Carrot Cupcakes

The wholesome goodness of carrots, apples and pecans provide a subtly spiced cupcake. Caramel glaze and mascarpone frosting bring in a splash of sweet contrasting texture and flavor. 

Adapted from the Apple Pecan Carrot Cake recipe in The Southern Cake Book.


Carrot Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/3 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice
  • (Ninja Note: You can make your own by combining 1½ teaspoons cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon allspice, ¼ teaspoon ginger)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large room temperature eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups combination of peeled and grated Fuji and Granny Smith apples
  • 1½ cups grated carrots

Apple Cider Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Mascarpone Topping:

  • 1 container (8 ounces) mascarpone cheese
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons whipped cream stabilizer

Carrot Cupcakes:
In a 350 degree toast the pecans for 8 minutes on a parchment lined jelly roll pan. Gently shake the tray half way through.

Spray buttery cooking spray Into cupcake cases resting in muffin tins. Sprinkle 1 1/3 of the pecans into the bottoms of the cupcake cases.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, apple pie spice and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour in the flour mixture making sure all ingredients are incorporated. But, do not over stir. Gently fold in the apples, carrots and remaining pecans.

Divide the batter among the cupcake cases. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool and drizzle with the caramel sauce.

Ninja Note: If making minis, bake time is about 18 minutes.

Apple Cider Caramel Sauce:
Cook the apple cider for 10 minutes or until reduced to about ¼ cup. Dissolve the brown sugar, butter and heavy cream in the hot cider. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly. (About 2 minutes.) Remove from the heat. Cool at room temperature. Drizzle atop the cupcakes.

Mascarpone Topping:
Beat the mascarpone cheese until fluffy. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl whip together the cream and stabilizer. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fill piping bags and garnish the cupcakes.