Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting


Just when we thought carrot cake cupcakes couldn’t get any better, we tried topping a batch with a browned butter cream cheese frosting. Whoa. Take the dessert to the next level with this frosting recipe, which is more than worth the effort it requires: You’ll carefully brown six tablespoons of butter in a skillet, let it cool to room temperature, then beat the butter with cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until it’s smooth. The resulting frosting is wonderfully rich and intense, and just about perfect for these carrot cake cupcakes, especially when topped with flakes of toasted coconut.

Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup buttermilk

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 ½ cups peeled, finely grated carrots (about 2 medium)

  • Frosting:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar

  • teaspoon kosher salt

  • Toasted coconut, optional


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Combine the flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

  2. Combine the buttermilk, vegetable oil, sugar, egg, egg yolks, vanilla, and carrot in a large bowl. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

  3. Divide the batter evenly between the liners. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes come out with just a few moist crumbs, 22 to 25 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

  4. Prepare the frosting: Add the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

  5. Add the cream cheese to the butter and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and salt and beat again until smooth. Top the cupcakes with the frosting and toasted coconut, if desired.

    Carrot Cake Cupcakes
    Browned butter adds a luxe caramel note to this rich cream cheese frosting—but be warned: once you taste it, you may never go back to the plain version. The nutty flavor works perfectly with the tender crumb and gentle sweetness of the spiced carrot cake and a flurry of toasted coconut is a simple but festive garnish. Get the recipe:Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Hector Manuel Sanchez

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

350 Calories
21g Fat
38g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 350
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 250mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Total Sugars 29g
Protein 4g
Calcium 90mg 7%
Iron 1mg 6%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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