Tender one-bite mini gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes, made with almond flour and coconut flour, filled with carrots and naturally sweetened with pineapple and maple syrup. Serve these grain-free mini carrot cake cupcakes plain or top with delicious maple cream cheese frosting!
These Mini Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes are perfect for those times when you just want a bite, not a whole cupcake!
They're grain-free and made without refined sugar to provide a healthi-er treat. (And without the frosting, they're a paleo treat, too.)
These are simply the best mini carrot cake cupcakes I've ever had. They're tender and moist, yet they don't crumble. They're naturally sweetened with honey, maple syrup and pineapple. I've made this recipe for years, in the fall, at Easter and for birthdays. They're ideal for young kids who usually just want to lick the frosting and have a tiny bite!
Mini desserts are perfect for those times when you want to offer a variety of desserts. They make a great addition to a dessert board, like this beautiful Fruit and Dessert Board recipe. Offer them alongside any of these 12 Gluten-Free Mini Desserts in Jars for a fun dessert experience!
Ready to make a batch of mini cupcakes? Let's get started!
A blend of almond flour, coconut flour and eggs provides the structure for these one-bite cupcakes, and they're sweetened naturally with crushed pineapple, maple syrup and honey.
Two full cups of carrots add essential fiber to your diet as well as Vitamin A, essential minerals and antioxidants. These are not only delicious, they're a healthier dessert option, too!
You'll find a complete list of ingredients for these mini gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes in the recipe card below.
This recipe makes about 36 mini cupcakes, so I usually make 24 minis and 6 - 8 regular sized cupcakes. You can also bake this batter in an 8-inch square pan.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. and line a 24-cup mini muffin tin with paper liners
- Drain the pineapple very well, pressing to remove the juice and set it aside. One 14 ounce can (398 ml) of crushed pineapple will yield one cup of well-drained pineapple.
- Grate the carrots and set aside.
- Combine the melted butter, sweeteners and eggs.
- Add well-drained pineapple and finely grated carrots.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the wet ingredients.
- Gently stir in finely chopped pecans. Fill muffin cups ¾ full. If you overfill they may be difficult to remove from the muffin tin.
- Bake at 350°F. for 18 - 23 minutes. Remove from oven, let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then carefully remove the cupcakes to a cooling rack. Remove the muffin liners and cool completely before frosting.
- If you bake this as a cake, bake for 35 - 38 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking time will depend on your oven and if you use a glass or metal pan.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
- Mix the ingredients by hand. You don't need an electric mixer for this recipe. Whisk the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, then combine.
- Since gluten-free cupcakes and muffins don't rise in the same way that baked goods made with wheat flour do, I slightly overfill the muffin tins by adding a little extra batter to make the tops appear rounded once they're baked.
- This easy recipe will make about 36 mini cupcakes (or 24 mini cupcakes and 6 regular cupcakes), depending on the size of your muffin pan. I used Wilton pans for this recipe. You can also bake it in an 8-inch square pan.
- These grain-free carrot cake cupcakes are delicious even without the frosting. Topping them with a swirl of maple cream cheese icing makes them fancy enough for a special occasion, but the frosting is not essential. They're tasty all on their own.
- I like adding finely chopped pecans to these cupcakes, but you can leave them out if you like. If you like raisins, add ½ to 1 cup instead.
Let's talk about this Maple Cream Cheese Frosting!
So good! Many traditional cream cheese icing recipes call for 8 ounces of cream cheese, butter and up to 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar! I found that adding only ¼ cup of maple syrup made the frosting sweet enough for me, but you can add a little more if you like it sweeter.
You can also substitute a zero-calorie sweetener, like powdered Monkfruit, to sweeten this frosting recipe.
Let the cupcakes cool completely before topping with a quick swirl of frosting. Since the icing contains dairy products, frosted cupcakes should be stored in the fridge.
🔁 Possible Variations
You can easily substitute walnuts for pecans, or you can keep these cupcakes nut-free if you like, and add raisins instead.
Without the frosting, these cupcakes are like a healthy muffin!
🥶 Storage and Freezing Instructions
Can I freeze these grain-free carrot cake cupcakes?
Yes! They freeze well, but it's best to freeze them without frosting. Stored in an airtight container, they should last for 4 to 6 months. Freeze the maple cream cheese frosting separately. Let them thaw in the fridge before frosting.
You might also like these Paleo Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Butter Frosting and this delicious Grain-Free Carrot Cake with Pineapple.
Perfect for Spring . . . or any time of year! You might also like these 10 Gluten-Free Desserts for Easter and Spring.
If you like these mini gluten-free carrot cake cupcakes, please leave a comment and a rating in the comments section below!
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This post has been updated with new photos and information to make it more helpful to you!
📖 Recipe Card
Mini Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup salted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup maple syrup, or up to ⅓ cup depending on taste
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Mini Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line mini muffin tins with paper or reusable liners, or grease very well with coconut oil.
- Open a can of crushed pineapple and set aside to drain very thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, sweeteners and eggs.
- Stir in finely grated carrots and very well-drained crushed pineapple.
- In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients--almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined.
- Gently stir in finely chopped pecans.
- Spoon into mini muffin tins. A cookie scoop works well. Fill muffin tins, then add a little more batter on the top of each to make a rounded top once they are baked. *see note below
- Bake for 18 - 23 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Let sit in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely. Serve as is or frost with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- Blend cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add maple syrup and vanilla and beat until well combined. Frost cupcakes when completely cool.