Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Macadamia Nut Frosting

by Monique

This healthier take on the traditional Carrot Cake Cupcakes is satisfyingly sweet yet vegan, refined sugar and oil free. You can literally have your cake and eat it too! Breakfast cupcakes anyone?

Close up, one Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Macadamia Nut Frosting with a bite out of it with two other cupcakes in the background.

This healthier take on the traditional cupcake is satisfyingly sweet yet refined sugar and oil free. These Carrot Cake Cupcakes are moist, fluffy and perfectly spiced. The perfect treat for those times when you are cravings something sweet but watching what you eat! It even rhymes!

Carrot Cake is definitely one of my favorites but there is just something about any cake in cupcake form that I love. Maybe because they are portable or maybe it’s the fact that the cake to frosting ratio is usually spot on. 

This recipe is simple to make and comes with a healthy frosting that is so craveable. I’m not going to lie I may have eaten the entire batch by myself. They are pretty hard to resist. 

So, let’s get to baking!

Close up, hand holding Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Macadamia Nut Frosting with a bite out of it and more in the background.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Flour – You could sub whole wheat flour although the texture will be denser. Just make sure not to over mix you batter. 
  • Coconut Sugar – This could be substituted with light brown sugar if needed. This will yield a sweeter result.
  • Baking Powder & Soda – Check expiration dates on these ingredients. You do not want to bake with expired leavening agents. 
  • Salt – I use a fine Sea Salt.
  • Cinnamon & Nutmeg – Add that classic spiced flavor we know and love about carrot cake. 
  • Applesauce – Use an unsweetened and unflavored option. 
  • Flax Egg – A Flax Egg uses ground flax seed aka flax meal and water to form an egg substitute. 
  • Vanilla Extract– Buy a good vanilla it should smell delicious not like alcohol. It makes a difference to have a quality vanilla in baked goods. 
  • Carrot – You will want to grate the carrot using the fine side of your grater. You do not want huge chunks of carrot in your cupcakes. 
  • Nuts – I have used walnuts or pecans both are great. I use a raw unsalted option. 
  • Raisins – These are optional but highly recommended I don’t think carrot cake is carrot cake without raisins. 
  • Macadamia Nuts – I used raw and unsalted nuts. 
  • Coconut – Shredded and unsweetened work best for this recipe. 
  • Maple Syrup – This is your sweetener you could replace this with agave if needed. Use pure maple syrup no the breakfast kind. 
  • Plant Milk – Any unflavored and unsweetened plant milk will work. 
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Macadamia Nut Frosting on a wire rack.

Tips For Sucess:

  • Be patient with your frosting. Use a high power food processor and scrape down the sides as needed to ensure you are left with a smooth consistency. 
  • Let them cool. Let your cupcakes cool completely before removing the cupcake liners. If they are still hot you can expect some of the cupcake to stick to the liner. You could also just grease the cupcake pan and forgo liners if you prefer. 
  • Let them cool before frosting. Allow your cupcakes to cool completely before frosting them. If you do not you will have runny frosting. 
  • Use a grater. I hand grated my carrots with the fine grating side. I prefer this method over a food process as you can easily over process and end up with carrot mush. 

How To Store:

If you are making these ahead I recommend storing the frosting and cupcakes separately. Store the frosting in the refrigerator in an airtight container and the cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature.

Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before storing. 

These are freshest the same day but will keep for 5-7 days unfrosted and 2-3 days once frosted. 

Close up, Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Macadamia Nut Frosting with a bite out of it and more in the background.

Other Recipes You May Like:

If you try this recipe make sure to let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and if you take a photo use #feeninforgreens on instagram. I love seeing photos of your recreations!

Close up, one Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Macadamia Nut Frosting with a bite out of it with two other cupcakes in the background.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Macadamia Nut Frosting

This healthier take on the traditional Carrot Cake Cupcakes is satisfyingly sweet yet vegan, refined sugar and oil free. You can literally have your cake and eat it too! Breakfast cupcakes anyone?
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp. ground flax+5 tbsp. water)
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. plant milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 ½ cups finely grated carrot
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins (optional)

Coconut Macadamia Nut Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2-3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 3-4 tbsp. plant milk (I used almond milk)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  • Finely shred your carrots using a standing grater or food processor and chop your nuts if adding them in.
  • In a medium sized bowl make your flax egg by adding your ground flax seed and water together. Set aside to allow the flax egg to gel for five minutes.
  • In a large bowl add you flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir until incorporated together.
  • Now add your coconut sugar, vanilla and applesauce to the bowl with the flax egg and stir until combined.
  • To your dry ingredients add your wet ingredients and stir together. Add you plant milk and stir until combined. Do not over mix your batter only stir until incorporated together.
  • Add the carrots and gently fold them into your batter.
  • Add the raisins and chopped nuts and fold them into your batter as well.
  • Into your greased cupcake pan evenly distribute the batter.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • While your cupcakes are baking make your frosting. To a food processor add your shredded coconut and macadamia nuts and process until thick and creamy. This process can take some time, expect about 5-7 minutes depending on the quality of your food processor.
  • Now add your maple syrup and plant milk one tablespoon at a time. The maple syrup is to add sweetness and the plant milk is to thin out your frosting. Add until you find the desired consistency and sweetness. I used 2 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup and 3 tablespoons of almond milk.
  • Once your cupcakes are out of the oven allow them to completely cool before frosting.
  • Frost and top with extra coconut or chopped nuts if desired.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Make sure to allow your cupcakes to cool completely before removing the liners. This will allow them to set up and hold together better. 
  • I like to store these in the refrigerator and enjoy them cold. They are great at room temperature as well. There is just something about cold cake that I love.
  • If you would like to reduce the coconut sugar  you could go down to 3/4 cup without any issues.

Nutrition

Calories: 371kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 4gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 11gSodium: 281mgPotassium: 284mgFiber: 6gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 2677IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 55mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Tag @feeninforgreens and use #feeninforgreens

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