Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes that are easy to make and incredibly moist. They’re loaded with puréed carrots, shredded coconut, walnuts, and pineapple. These fly off the platter at parties! These are naturally dairy free and can be made with dairy free or regular cream cheese frosting.
Carrot cake is such an under-rated cake when it comes to the cake world. It often gets outshined by chocolate cake, Funfetti cake, or even everyone’s favorite – yellow cake with chocolate frosting. But there’s something to be said for carrot cake, especially this gluten free carrot cake cupcake recipe.
This year, my husband wanted his favorite gluten free carrot cake for his birthday cake. Except a big carrot cake is just way too much for us to eat – it’s much better for a crowd (perfect for Easter).
Instead, I halved that recipe (and tweaked the amount of walnuts) and then turned it into these gluten free carrot cake cupcakes. You guys, I’m incredibly pleased with the results! We also served them at my daughter’s birthday party and they were a hit.
As I mentioned, I tweaked the amount of walnuts called for in this recipe. A straight-half of the original recipe would have called for 3/4 cups of chopped walnuts. That’s the amount I used the first time I turned the carrot cake into cupcakes and I thought it was just a bit too much for cupcakes.
Half a cup of walnuts was a much better ratio, especially since there’s also carrot pureé, shredded coconut and crushed pineapple. That’s a lot in one little cupcake! And don’t worry, if you need nut-free, you can omit the walnuts altogether.
I frosted my gluten free carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. The cream cheese frosting can also be made dairy free which would make these cupcakes completely dairy free! The only thing with the dairy free cream cheese is that it’s a bit softer so it doesn’t pipe as well. It’s perfectly fine for spreading.
SAVE THIS RECIPE TO YOUR “GLUTEN FREE DESSERTS” BOARD ON PINTEREST
I decorated my cupcakes with some extra chopped walnuts. You can do the same, you can leave them unadorned and go strictly with frosting, or you could even try your hand at making some cute little carrots. The walnuts are nice and easy though 😉
And please don’t think that these gluten free carrot cupcakes are just for Easter. As I mentioned earlier, we had them for birthday parties but they’d be great at bridal showers, weddings, or even baby showers too! Enjoy!
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For the Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup carrot pureé*
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 cup avocado oil (or canola oil)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (8 Tablespoons)
- 4 1/2 C powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
To Make the Cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 20 muffin cups with paper liners or spray with non-stick spray.
- If making your own carrot purée, see notes and make that first and let them cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, granulated sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the puréed carrots, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the shredded coconut and crushed pineapple.
- Let the batter sit/rest for 5 minutes.
- Scoop the batter into the 20 prepared cupcake tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-22 minutes.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting with cream cheese frosting.
To make the Frosting:
- Add the cream cheese and butter to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat together until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on the lowest speed until the sugar is incorporated. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and mix an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
- Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cooled.
- To make my own carrot purée, I cooked sliced carrots in the microwave in about 1/4 cup of water. Once soft, I used my immersion blender to purée them. Cool before adding to the egg mixture.
- I frosted these cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and decorated them with finely chopped walnuts.
- To make the cream cheese frosting dairy free, use 8 oz. dairy free cream cheese, 1/4 cup shortening, and 1/4 cup vegan butter.
- Decorating Tip used to frost these cupcakes: Ateco 856