These brown butter carrot cake cupcakes are topped with the most heavenly brown butter cream cheese frosting! With shredded carrots, walnuts, and warming spices like cinnamon, they're the perfect Easter dessert!
If you need some more Easter recipes, you might also like these Robin's egg macarons!
You just need a few simple ingredients to make these fluffy, moist carrot cake cupcakes!
- Cake flour - I always use cake flour in my cupcakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
- Carrots - It's important to grate fresh carrots yourself for these cupcakes! Pre-grated carrots are very dry and won't add enough moisture to the cake.
- Yogurt - The yogurt keeps the cupcakes super moist while also adding a bit of tang! You always want to use full fat yogurt in baking for the best results! You could also use full fat sour cream or unsweetened applesauce!
- Walnuts - I love adding nuts to carrot cake for added texture! But feel free to leave them out or substitute pecans! You could also add in raisins or shredded coconut if you prefer.
- Warming spices - These cupcakes are lightly spiced with a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Brown butter - My favorite ingredient of all time is brown butter!! Brown butter is just unsalted butter that has been melted and gently cooked to bring out a toasty, nutty flavor. If you've never made brown butter before, you can check out this post with all my tips for how to make brown butter!
I recommend making the brown butter the night before you make the cupcakes, so that it has time to fully cool to room temperature!
Since both the cupcakes and the frosting call for brown butter, I find it easier to just make one large batch and then weigh out the difference using a kitchen scale (½ cup of butter weighs about 113 grams).
However, if you don't have a scale you can just make two separate batches of brown butter!
How to Make Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Finely grate the carrots until you have 1 lightly packed cup. Set aside.
Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, spices, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the brown butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together until fully incorporated.
Add in the grated carrots and yogurt and mix until combined.
Stir in the dry ingredients. Then gently fold in the chopped walnuts.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
Let the carrot cake cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Cupcake Decorating Tips
- For these big beautiful frosting swirls on these brown butter carrot cake cupcakes, I use the large round tip from this decorating kit. The tips are much larger than standard sizes and so fun for decorating cupcakes!
- Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!! After frosting, garnish with chopped walnuts!
Of course not! You can absolutely substitute regular unsalted butter. I just love the nutty flavor that brown butter adds.
These cupcakes will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, they taste best at room temperature; so let the refrigerated cupcakes sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before serving.
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Recipes You Might Like
If you make this recipe, please leave a star rating at the bottom of the page! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, scratch-made recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Brown Butter Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- ½ cup unsalted brown butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup grated carrots, about 2 large carrots
- ½ cup full-fat plain yogurt, substitute unsweetened applesauce or sour cream
- 1 ½ cups cake flour, substitute all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, optional
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Finely grate the carrots until you have 1 lightly packed cup. Set aside.
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the brown butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together until fully incorporated.
- Add in the grated carrots and yogurt and mix until combined.
- Stir in the dry ingredients. Then gently fold in the chopped walnuts.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
- Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
- Let the carrot cake cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the room temperature brown butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated.
- Mix in the vanilla and beat the frosting on high for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy!
- Add in 1-2 teaspoons of heavy cream if needed to thin out the frosting.
- Frost cooled cupcakes and topped with chopped walnuts.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.