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  • Writer's pictureShelby Jackson

Coconut Carrot Cupcakes

Moist spiced cake with carrot and coconut topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Through starting my blog I've been challenged in the best way to bake outside of my usual recipes and gather requests from friends and family. While brainstorming which recipe to make for Memorial Day weekend carrot cake came up as a contestant to make for dessert.

While there are thousands of carrot cake recipes our there, I decided to add a bit of texture and flavor with sweetened coconut shreds in addition to carrot shreds in the spiced cake batter. The cake has just the right mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves for a classic carrot cake taste. Added cinnamon in the cream cheese frosting brings these cupcakes to a whole other flavor profile.

These coconut carrot cakes are super easy to make so let's get to it.


Spiced Carrot Cake:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted coconut oil

  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup sour cream, or unsweetened applesauce

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)

  • 1 cup freshly grated carrots (about 2 medium)

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 3 cup powdered’ sugar, plus an extra 1/4 cup if needed

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake liners.

  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the oil, brown sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla and coconut extract (if using) together until combined.

  3. Fold in the carrots and coconut. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a mixer or whisk until completely combined. Batter will be thick.

  4. Spoon the batter into the liners – fill 3/4 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  5. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar.

  6. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

  7. Optional: sprinkle chopped walnuts on top for added extra crunch!


Note: Be sure to grate fresh carrots with a thin grater in order to have moist cupcakes. Pre-shredded carrots will be much drier and less flavorful than grating fresh carrots.

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