Time Saver Carrot Cupcakes

Time Saver Carrot Cupcakes from AmandasCookin.com @amandaformaro

I love making cake from scratch, but occasionally I’m just pressed for time and turn to the ever dependable box of cake mix. This carrot cake is a combination of the two. You can go out and buy a box of carrot cake mix. Simple. Or you can doctor up a spice cake mix with your own fresh ingredients, like I did.

Time Saver Carrot Cupcakes from AmandasCookin.com @amandaformaro

I am an avid baker as you probably already know, but I do keep at least two boxes of cake mix in my pantry at all times. Why? Because you never know when you might need them! Case in point, my daughter is a freshman in college. She didn’t really cling to cooking and baking the way that I did, but she still likes making sweets now and again.

Time Saver Carrot Cupcakes from AmandasCookin.com @amandaformaro

She also loves carrot cake, so her and I made this recipe together. It’s ideal for young adults and college students who are never home, and great for someone who just prefers the convenience of a box mix.

I chose a cream cheese frosting I use for many desserts, but these would be great with buttercream, whipped topping, dusted with powdered sugar, or even topped with a canned frosting. Whatever strikes your fancy!

Time Saver Carrot Cupcakes from AmandasCookin.com @amandaformaro

I used plain applesauce rather than a cinnamon flavor since we are using a spice cake. I also chose golden raisins as I prefer them, and grated up some fresh carrots.

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  TWD: Chocolate Armagnac Cake

Time Saver Carrot Cupcakes from AmandasCookin.com @amandaformaro

After mixing up the batter and stirring in the ingredients, divide the batter among a paper lined cupcake tin.

Time Saver Carrot Cupcakes from AmandasCookin.com @amandaformaro

Now be patient and let them cool on a wire rack. You can whip up the frosting while you’re waiting!


More Doctored Cake Mix Recipes

White Almond Sour Cream Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting – The Little Kitchen
Oatmeal Cookie Bars with Peaches and Crème Frosting – Bake or Break
Chocolate Kahlua Cake – Baked Bree
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Bars – Baking and Boys
Pink Lemonade Cupcakes – Real Mom Kitchen
Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting – Bake or Break

5 from 1 reviews
Time Saver Carrot Cupcakes
Servings: 24-30 cupcakes
ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Pumpkin Pudding Poke Cake
  • 1 box Spice flavored cake mix (plus ingredients listed on box)
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrot
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  1. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix cake batter according to direction on the back of the box.
  3. To beaten cake batter, add the applesauce and beat a few seconds more until incorporated.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, stir carrots and raisins into the batter until well distributed.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake tins. Bake according to the time chart on the back of the box.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on cooling racks before frosting.
For the Frosting:
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy, add vanilla and beat until incorporated. Turn mixer down to low and gradually add powdered sugar. When no dry traces are left, turn mixer up to medium high and beat for a minute or two.
  2. Spear frosting on cupcake or pipe through a bag.


  1. says

    Yum! Besides, the carrot cake mixes are weird with little bits of dried carrots. Perfect solution.
    Thanks for the link love (again). You like pb/chocolate. Go look at those bars. I made them back in 2009, but they are calling my name.

  2. says

    You know, Amanda, baking is not my greatest talent, so I’ve always loved cake mixes. They always, always, always turn out better than my scratch made cakes. And I love being able to doctor them up with added ingredients. Great idea using the spice cake mix as a basis for this recipe. I’m sure the fresh carrots with that mix turned out fabulous!

  3. Layla says

    Sounds yummy!! I’ve even used pumpkin to doctor up spice cake. It has all the spices needed, so then you have perfect pumpkin bar flavored cake/cupcakes!! Yummy!!


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