Soft and fluffy gluten free carrot cake cupcakes frosted with the most delicious orange cream cheese frosting. Perfect for dessert or brunch, you’ll want to eat more than one!
Carrot cake has always been my cake of choice. Every year for my birthday, my mom would either make a carrot cake or buy one from our local bakery… but it’s one of those cake flavors you just don’t have too often, so I guess that makes it even more special.
If you love carrot cake as much as I do, or if you’re craving a taste of Spring, you have to try these Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting!
This recipe was modified from my Gluten Free Carrot Cake recipe and my Apple Spice Cupcakes. These cupcakes have a wonderfully moist crumb, yet are still light and fluffy. They have that slight spice cake flavor and are packed with grated carrots, but don’t have all the extra mix-ins other carrot cakes have. We like our carrot cakes plain in this family, due to quite a few different allergies, but you could definitely add ½ cup of chopped walnuts or raisins if you wish!
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Let’s talk about this frosting. This orange cream cheese frosting pairs perfectly with carrot cake. It’s not too sweet, so you can really taste the tang from the cream cheese and the citrus flavor from the orange zest.
Cream cheese frosting is one of those frostings that doesn’t always turn out perfectly. It’s easy to get a frosting that’s too runny, too thin, or that ends up slightly gummy/sticky.
If this sounds like something you struggle with too (I’ve had several failed cream cheese frostings), here are a few tips to help:
- Use room temperature butter, and COLD cream cheese. Start by beating the butter for a few minutes with a stand mixer until it’s light, fluffy, and paler in color. Then beat in your cold cream cheese until they combine. I’ve found that if your cream cheese is too soft, you’re more likely to end up with a runny frosting once you add the powdered sugar.
- Once you add the vanilla, salt, and orange zest, make sure to beat everything together really well before adding in the sugar. Once you add the sugar, just beat on low to medium-low speed until combined.
- When all the sugar has been incorporated, beat the frosting on medium-low speed for a good 30 seconds or more until everything is smooth and fluffy. This is where the cold cream cheese comes in handy. If your ingredients are too warm, the cream cheese starts to liquify as it absorbs the powdered sugar.
- You should be able to frost with this cream cheese frosting right away! If for some reason yours ends up slightly loose, just refrigerate it for about 15-20 minutes before piping.
How to Store Carrot Cake Cupcakes
These cupcakes are best eaten within a few days of baking and frosting. Once frosted, store cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat. You can let them sit out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before eating, and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Any leftover cream cheese frosting can be stored in a freezer bag and frozen for up to 3 months.
These cupcakes are the perfect addition to your Spring celebrations and holidays. I hope you love them as much as we do!
Try These Other Spring Desserts!
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