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Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes

June 4, 2012

Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingPin it!

Last week I cashed in on a groupon-like deal for a CSA farm box from Fairview Gardens here in Goleta. My fridge has never been so full of vegetables!

Summer CSA vegetables

I mean serious quantities of vegetables. I found it all so completely overwhelming that I promptly skipped a yoga class to start cooking.

If/when I ever join a CSA farm, I’m only signing up for half-shares.

It was like the farmer’s market had come to me. Except it wasn’t just my typical farmer’s market purchases of strawberries, avocados, and kale that had followed me home. There were plenty of other stowaway vegetables that tagged along for the ride. There were pleasant surprises, like red chard, fennel, onions, and lettuce; there were vegetables that I had no idea what to do with (so much of), like white squash, cabbage, and fava beans; and there were other items that just weren’t my favorite… like carrots.*

Carrots destined for Buttermilk Carrot Cake CupcakesButtermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This is where my smart little sister saved the day. I asked her for some carrot advice and her immediate answer (with a little hint of “obviously!”) was “Make carrot cake!” Whoa. (For some reason, at that moment, it absolutely wouldn’t have occurred to me to turn my vegetables into dessert…)

Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

So I took her advice (and her recipe) and made the cutest little carrot cake mini cupcakes ever, with cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes were so tasty, I might actually have to buy carrots again!

Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingPin it!

* Don’t judge me; I don’t hate carrots, I just never feel the need to buy them. Unless I am specifically serving a hummus platter or disintegrating them into a soup.

Print this recipe. (PDF)


Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes
(my sister’s adaptation of the Carrot Cake recipe in Cooking for Today: Cakes from Better Homes and Gardens.)

(Makes about 3 dozen cupcakes, or about 5-6 dozen mini cupcakes)

~ 2 c all-purpose flour
~ 2 c granulated sugar
~ 2 tsp. baking soda
~ 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
~ 1 tsp. baking powder
~ ¼ tsp. salt
~ 10 small carrots, or 5 medium carrots, shredded (3-4 cups)
~ 1 lemon, zested and juiced
~ 3 eggs
~ ¼ cup buttermilk (or milk with 1 tsp. lemon juice added and set aside)
~ ¼ cup canola oil
~ 1 tsp. vanilla

How to make it:

1. Wash, peel, and shred the carrots. Add 1 tsp. of lemon juice to milk, if making your own buttermilk, and pour the remainder of the lemon juice over the bowl of shredded carrots to let them soak.

Carrots destined for Buttermilk Carrot Cake CupcakesCarrots destined for Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes

2. Assemble cupcake wrappers in muffin tins, and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Next add carrots, lemon zest, eggs, buttermilk, canola oil, and vanilla. Mix until just combined.

4. Spoon batter into cupcake wrappers: 1½-2 Tbsp. each for cupcakes, or ½ Tbsp. each for mini cupcakes. Bake for 25 minutes (cupcakes), or 20 minutes (mini cupcakes).

Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes

5. Let cool completely before frosting. These cupcakes go excellently with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Print this recipe (with recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting)! (PDF)

Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese FrostingPin it!

Buttermilk Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Related recipe posts:
> Rainbow Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
> Pear Brown Butter Buckle

16 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2012 1:40 pm

    I love carrot cake, so I’m sure this is delicious!

  2. June 4, 2012 5:03 pm

    Can’t wait to try this. Sounds delicious:D

  3. June 5, 2012 10:16 pm

    These are so cute! Love the cream cheese frosting too. Any ideas what to do with all of the kale (two different kinds!) that I got from my CSA? ;)

    • June 6, 2012 11:31 am

      Thanks! There are a few kale ideas in my recipe index, and believe it or not, I have a (CSA) kale salad recipe coming up tomorrow, so there’s one more idea! : ) But my favorite way to prepare kale is something that I haven’t blogged about yet:

      Remove the kale stems, and roughly chop the leaves. Then heat a few Tbsp. of olive oil in a large stockpot, and add minced garlic to the oil (or not!). Add the kale to the stockpot and stir to coat with oil, then toss in about 1/4 cup water or chicken/vegetable stock, and keep covered over low heat for about 10 minutes. The kale should cook down, like spinach, and become soft and easy to bite through. Once cooked, season with a bit of salt, pepper, and fresh lemon or lime juice.

      My favorite way to eat kale prepared like this is over a bowl of any kind of rice (especially brown rice) or quinoa, and topped with a fried egg! (But it’s also good, as is, as a side dish.)

  4. Bee permalink
    June 6, 2012 12:46 pm

    Nice, no raisins! I HATE raisins in my carrot cake. I do love pineapple though, so I’d add that to this for sure :)

    • June 6, 2012 2:35 pm

      I’m with you on the raisins! And funny you should mention pineapple because the original cookbook recipe had pineapple in it, but I thought that sounded strange (I like fresh pineapple much more than the canned stuff) and I left it out.

      • Bee permalink
        June 19, 2012 8:09 am

        Oh me too, for sure, but it does add a nice little extra something to them.

  5. June 6, 2012 2:38 pm

    I giggled about the part where you skip yoga to attend to all your veggies – this makes perfect sense to me. (:

    • June 6, 2012 2:47 pm

      : ) I wondered if anyone would even notice that comment.

      Looking back now, I was (comically) seriously overwhelmed! First of all because I couldn’t even fit everything in the fridge… and on top of that I was just freaking out in general about how to possibly involve every single item in a recipe before anything went bad. (But, thanks to my girlfriend, and spending all weekend in the kitchen, we did it!)


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