ground cloves

  • For the Frosting
  • ½ cup butter

  • 8 oz 8 cream cheese, room temperature

  • 3 3 ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla extract

  • 2 tbsp 2 juice of 1 orange

  • 2 2 -3 tbsp toasted coconut


  • Begin by browning the butter for the frosting. Cut the butter into 4-8 pieces. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a saucepan (stainless steel recommended).
  • Continue to cook, gently stirring occasionally to keep the milk solids from sticking hard to the bottom. Keep an eye on the color – once the milk solids turn golden brown and the smell is nutty, take it off the heat.
  • Pour into a bowl and let it cool while you make the cupcakes.
  • Make the cupcakes
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and sugar together and stir to combine thoroughly.
  • In a separate bowl, combine both flours, baking soda and salt. Slowly add this bowl of dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined. Add the carrots, pineapple, toasted coconut, pecan, raisins (optional), cinnamon and ground gloves and stir to combine.
  • Add cupcake liners to your cupcake pans and evenly distribute the batter into the cupcake pans (you should get 24 cupcakes from this recipe). Make sure to not overfill each cup – they should be filled a little over ¾ full.
  • Bake for 20-25 min or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.
  • Once done, remove from the oven and place the cupcakes on a baking rack to cool completely. While the cupcakes cool, make your frosting.
  • Frosting
  • With an electric mixer, cream the brown butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and continue beating until combined. Add the vanilla and orange juice and continue to mix until combined and creamy. If your frosting seems too thick, add a little bit (1 tsp at a time) of milk to thin it out. If the frosting seems too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.
  • Once mixed, transfer to a piping bag (optional) to frost your cooled cupcakes, then top with additional toasted coconut.


  • To toast the coconut, add to a dry pan over medium heat. Allow coconut to brown lightly, tossing occasionally. Remove and let cool before using.

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