Carrot Cake Cupcakes for Chris

Stephanie’s mom Chris has a childlike fascination with carrot cake. It’s a taste she associates with the United States, something she tried for the first time over 35 years ago while recovering at a hospital. Now, whenever she visits, carrot cake is on the itinerary. She’s not picky—a humble square from the grocery store will do. But this year, since she arrived from France on her birthday, I made her carrot cake cupcakes from scratch.

Chris and Stephanie enjoying carrot cake cupcakes with coffee in Dolores Park
Chris and Stephanie enjoying carrot cake cupcakes with coffee in Dolores Park

Batter Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, Th6). In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and brown sugar, then add egg and blend on low speed using an electric hand mixer until pale. Next mix in applesauce and vanilla extract. Finally mix in olive oil. Slowly mix in half of the dry ingredients. Combine the shredded carrots with the remaining flour mixture and toss to coat carrots. Add carrot and flour mixture into the batter and combine by hand.

Pour batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. We filled 9 cups—your mileage may vary. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Frosting Ingredients

In a medium mixing bowl mix butter and cream cheese together on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Then mix in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar until well blended and smooth. Frost cupcakes to taste and and sprinkle with pecans.


I adapted this recipe from Cooking Classy’s Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I halved the batter (yielding 9 small cupcakes), quartered the frosting, and substituted olive oil for vegetable oil because that’s what we had, and I think they turned out just fine.

1 Comment

You’re a classy son-in-law to bake your sweet mother-in-law cupcakes. The whole post made me smile – for what you did and for the picture with two classy ladies in the park with those enormous smiles across their faces.


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