Lighter Healthier Carrot Cupcakes Ready to Frost
5 from 1 vote

Enlightened Carrot Cupcakes Recipe

Lighter, healthier carrot cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing, a delicious portion-controlled way to indulge in carrot cake.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time33 mins
Servings: 12
Calories: 222
Author: Martha McKinnon | Simple Nourished Living


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil (I substituted MELT Spread)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup finely shredded, peeled carrot (about 2 medium)
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained very well
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped

For the Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used MELT Spread instead)
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2/3 to 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  • Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg until well blended.
  • Add the oil, vanilla, egg, carrots, and pineapple and stir until well blended. Gently stir in the dried cranberries.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing it evenly among them.
  • Bake on the center of the oven for 16-18 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes and then remove the cupcakes from the pan and let them cool completely on the wire rack.
  • While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the lemon cream cheese icing. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter (or MELT spread), lemon zest, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until just blended and smooth.
  • Gradually add 1-2/3 cups of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice until blended. If the mixture seems to soft, add more sugar until you reach a nice spreading consistency.
  • When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost the cupcakes with the lemon cream cheese icing

Recipe Notes

I love Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend in place of Cinnamon. It's a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground orange peel, cloves and ginger. Because of the nutmeg in the blend, I didn't add the 1/8 teaspoon called for.
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: *6
Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints: *11
Nutrition Facts
Enlightened Carrot Cupcakes Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 frosted cupcake)
Calories 222 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Carbohydrates 38.5g13%
Fiber 0g0%
Protein 2.3g5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: frosted carrot cupcakes, healthy carrot cupcakes