Spring is in the air and my gluten free carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple are so moist and perfect for Easter! We're topping them with a classic cream cheese frosting for that delicious finishing touch.
I'll be honest, carrot cake had never been a go-to dessert for me. But as I started to get into my Spring baking kick, I decided that I wanted to figure out what all of the hype was about.
I sat down and came up with a gluten free carrot cake cupcake recipe that I thought would give me the perfect mix of flavors. And then I headed to the kitchen. And now I can say, I truly find myself craving these cupcakes... they're that good!
I think one of the key ingredients in these extra moist carrot cake cupcakes is the pineapple. Not only does the pineapple help add extra moisture, it's just such a delicious flavor that works perfectly here. Then, once you add the cream cheese frosting on top, it's just such an irresistible combination!
Why You'll Love These Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes
- These carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple have the perfect amount of spice thanks to the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- They're seriously so soft and moist (again, thanks to the crushed pineapple!). I love the texture of these cupcakes!
- The classic cream cheese frosting is the perfect finishing touch and works really well with the flavors going on.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- My go-to gluten free flour blend is Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1, and this is the one I always recommend. However, any blend should work as long as it contains xanthan gum.
- If you're not looking to make these carrot cake cupcakes without eggs, you can use 2 eggs instead of the egg replacer.
- I love making carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple. Just note that we will NOT be draining the crushed pineapple. You'll want to measure out ½ cup, juice and all.
- I like to use canola oil in these cupcakes, but you can use vegetable oil, too.
- For the frosting, you'll want to use full-fat cream cheese. Also, go for a block of cream cheese, NOT the spreadable kind that comes in a tub.
STEP ONE: Combine the dry ingredients. Start by adding the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a bowl and give it a whisk.
STEP TWO: Stir the oil with the sugar. In a large mixing bowl, stir the oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together.
STEP THREE: Add the rest of the wet ingredients. Add the crushed pineapple, egg replacer, and vanilla.
STEP FOUR: Add the dry mixture. Stir well to combine, then add the grated carrots into your batter and stir.
STEP FIVE: Bake! Fill up your cupcake liners and bake on 350ºF for 18-20 minutes. Cool in the pan completely.
STEP SIX: Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and beat to combine. Pipe or frost onto cooled cupcakes.
- As always, I recommend using a scale to weigh your flour. This is so much more accurate than using measuring cups, and is especially good for gluten free baking because it's all about accuracy. We'll need 185 grams of flour.
- To make these carrot cake cupcakes without eggs, follow the instructions on the egg replacer. The mixture needs to sit for a couple of minutes to thicken before adding to your batter.
- I like to use a cookie scoop to scoop cupcake batter into the liners. This helps make sure they're all even. I fill my liners up nearly all the way to the top.
- Cool completely before frosting! I keep them in the muffin tin to allow them to cool.
- When it comes to the frosting, it's so important to bring both the cream cheese and butter to room temperature first. This will help you get a nice, smooth consistency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Good news! Not only are the unfrosted carrot cake cupcakes gluten free, they are vegan. To make the cream cheese frosting dairy free, you would need to use your favorite non-dairy butter and cream cheese. I have not tested this myself.
Personally, I like to buy baby carrots or carrot sticks, roughly chop them up, and use my food processor to grate. I find that it's so easy that way! You can always use a box grater, too.
The pineapple really adds so much sweet flavor! But if you don't have some on-hand or would rather skip it, I'd recommend replacing it with applesauce. This will still give you the added moisture that you need. You can just make a 1:1 substitution.
If you're going to freeze these carrot cake cupcakes, I recommend freezing them unfrosted. Simply store them in an airtight container, then thaw before serving and make a fresh batch of frosting at that time.
How To Store Carrot Cupcakes
You can store these carrot cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. These are best enjoyed fresh, but they should still retain that soft and fluffy texture for a few days. If for some reason you decide to skip the cream cheese frosting, you can store unfrosted cupcakes covered up at room temperature.
Did you try my gluten free carrot cake cupcakes with pineapple? Leave me a comment below or tag me on Instagram @justastastyblog and #justastastyblog! And don't forget to subscribe to get new recipes directly in your inbox.
Just As Tasty: Gluten-Free & Eggless Baking Through the Seasons
Be sure to check out my cookbook for tons of festive and easy-to-make gluten-free treats! From Valentine's Day and Easter to the holiday season and every celebration in between, this book has got you covered.
Gluten Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes With Pineapple
- 1 ¼ cups (185g) gluten free flour blend
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable or canola oil
- ¾ cup (150g) brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup crushed pineapple
- 2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer mixed with 4 tbsp water
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 cups (240g) powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt together. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix the oil with both sugars. Add the pineapple, prepared egg replacer, and vanilla extract and mix to incorporate. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Gently stir in the shredded carrots.
- Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ of the way full and bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool before removing from tin and frosting.
For the cream cheese frosting:
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy. Slowly stream in powdered sugar, continuing to beat until fully combined and smooth.
- Be sure to follow the instructions on the package of Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer. Once mixed with water, the egg replacer must sit for just a few minutes to thicken.
If you are not looking to replace eggs, you should be able to use 2 eggs instead of the egg replacer.
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This post was originally published in April 2020. I have since perfected the recipe and changed it quite a bit.