While experimenting with my famous Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe, I made this lighter version to make gluten free carrot cupcakes. They are super light but can be made heavier like traditional carrot cake too. For a traditional cake texture, see the Gluten Free Carrot Cake Recipe.
Mini or Standard Size Cupcakes?
If you’re having a brunch or buffet style serving, mini cupcakes are the perfect portion size. This allows guests to taste more than one dessert.
Links You’ll Need:
Easter Cupcake Decorating Ideas
If you see a decorating idea in the above photo, here is how you can make them yourself:
For bunny ears, cut a gluten free Easter egg candy in half and frost in lavender or other pastel color in the inside. Then, frost white on the other and for the trim. Frost cupcakes with white frosting and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Add the ears last.
Color shredded coconut with a mixture of green and yellow food coloring; set aside to dry on a paper towel or sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle on the top of freshly frosted cupcakes. (Don’t allow the frosting to set.) Top with gluten free Easter egg candies.
Carrots in Dirt:
Frost chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and top with chocolate cupcake crumbs (1 crumbled cupcake). Using orange and green colored frosting, pipe out squiggles of orange carrots with green tops.
Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes
Cupcakes should be light and moist, not heavy like carrot cake and other quick bread recipes. Make this gluten free carrot cake recipe when you want light.
- For the Carrot Cake:
- 2 cups Carla's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend
- 1-3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/3 teaspoons gluten free baking powder (slightly heaping 1-1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs* at room temperature
- 3/4 cup neutral-flavored oil plus more for pan
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or crushed pineapple drained
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup carrots** finely (chopped in a food processor or finely hand grated) up to 2-1/2 cups*
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans optional
- 1/2 cup golden or brown raisins optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two muffin pans with cupcake papers or oil; set aside. (I used 1 regular muffin pan and 1 mini cupcake pan.)
In a large bowl, whisk together flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat the eggs for 1 minute on high speed. (It should look a little foamy on top.)
Pour in the sugar a little at a time while continuing to mix on medium speed. Increase the speed to high and beat for 1 additional minute. The mixture should be foamy like beaten egg whites to soft peaks.
Slowly pour in oil, in a stream, while continuing to beat. You'll notice that the mixture will begin to thicken.
Add applesauce or crushed pineapple and vanilla extras; mix on low just long enough to combine.
Stop the mixer. Add flour all at once. Mix on medium-low, just until all of the flour is moist, scraping sides as needed.
Using a silicone spatula, fold in the carrots, and, if using, nuts and raisins.
Distribute the batter evenly between the two pans, filling to about 3/4 way full.
If you have a large enough oven, place both pans in the oven, on the center rack, and bake mini cupcakes for 15 minutes and standard size for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of one comes out clean. Otherwise, bake in two batches.
Place both pans on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, or until you can comfortably touch them without a potholder.
Oil a wire rack. Remove the cake from the pans and transfer to the rack, top sides down, and allow to cool completely, about 1 hour 20 minutes.
While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.
Once cooled, frost your cake. You may add finely chopped walnuts to the top border of the cake for garnish. If you are good at cake decorating, create a carrot out of orange and green colored frosting or marzipan. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. Slice and freeze individual slices for long-term storage.
Frost with your choice of frosting or serve plain.
*You may substitute the 4 four eggs with 1/2 cup liquid from can of cannellini beans (usually just contains 1/2 cup) plus 1/4 cup/4 tablespoons additional butter or margarine.
**Use up to 2-1/2 cups grated carrots or up to 2 cups when adding raisins. The more carrots you add, the heavier the cupcakes.