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Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese-Mascarpone Frosting

  • Author: Sabrina Russo
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x


This is my version of carrot cake with an Italian twist. The batter is studded with pistachios and golden raisins, and the frosting is made with a combination of cream cheese and rich mascarpone.




  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt, heaping
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup buttermilk or substitute*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cup grated carrot (about 34 carrots)
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped, plus 2T, finely chopped


  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz mascarpone cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven & prep pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line or grease a standard cupcake pan.
  2. Mix dry ingredients: In a large bowl, shift together dry ingredients (flour through cloves).
  3. Mix wet ingredients: In another bowl, beat together eggs and sugars until well-combined and slightly fluffy. Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk in oil. I like to pour in the oil slowly while constantly whisking, so it’s well-emulsified. Fold in carrots, raisins and pistachios.
  4. Mix wet & dry: Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 additions. Do not overmix. Fold in carrots, raisins and pistachios.
  5. Bake: Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling about ¾ of the way up. Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 16-20 minutes, rotating half-way through, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. Make frosting: As the cupcakes cool, use a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to beat together the cheeses and butter over medium speed until light and fluffy. Incorporate sugar in 3 additions, starting on low and increasing speed as the sugar becomes incorporated. Stir in salt and vanilla.
  7. Decorate & eat: If desired, transfer frosting to a piping bag fitted with a wide, round tip. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, so the frosting holds its shape better when decorating. Pipe frosting onto cakes in a circular pattern, working from the outside in. Lightly sprinkle frosted cupcakes with the finely chopped pistachios. Enjoy.


  • For a buttermilk substitute, mix together ¼ cup of regular milk with ¾ tsp of white vinegar and allow to sit while preparing the other ingredients.
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American, Italian


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 456
  • Sugar: 37g
  • Sodium: 243mg
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 51g
  • Protein: 5g

Keywords: carrot cake, cupcakes, carrot, mascarpone, cream cheese