Pistachio Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting

Like any normal, pink-blooded, soon-to-be-29-year-old woman/girl, I love a good night in with a rom com and a baked good or two (husband/significant other totally optional). Sometimes said baked good might be soaked in melty ice cream, or in this case, topped with the most sugary cream cheese frosting ever.

I know I have been doing a lot of recipes from Aida’s cookbook, but there are so many good ones. This recipe was originally a cake. Since I didn’t want to accidentally eat an entire cake while having a night in, I made carrot cake cupcakes. It’s all about portion control, right?

I like baking early in the morning. Then the house smells lovely all day. If I am blogging the recipe, I bake, take pictures, and finish up some work. Sometimes, a little sneaky pug appears and steals a bit of frosting, which may or may not throw off my work day.

After the work day is over, I love to eat dinner and then immediately change into pajamas, as long as I have nowhere else to go, even if it is only 6 o’clock. Then I park it in front of the TV and enjoy my dessert.

Some of my favorite rom coms to enjoy dessert to are:

Bridesmaids. Duh! Kristen Wiig is so funny and she is a baker, so of course this movie pairs well with baked goods.

Bridget Jones’ Diary. Sigh, Mark Darcy. Plus all she does is eat and drink and embarrass herself, something any girl can relate to.

When Harry Met Sally. When he runs to find her on New Year’s Eve! I cry every single time. That is definitely a call for a baked good.

I have yet to get into Downton Abbey. I know tons of people love this show. I feel like that would be a good weekend marathon show. I need to get on this. The trick is to wait until Mike goes to sleep or is out on the town with the boys.

I have saved extra cupcakes just in case the mood to paint my nails and stay in hits me again in the next few days.

Pistachio Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Brown Sugar-Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Makes 24

  • For the Frosting:
  • 1 Pound Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ Cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ¼ Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • ¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 2 ¼ Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 3 Large Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • ⅔ Cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 ½ Pounds Carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 ½ Cups Finely Chopped Shelled Roasted Pistachios

  1. To make the frosting, add the cream cheese to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip on medium speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  2. Scrape down the sides, add the butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix slowly to combine. Then increase the speed to medium and beat until well combined. Transfer frosting to a separate mixing bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Clean out the bowl of the mixer and the paddle attachment.
  4. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Combine eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium/low speed until eggs are broken up and combined.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold the flour into the sugar/egg mixture using a rubber spatula.
  7. Add the carrots and pistachios to the bowl, fold into the batter to combine.
  8. Add about ⅓ of a cup scoop of batter to each cavity in two muffin tins lined with paper cupcake liners. Bake in the oven for thirty minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes before frosting. Take the bowl of frosting out of the refrigerator to allow it to come to room temperature.
  10. When ready to frost, add the frosting to a piping bag or a large quart sized sealable plastic bag with one corner cut off. Pipe the frosting on to each cupcake. Top with a few extra chopped pistachios. Store cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Melene says

    So glad I happened to find this via twitter! Would you mind sharing the details if I made it a cake instead of the cupcakes? Thank you!

    • Stefanie says

      For the cake you combine all the ingredients in the same way. You need to pour equal amounts of batter into two 8 inch round cake pans. Bake the two pans in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. When done, invert on a wire rack and cool completely. Place bottom cake layer on cake stand or inverted cake pan and then frost the top of the cake. Place top cake layer directly on top. Spread a third of the frosting on top of the cake and all around the sides. Set in the fridge for fifteen minutes to set up. Then frost cake with remaining frosting. Press some more chopped pistachios into the frosted sides for decoration.

  2. says

    Pug photobomb! It’s nice to know mine isn’t the only one who does that sort of thing! :-) Your life sounds like mine, except I have that pesky full time job to deal with too! I’m all about changing into pj’s as soon as I get home, and I wouldn’t mind one of these cupcakes to curl up with either. p.s. My hubby totally got into Downton, you never know Mike might enjoy it.

    • Stefanie says

      Sadly I only get to do this routine on weekends and once or twice during the week, womp, womp! I am finally starting Downton tomorrow!!!! If there is no recipe up on the blog Thursday it is because I am still watching it, so send help!

  3. Margot C says

    Do you think I can get away with the salted shelled Pistachios (which I have on hand!) or should I go buy the raw. This is important!

    • Stefanie says

      You could get away with them. Most of the salt should rub off when you remove the shells. Just maybe hold off on adding the salt to the dry ingredients.

  4. Margot C says

    You are a genius, I would never have thought of this but like most great things – once you know it, it’s obvious!
    I’m pinning this; I’m making this. I have all of these ingredients!

  5. Johanna says

    These look absolutely delicious! I love to bake and cupcakes are my thing. I’m always looking for a new recipe to try out, but I usually lean towards chocolate… this will be a nice change! I can’t wait to make them!

    Thanks for all your posts! I really enjoy reading them and the pictures are one of my favorite parts :)

    PS. Downton Abbey…. just beware, because you will get hooked and you will be sad once you’ve watched all 3 seasons and realize you have to wait an entire year for a new season! I love the show!!

  6. says

    Oh my goodness, I remember seeing that carrot cake recipe in Aida’s book – so pretty! And these cupcakes…well, they’re a sight for sore eyes on a snowy Tuesday morning. One (or five) of these would make my day so much better.
    PS. Whenever I need a good laugh, Bridesmaids is my go-to movie!

  7. says

    These look wonderful. I love cream cheese frosting with carrot cook-the brown sugar is a good idea and I bet it adds a nice flavor. I also like your idea of adding some coconut instead of pistachios.

    That picture of your dog licking the cupcake is so cute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *