Carrot Cupcakes

October 9, 2012

So, it was my daughter’s 35th birthday on the 26th of September.  Thirty-Five!!!  Gosh but her Mom is getting old!  Last weekend we celebrated a joint birthday and early Thanksgiving dinner as Amanda and her family would not be here on Thanksgiving weekend.  I made her this cake.  Yes, I know I should stick to decorating cookies but it was fun to do and Amanda got a kick out of it.

The cake was a carrot cake made from a recipe given to me by Kathleen, a co-worker of mine from my years as an Executive Assistant.  I frosted it with our new favourite icing, Pumpkin Pie Spice Buttercream.  Perfect partner for the flavours in this carrot cake.

Anyhoo, the leftover cake was taken home by Amanda.  Later in the week she told me that Ella wanted to take a piece of cake to school in her lunch.  As I had put pecans in the cake, Ella couldn’t take a slice for her lunch dessert.  So, as I’m going out to visit the grand-girls this week, I thought I’d make another carrot cake but this time reserve half the batter to be nut free and make them into cupcakes for easy portability as part of Ella’s school lunch.

I’ve made carrot cake before here on the blog but it wasn’t from Kathleen’s recipe that she gave to me so many years ago.  I thought I’d share it with you today.  It’s a family favourite and the Pumpkin Pie Spice Buttercream frosting has since replaced the regular Cream Cheese Frosting for this cake/cupcakes.

This recipe will make three 8-inch round cakes or 13 X-large cupcakes (more cupcakes if you use a smaller cupcake pan)

Kathleen’s Carrot Cake Recipe

2 cups of unbleached flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

3/4 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

3/4 cup of white sugar

3/4 cup of packed brown sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups of vegetable oil

2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

2 cups of grated carrots

1 cup of crushed pineapple

1/2 cup of chopped pecans (optional)


Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and whisk together well.  Set aside.

In your mixing bowl beat together sugars, eggs, oil and vanilla until smooth.  Gradually add flour and spice mixture until well combined.  With mixer set on low, add carrots, pineapple and pecans.

Pour into prepared cake pans or cupcake pans.

Bake cakes at 350° for 40 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.  For X-large cupcakes bake for approximately 28 minutes at 350° until cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool in baking pans before removing to cooling racks.

Carrot Cupcake with Pecans…Unplugged (I had already frosted all the cupcakes that were nut-free when I decided to take a picture of the interior of these cupcakes)

Frost cakes/cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Spice Buttercream. Do try it, I think you’ll love it!

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara | Creative Culinary October 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I love carrot cake but I’m not sure I’ve ever made it! It reminds me of zucchini bread…we can pretend that those veggies work to have the calories disappear right? I think yours looks lovely!


Paula October 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

The icing intrigues me, especially since I’m not a huge fan of cream cheese icing.


Choc Chip Uru October 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Your cake looks stunning my friend, I’m sure your daughter was utterly thrilled :D
And love the cupcakes made after, so moist!

Choc Chip Uru


Renee - Kudos Kitchen October 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Yum! This cake looks incredibly moist! I would eat it with or without nuts but I love the idea of making them into cupcakes for Ella to take to school in her lunchbox! Lucky Girl!


Cheryl (Grandma Coco) October 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Lots of my favourite things all in one place. Sounds great! Looks delicious, too!


Jacquee October 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Beautiful cake, Paula! Love the buttercream flowers. Moist, spiced carrot cake – right up my alley. YUM!!


Sue {munchkin munchies} October 9, 2012 at 5:48 pm

I love carrot cake! I bet your daughter loved hers:) I know what you mean about getting old…Tomorrow my second child enters her 30′s and the next day my son (the baby) will be 27!!! Gulp.


Nina October 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Carrot cake is one of my favorites ! These cupcakes look so tasty and luscious – I need to try this recipe ;)
Unfortunately I do not have any pumpkin spice – could I substitute the pumpkin spice in the Buttercream with something else?


Lisa {Sweet 2 Eat Baking} October 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Wow, these look incredible. So moist and the frosting looks to die for! I was just looking at the recipe for the buttercream and it says homemade pumpkin spice? I’ve not heard of that before, any tips? Love the addition of the pecans too. Going to make this for the fella soon.

Happy birthday to your daughter. I bet she was thrilled with her cake and at least Ella can now enjoy some of the cake.


Melissa@EyesBigger October 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm

This looks almost identical to my carrot cake recipe that I also got from a co-worker years ago! I wonder if they both had the same source? It is an amazing recipe. I do it with cream cheese frosting but pumpkin spice would be soooooo good!


Tasmeea October 10, 2012 at 1:40 am

Yummy!! I love carrot cake so I’m really happy to have found another great carrot cake recipe, and it looks so moist as well! Thanks for putting up the recipe :)


Sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more October 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

oh yummy I love carrot cake


trish October 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm

this time of year I don’t know of a better type of cake than this…YUM!!! Happy Birthday to your daughter and Happy Canadian Thanksgiving as well!


Amanda Kelly October 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm

That was seriously the best carrot cake I have ever tasted…and since I am not a huge fan of the cream cheese icing….and LOVE butter cream…the pumpkin spiced icing was a great addition! Delish! Thanks mom xo


Sharon October 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm

This looks seriously delicious!


Sharon October 10, 2012 at 8:29 pm

This looks seriously delicious!


Baker Street October 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Oh yum! The pumpkin pie buttercream sounds heavenly, Paula! And here’s wishing Amanda a very happy birthday. I bet she loved that beautiful cake :)


Rita October 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Oh, I’m so late! You made a beautiful cake for Amanda. Hope that little Ella enjoyed the yummy cupcakes. It’s nothing better than a thoughtful grandma in a little girl’s life. They surely love you back for all your goodness. Wish you and your family all the best.


Karen @ Trilogy Edibles October 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

well i love carrot cake! and this one looks grande too! I’m loving that you put the pumpkin spice into the buttercream, genius!


Warning Sugary Goodness October 12, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Okay you got me at- Pumpkin Pie Spice Buttercream :)


Christine (Cook the Story) October 13, 2012 at 8:43 am

Your daughter’s cake looks so cheerful and pretty. Well done! I love the idea of the pumpkin spice buttercream on carrot cake. What a great way to make this classic a special fall treat!


Deb October 13, 2012 at 11:52 am

I am very fond of Carrot Cake and it is a pleasurable quest to search for the “best” recipe. Your recipe is very tempting, light yet full of sweet carrot flavor, a most scrumptious birthday cake!


Amanda October 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm



Lora October 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I am in love with that pumpkin pie spice buttercream. Everyone needs a great carrot cake recipe. This one looks perfect.


hani October 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I’ve been meaning to make carrot cake or cupcakes since last year, and once again just when I’m ready to make them again I used the carrots to make the soup.
Your cake looks so pretty. I love how you decorated it, with a flower on the side.


Stephanie October 18, 2012 at 12:14 am

oooh the cake looks so moist and delicious and the icing sounds perfect too!!


luv what you do October 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Those cupcakes look incredible! I love carrot cake and carrot ring, so I’m sure i would LOVE carrot cupcakes : )


alleyo {AtHomeWithAlley} October 20, 2012 at 9:21 am

Oh, Paula! These cupcakes sound to die for! And the Pumpkin Pie Spice Buttercream, yes please! What a perfect finish!


Reva February 25, 2014 at 5:29 pm

There are no i-con to click on to print. Where do I print to get this wonderful recipe. Thank you, Sincerely, Reva Zellers, Cincinnati, Ohio


Reva February 25, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Here I am again.I have tried everything and there is no place anywhere that I can find to click on an i-con to get this recipe. I am so sorry for this trouble. I just figure that I will have to find someone to investigate my problem. Thanks again. Reva, cincinnati, Ohio


Cathy March 15, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Sounds and looks great ! Can you please share the recipe for the chocolate butter cream frosting ?

Also, I would like the recipe for the carrot cake that has the baby food carrot in it.

Thank you so much.



Paula March 15, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Hi Cathy ~ I have sent you an email. Thanks for visiting my site :)


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