I am all about mini cakes because they are cute, tasty, and different from a slice of cake. These Mini Carrot Cakes with an irresistible buttermilk glaze are all that and more. This is a vintage recipe; if you love carrot cake, you’re really going to love this recipe!

Mini Carrot Cakes with frosting

I love cakes, but sometimes, a whole slice just feels like too much. Cakes can also be complicated to make or take forever to bake. That’s where this Mini Carrot Cake recipe really shines. It’s much easier to make than a layer cake, and it bakes quickly in a muffin tin.

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Mini Carrot Cakes

Well-balanced and with just the right amount of spices, these Mini Carrot Cakes have pineapple, coconut, and raisins in them in addition to the carrot, so they’re unbelievably moist and delicious.

Read more: Mini Carrot Cakes
2 stacked cupcakes

This is another one of my favorite vintage recipes, and I’ve been making this recipe since 1992, the year my oldest son was born. It is inspired by an old Junior League of Portland cookbook. Those were the good old days before the internet when cookbooks like this were the best way to share recipes. 

The recipe is a bit different now because I’ve perfected it over the last few decades. It’s a great recipe. I make them each spring and often at Easter. My family loves these Mini Carrot Cakes, and I know yours will, too!

a carrot muffin

Why I love this recipe

  • It makes 36 mini cakes, which is perfect for sharing. So maybe 2 per guest?
  • These carrot cakes are glazed AND frosted because why not have both? 
  • They’re freezer-friendly, so you can save some to enjoy later.
ingredients to make Mini Carrot Cakes

Gather these ingredients

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable oil – Or canola oil.
  • Buttermilk
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Canned crushed pineapple – You’ll need an 8-oz can, drained.
  • Carrots – Grated.
  • Shredded coconut
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts – Chopped. Toast them first for extra nutty flavor.
making topping for mini muffins

For the glaze:

  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking Soda
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter
  • Light corn syrup
  • Vanilla extract
a carrot cupcake

For the frosting:

  • Butter – At room temperature.
  • Cream cheese – At room temperature. You’ll need 1 8-oz package.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Orange juice – Freshly squeezed.
  • Orange zest
how to make Mini Carrot Cakes

How to make the best Mini Carrot Cakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 350-F and generously grease 3 muffin tins. You’ll need 36 muffin cups in total.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together and set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl, and add the oil, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir well. 
  5. Add the pineapple, grated carrots, coconut, raisins, and walnuts to the batter and stir to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins and bake at 350-F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Combine the sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set the glaze aside until the muffins are baked.
  9. Slowly drizzle the glaze over the mini cakes, then cool them in the muffin tin until fully absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  10. Cream the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl with a stand or hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Mix until smooth.
  11. Frost the mini cakes with the frosting and refrigerate. 
  12. Serve and enjoy! 
mini carrot muffins

Tips & substitutions

  • Don’t overmix the cake batter. Mix until just combined and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • You can make these cakes ahead of time and freeze them until you’re ready to frost them. Simply bake them, glaze them and then freeze them. Thoroughly thaw them before frosting them.
  • Don’t care for walnuts? You can add pecans instead or skip the nuts entirely. 
a cream cheese frosting mini cupcake

Serving suggestions

These Mini Carrot Cakes are perfect for Easter dinner dessert or brunch, along with other tasty eats like my Bloody Mary Charcuterie Board, baked salmon or seasonal charcuterie cups.

Storage

Store any leftovers in the fridge or freezer in airtight containers.

Check out these awesome carrot recipes while you’re here

Mini Carrot Cakes with frosting
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Mini Carrot Cakes

Loaded with carrots, walnuts, and more, these glazed and frosted Mini Carrot Cakes are perfect for spring or your Easter brunch or dinner! Makes 36 standard cupcakes (mini cakes).
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
cooling: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 18
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Ingredients
 

INGREDIENTS FOR MINI CAKES:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 8 oz pineapple, crushed and drained
  • 2 cups carrots, grated
  • 3 ½ ounces shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

INGREDIENTS FOR GLAZE:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup butter, 1/2 cube
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INGREDIENTS FOR FROSTING:

  • ¼ cup butter, 1/2 cube, room temperature
  • 1 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange peel, grated

Instructions
 

TO PREPARE:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Generously grease (3) 12 regular muffin tins (36 total).

TO PREPARE MINI CAKES:

  • Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs.  Add oil, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour mixture, pineapple, carrots, coconut, raisins and walnuts and stir well.
  • Pour into prepared muffin tins.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

TO PREPARE BUTTERMILK GLAZE:

  • In a small saucepan over high heat, combine sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup.  Bring to a boil.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Set glaze aside until muffins are baked.
  • Remove muffin tins from the oven and slowly pour glaze over the muffins/mini cakes.  Cool mini cakes in muffin tin until glaze is totally absorbed, about 15 minutes.

FROSTING:

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy.  Add vanilla, powdered sugar, orange juice and orange peel.  Mix until smooth.  Frost muffins with the frosting and refrigerate.  Serve chilled mini carrot cakes!

Notes

Source: From Portland’s Palate – The Junior League of Portland, Oregon – 1992
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Calories: 434kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 313mg, Potassium: 212mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 38g, Vitamin A: 2605IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 1mg
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Mini Carrot Cakes