Best Basic Carrot Cake Cups
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 cupcakes
  • Best Basic Carrot Cake:
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1⅓ cups vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1½ cups packed grated carrots
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Line a standard sized muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl beat the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, and orange zest until smooth (1½ - 2 minutes).
  3. Add in the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Beat until just combined. The cake batter will be THICK. You'll think I'm crazy.
  4. Stir in the carrots, pineapple, and walnuts. I like to stir these in by hand.
  5. Dip the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Fill the cups to ¾ full (I use a ¼ cup measuring cup for this; it's just about exactly right.) and bake for about 22 minutes. A pick inserted into the center will come out clean.
  6. Let the cupcakes cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until it's whipped and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add the vanilla and beat again until the frosting is nice and fluffy.
  8. Frost the cooled cupcakes.
Recipe by Sugar Dish Me at