Carrot Cake Breakfast Cupcakes

Cupcakes for breakfast? Yes, please! These Carrot Cake Breakfast Cupcakes look like dessert but are wholesome enough to eat for breakfast (or anytime of day). They are low in added sugar, whole grain, and mixed up in one bowl. Add a quick, 3-ingredient cream cheese frosting (and maybe a few sprinkles) to make these a special treat kids and adults will love.

Kids in the Kitchen:

  • Carrots: Peel the carrot then hold the grater and carrot together and shred it up. Placing your hand over your child’s will ensure that fingers won’t get scraped by the grater.
  • Measure: If you want to cut down on the amount of mess you make while cooking with kids (And it can be super messy, right?), pre-measure some ingredients before inviting your little one in the kitchen. Even measuring one or two ingredients together can be a great learning experience.
  • Crack the eggs: Make sure to have your little helper crack the eggs into small a separate bowl, so you can easily remove any shell pieces. If you want some guidance on how to teach kids to crack eggs, check out my video on Instagram HERE.
  • Use a large bowl. Mixing in a large bowl means less mess when cooking with kids. I try and always and demonstrate what speed I’d like kids to stir before letting them have a turn. Most likely, their mixing will result in at least a little spillage, but that’s ok. With practice, kids will eventually learn to better control the spoon or spatula.
  • Top: If kids don’t want to help with any other part of baking these, they will still probably want to get in on the sprinkle action. Spreading on the frosting can be a little tricky for kids, so you may want to do that before inviting kids to add the sprinkles on top.

Subs and Tips for Carrot Cake Breakfast Cupcakes:

  • No applesauce? Use the same amount of mashed banana instead!
  • Gluten-free? Use a cup-for-cup style gluten-free flour mix and be sure that your oats are certified gluten-free
  • Egg free? I have not tried it, but I think using a flax “egg” or similar egg substitute would work well.
  • No quick (instant) oats? Take regular rolled oats and pulse them in a food processor until it’s broken down into a rough meal (not ground all the way into flour and with a few larger pieces of oat remaining). Then measure the amount you need for the recipe
  • Add-ins: I used raisins and hemp seeds in here. However, you can leave those out entirely, use other kinds of dried fruit, or mix in finely chopped nuts. Pecans and walnuts would be great in here.
  • Helpful Equipment: Check out my Amazon store HERE to see my favorite baking essentials such as parchment baking cups and muffin tins.

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cupcakes

A wholesome and fun breakfast or snack. Lightly sweetened, whole grain, dairy-free, and made in one bowl.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 10 cupcakes


  • 1 large carrot
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey*
  • 1/4 cup avocado or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat, all-purpose, or gluten-free flour
  • 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking "instant" rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raisins (optional)
  • other optional add-ins: 3 Tbps hemp seeds and/or 1/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Quick Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 to 6 oz whipped cream cheese preferably NOT Philadelphia Brand
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp maple syrup or honey more or less to taste
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste


  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place 10 paper muffin liners in a muffin pan or grease the muffin pan with oil spray.
  • Peel the carrot then shred it on the smaller holes of a box grater until you get a packed 3/4 cup of grated carrot.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, eggs, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. Add cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Stir in grated carrot.
  • Add flour and oats to the bowl. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, stir until just combined. Add in raisins and any other add-ins, if using.
  • Scoop the batter into your muffin cups. Bake until cooked through and lightly browned on the top, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Enjoy the muffins as is or let them cool completely before topping with cream cheese frosting and optional sprinkles.

Quick Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Whip the cream cheese, maple syrup, and vanilla together in a small bowl with a spoon or fork. It may take a few minutes, but it should come together eventually.
    I like to use whipped cream cheese because you can mix in the sweetener and use it as a frosting right out of the fridge. However, if you only have regular cream cheese, leave it at room temp for 30 minutes then whip it with a whisk or use a hand mixer.


*This cake is not very sweet. If you don't plan on adding any raisins/dried fruit, you may want to 1/3 cup of sweetener instead of 1/4 cup.
Keyword carrot cake, healthy snack, snack cake

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