Masala-Chai Carrot Cupcakes with Spiced Maple Frosting

Cakes, Desserts, Fall, Quick and Easy

I’m currently in the middle—what I like to call—autumnal chaos. I am busy editing photos every night until 10pm, which also means I’m consuming a large amount of reality television. I’m incredibly embarrassed to admit that I have watched every.single.episode of Shahs of Sunset and I have so many opinions about them. The other day I went to their neighborhood (West LA) and I was like, “If I run into one of them…I won’t be able to control myself!” I was bummed I didn’t see them.

One recipe that was at the very top of my to-make list this season was to fall-ify carrot cupcakes. This is inspired by some ras al hanout carrot cupcakes in Casablanca: My Moroccan Food.

Carrot cake is already filled with spices but with these cupcakes we’re just adding WAY more, while also adding some other spices in the mix.

These cupcakes are glorious to freeze. And then thaw in the fridge when you’re ready to eat and serve.

This frosting is delicious and buttery, filled with a spike of maple and topped with cinnamon.

In other news, I’m going to see Drake tomorrow night and am incredibly excited. Two years ago I went to a Kanye concert and loved it (RIP KANYE). I had to add a disclaimer to this chicken & dumplings recipe because people kept sending me messages on Instagram asking me how I could support him. Haha. It was 2016—it was a different time! We were so innocent.

Anyway, I hope you find some time to make these cupcakes because they’re bomb. Also, if you want to see a step-by-step on Insta Stories, hop on over to the app.

Masala-Chai Carrot Cupcakes with Spiced Frosting

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Serving Size: 24 cupcakes


Carrot Cake Dry Mix:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Carrot Cake Wet Mix:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds

Spiced Maple Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, sifted over each cupcake


To Make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two (12-cavity) cupcake tins. I used cooking spray. You can also line them with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cloves and salt. Set the dry mixture aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand-up mixer, with the paddle attachment, add the butter, white sugar and brown sugar; beat until nice and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the oil and eggs. Beat until combined.
  • Alternating between the buttermilk and the dry mix, add them to the butter mixture, until just combined. Lastly, add the carrots and walnuts and mix until thoroughly distributed throughout the batter.
  • To fill up the cupcake tin, I used a cookie scoop to make it easy on myself. Fill each cupcake tin about half way. I baked these in batches because doing two at the same time didn’t end well for me. Transfer the first cupcake tin to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Repeat with the second batch of batter.
  • Allow them to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool before adding the frosting.

To Make the Frosting:

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer, sift in the powdered sugar, add the vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream. Beat the frosting for about 3 minutes. The fluffiness from the heavy cream really lightens up this frosting so be sure to beat it for the full 3 minutes. If the frosting is too loose, feel free to transfer it to the fridge to chill for about 10 minutes. Then beat it one last time.
  • Decorate the cupcakes however you like! Garnish with sifted cinnamon.
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen
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  • Reply Cristina September 30, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Hello! If I wanted to make this in cake form, would the baking time be the same? Thinking about baking this for my boyfriend’s birthday. He loves carrot cake AND chai tea, so I was thinking this sounds like the perfect cake!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme September 30, 2019 at 11:51 am

      It most likely will take a bit longer. I would use two 8-inch cake pans and bake them for about 25 to 30 minutes. It might take up to 35 minutes since this cake is a bit thicker than a normal, say, chocolate cake–good luck! 🙂

  • Reply Calin October 29, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Howdy! I’m going to make these wonderful cupcakes, but your directions for the spiced maple frosting look off. You never mention when to add the butter nor maple syrup. Plus, there’s no mention of vanilla extract in the ingredient list. Just wondering!

  • Reply Abby October 22, 2018 at 11:42 am

    These sound so delish. Love the chai and carrot combo. How did you pipe the frosting/which tip did you use? I’ve been staring at them trying to figure it out haha.

  • Reply Lori October 21, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Love the way you frosted these! Beautiful!

  • Reply J October 19, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    You should really take off the email address if nobody can subscribe to you. Thanks!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 19, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      Hi! I’m unclear what you mean. The email subscriber worked for me (just checked it). Let me know what the problem is so I can fix it. Thanks!

  • Reply CJ | A WELL-READ TART October 19, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I am in love with your marble countertops. Also, I am impressed that you can do anything else while watching reality TV. I am obsessed with 90 DAY FIANCE, and I can’t do anything but be glued to the TV while it’s on. Which means blogwork gets put aside for several hours at least once a week…more, if there are follow-up episodes and tell-alls. *hangs head guiltily* And, of course — your cupcakes look adorable!!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 19, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      HAHA! My friend Billy keeps telling me I need to watch 90-Day Fiance. Also, have you heard of the podcast Bitch Sesh? They’re obsessed with the show. xoxo

      • Reply CJ | A Well-Read Tart October 20, 2018 at 5:34 am

        I haven’t heard of Bitch Sesh, but they seem like my kind of people. Give 90 Day Fiance a try, but be warned: it will suck you in completely. Which was fine when there was just one version of the show, but there are 2-3 spinoffs now, with more coming, so it’s become a rather demanding TV obsession. 😀 But I still think there’s no better way to unwind after a mentally and physically taxing day than with a lil’ fiance drama!

  • Reply Aubrey October 19, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    I love your blog! Everything you post I just adore! These look so yummy, but do you think they would still taste okay without the pumpkin seeds and walnuts? I would love to make them tonight but don’t have time to run to the store!

    Thanks for all the hard work and love you put into this blog!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 19, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      Yes! Absolutely. I would just leave them out completely–it’ll be ok! 🙂

  • Reply Melinda October 19, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Masala spice! Perfect! I adore this recipe!

  • Reply Maria October 18, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Adrianna!
    I just discovered your blog and have absolutely fallen in love! All the photos are so aesthetic and satisfying, and they of course make me want to try the recipes out. I’m so excited that I found out about your work and can’t wait to cook up some Cozy Kitchen specialties 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme October 19, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Ahh thank you so much! So glad you’re here! 🙂