Skip to main content

Olive's Carrot Cupcakes {Recipe}

"Mummy, I'm hungry. Hungry for something sweet."

Sound familiar?  If only it were "Mummy, I'm hungry for green vegetables!"

Sometimes getting kids to eat something healthy is a battle.  The harder you try, the more they resist.

We've been pretty lucky with Olive - she devours fruit.  And while she's adamant she'll never eat a tomato (too many Charlie and Lola bedtime stories), she will eat green beans, peas and corn (and sometimes raw broccoli!) without fuss.  The one veg she absolutely adores though are carrots.

A carrot stick is a great snack for a hungry preschooler but when they're pining for something sweet, why not make them something healthy and sweet and bake some mini carrot cupcakes?

These mini cupcakes are based on Stephanie Alexander's Simple Carrot Cake from The Cook's Companion. I like this recipe a lot because it uses olive oil which has lots of health benefits.

If you have a food processor, you could easily have these cupcakes ready to serve within half an hour from opening the pantry.

Originally written as a big cake recipe, I've halved it to make 24 mini cupcakes - perfect for morning tea at playgroup, work or to stash in the freezer for a healthy "hungry for something sweet" emergency.

The sugar carrots are a whimsical touch - you can find out how to make them in another post.

Recipe: Olive's Carrot Cupcakes
Recipe by Stephanie Alexander, The Cook's Companion
Makes 24 mini cupcakes

60g self-raising flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup finely grated carrot (approx 2 small carrots)
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts

For frosting
60g cream cheese or marcsapone, softened

125g pure icing sugar
30g butter, softened
a drop of vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 180C (no fan).  Grease a 24 hole mini muffin tin or line with paper cases.
  • In a food processor, mix together flour, sugar and spices.
  • Add oil and eggs and beat for 1 minute.
  • Add carrot and walnuts and give it a quick whiz to combine.
  • Fill cups 2/3 full and bake for approx  12-15min.
  • Cool in tin before turning out.
  • When cold, decorate with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

  • Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend.
  • Using a small, plain icing tip, pipe a small bulb of frosting on top of each cake.
  • Leave plain or decorate with a sugar carrot or piece of walnut.


  • Use the grating disk for your food processor to grate the carrots in a minute.
  • Don't have a food processor? Follow the same instructions using your electric mixer.
  • Freshly grated nutmeg really lifts these cakes into a whole new dimension.  But if you don't have them, ground nutmeg is fine.
  • Stephanie originally said to just stir through the carrots and walnuts.  For mini cupcakes, the extra whiz in the food processor makes the carrots and walnuts a little finer so you get a more even texture.


Oh, they're so cute Di. I love olive oil in cakes (and biscuits) too.

I'm forever adding vegies into sweet treats, mainly for the sake of my fussy daughter. I'll be baking tomorrow and whatever it is will contain some or all of sweet potato, zucchini, carrot and/or pear.

Anne xx
Kimberley said…
Oh they look so cute and delicious!! I love that they don't have any butter in them either! :D
Di-licious said…
@Anne - Thanks Anne. Yes, I think olive oil gives you a different texture than butter. Although for my classic vanilla cupcakes, there is no substitute for good unsalted butter. Enjoy your day of baking tomorrow!
Di-licious said…
@Kimberly - thanks! I think the little carrots really make them. Stay tuned next week for how to make them.
Kimberley said…
Looking forward to the tutorial! :D and thank you for the lovely comment on my blog, I really appreciate it!
Hehe I don't recall asking for vegetables ever as a child,only potato chips and cake! :P
Di-licious said…
@Kimberley - You're more than welcome! I'll be in the sugar carrot patch tomorrow so the tutorial will be up before you know it!
Di-licious said…
@Lorraine - I think I would have liked vegies a lot more growing up if my mother hadn't insisted on cooking them within an inch of their life. Just blanched green beans are a taste sensation compared to khaki green soft ones! But I'm sure Olive thinks cakes ARE one of the major food groups! ;-D
These will be the cupcakes I make for my sister's 52nd bithday this weekend.Thanks for a wonderful recipe.They will be a hot I am sure. Your blog is so good and useful to me, I just love it. Thanks
Di-licious said…
@TMV - Thanks! Be sure to let me know how you go. They really are yummy. I'm making two dozen regular sized cupcakes tomorrow for a special birthday order.
tori said…
These look so incredibly precious. I've loved that carrot cake from Stephanie for years, but never thought of putting it in such a delicate form. Just gorgeous
Olive sounds sooo cuteeeee, in every way :-))

So these were the super cupcakes that had the little carrot atop?
Its nice that it has some olive oil , will make them moist too.
That they come together so fast is always an advantage.
Di said…
@Sugar Plum Fairy - Yes, these are the cakes. Olive will vouch that they are moist and di-licious!

Popular posts from this blog

My sister's wedding cake: Kransekake {Recipe}

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Drive to Byron Bay for my sister's wedding so we could transport the wedding cake I'd made her. A six day break where we spent four days in the car. Insane right?

Did I mention I made a wedding cake?

Not your quintessential tiered, fondant creation mind you.  In a nod to our Norwegian heritage, my sister asked me to make a traditional wedding cake called kransekake.

If you haven’t seen one before, kransekake isn’t actually a cake; it’s a tower of eighteen sweet almond macaroon rings – think baked marzipan – ‘glued’ together with royal icing. 

Instead of cutting the cake, the bride and groom lift the top ring.  The number of rings that stay attached to the top ring is supposed to signify how many children the happy couple will be blessed with. 
The rings are then broken up into pieces (starting from the bottom) and served with coffee. 

The dough is a cinch to make but its the baking that brings many a cook unstuck, or should I stay stuck.…

Norwegian Apple Cake {Recipe}

If you’ve been following my blog you’d know that earlier this week I celebrated Norway’s Constitution Day – hip hip hurrah! 

The Norwegian Kitchen is a collection of traditional and new recipes from each region of Norway, presented by the Association of Norwegian Chefs. 

Choosing just one cake recipe was hard but I decided to recreate a popular cake from my own childhood – apple cake.

When I made the cake I thought three apples was a bit excessive and only used two. Once baked I regretted my decision – whilst still di-licious, the extra apple in the centre of the cake as well as on top would have provided a greater apple flavour and a moister cake. Definitely use two green cooking apples – in Australia we would use Granny Smiths.

I made the cake the day of our afternoon tea so it was still slightly warm when served. The leftover cake was popped into an airtight container and consumed over a week. Kept in the fridge it stays quite fresh. To bring out the aromas, gently reheat a cake …

Spread the love - Lemon Butter {Recipe}

You could be forgiven for thinking that there is a strong lemon theme happening on the blog lately. And you'd be right. 

When you have unlimited access to a ridiculously abundant lemon tree - you don't cook with oranges.
Luckily we're all lemon fans here. 
Can I just say categorically that I love lemon butter. It's tart, it's sweet and it makes the most decadent white bread sandwich. 

It's perfect on scones and pikelets; is a divine filling for cakes and sandwiched biscuits; and unbeatable eaten straight from the spoon.
It's also pretty easy to make provided you're not in a hurry. If you rush it..... well, you're going to end up with lemony scrambled eggs.
Trust me. I've been there. 

I got asked what the difference was between lemon butter and lemon curd. I couldn't find an answer online but according to my CWA Judging notes, lemon curd/cheese is made with milk and cream whereas lemon butter is not.

A good lemon butter should:

have a fresh, delicate …