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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

As desserts go, the CIA’s Carrot Cake Cupcakes are better for you than most—but just as delicious. They’re made with whole wheat flour, lots of fruit, very little oil, and a quart of carrots. The carrot’s vibrant color comes from beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, making this a very nutritious vegetable that’s also an excellent source of fiber. For an added bonus, the frosting is made with non-fat cream cheese to cut back on calories and fat while still allowing you to indulge in the delicious classic flavors.

Watch our video on baking perfect cupcakes and muffins by CIA Chef Bill Briwa. His tips include how to portion your batter and get your cupcakes to rise perfectly.

Chef’s notes:

  • If you have a Mouli-style rotary grater or grating and shredding disks for your food processor, you can select how coarse or fine you want your grated carrots to be. The more finely you grate your carrots, the finer the texture of the finished cake will be. Coarsely grated carrots remain more visible in the baked cake, for an appealing flecked appearance and a delightfully rustic texture.
  • The frosting can also be made in a food processor by combining all of the ingredients and processing until smooth.
CIA's Carrot Cake Cupcakes recipe

Ingredients

Carrot Cake Batter

Makes 16 Servings

  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup diced pineapple
  • 4 cups grated carrots
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2 egg whites

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3 cups softened low-fat cream cheese
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

Directions

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place paper cupcake inserts inside cupcake pan.
  2. Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix until combined.
  3. Beat the oil, sugar, and whole eggs with a mixer until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat to blend well. Stir in the pineapple, carrots, and raisins.
  4. Beat the egg whites in the mixer to medium peaks and fold into the batter.
  5. Place 1/3 cup batter in each well of a muffin pan lined with paper muffin cups. The cups should be three-quarters full. Bake 10 minutes. Lower the oven to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool to room temperature.

Frosting

  1. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth.
  2. Fold in the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Top each cupcake with icing. Serve immediately.
 Per serving: 341 CALORIES, 7 g PROTEIN, 48 g CARBOHYDRATES, 3 g FIBER, 15 g TOTAL FAT (5 g saturated fat), 351 mg SODIUM, 51 mg CHOLESTEROL

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