Vegan & Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting (nut-free, soy-free and refined sugar-free too!)

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting

These cupcakes are light, fluffy, sweet and secretly super nutritious.  Not only are they vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and refined sugar-free but they also contain two vegetables.  You heard me right.  There are carrots in the cupcakes and white sweet potato in the frosting.  Yes, I made frosting out of a potato.  Stay with me please.  I am not going to steer you wrong here, I promise.  These cupcakes are insanely delicious and I urge you to give them a try and see if anyone notices the difference. 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting

These cupcakes taste amazing, look amazing and best of all, they are made with wholesome ingredients and are super easy to make.  

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting

The cupcakes and the frosting are both made in a blender.  They are basically fail-proof even if you are not much of a baker (raising my hand here).  Pureeing the carrots in the blender is much easier than hand-grating.  And, personally, I prefer the texture in the cupcake.  You get all the sweet carrot flavor without the chunks of carrots.  

The frosting can be spread easily as well and could be used to ice cakes.  It is creamy and tastes like the real deal.  And since it doesn’t use powdered sugar it is much healthier than typical frostings.  People are always shocked to learn they are made out of a white sweet potato.  You could use a purple sweet potato for purple frosting or an orange sweet potato for orange frosting.  I like the color of the white sweet potato for this recipe.  To test which color you are buying at your supermarket, use your thumbnail to scratch away a tiny amount of the skin to see the color of the flesh.  White sweet potatoes are also called Hannah potatoes.  Hannahs have tan skin and an off-white interior.  When they are cooked the flesh becomes slightly yellow.  Hannah potatoes have a lightly sweet flavor and a dry texture that works well in this frosting.  

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting

To get the frosting to look like the photos I recommend using this piping tip.  You simply put it through the bottom corner of a plastic bag and voila, you are now a baking champion.  You can fill the plastic bag with the frosting, seal it and then gently squeeze the bag to pipe it onto the fully cooled cupcakes.  I only recently started using a piping tip this year and have found it to be insanely easy and super impressive to others.  This is something you should definitely add to up your baking arsenal.  

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting

I also highly recommend using these BPA-free silicone baking cups to prevent sticking and ensure the cupcakes turn out exactly as I made them.  With them, you do not need to grease the baking pan and cleanup is a total breeze.  They are dishwasher friendly and come out of the dishwasher completely clean without even a pre-wash.  Most importantly, they make the perfect cupcakes.  No sticking, burning or sogginess.  Just absolute cupcake-perfection.  The cupcakes pop right out of the baking cups with ease leaving almost no crumb behind.  Plus, they are great for the environment and you will never run out.  I’m cupcake-ready always with these secret weapons.  I have not tested these cupcakes with paper or aluminum baking liners and results may vary depending on which you use.  

This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free, egg-free and dairy-free.  I hope you love these cupcakes as much as we do. If you give this recipe a try, please let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it, and tag a photo @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your creations! 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting

 

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

These nutritious cupcakes are absolutely delicious and easier to make than you would think. They are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and refined sugar-free and sneak in two vegetables. They are light, fluffy, insanely delicious. Everyone loves these cupcakes and never suspects how healthy they are. I recommend making the frosting ahead of time and allowing it to chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. If you are able to chill it overnight it will thicken up perfectly for this recipe. This recipe makes more frosting than you will likely need so you can save extra for another batch of cupcakes. Trust me, you will want to make more! I also recommend cooking the white sweet potato ahead of time if possible to streamline the process. See notes for how to cook the white sweet potato in either a pressure cooker or oven.


Scale

Ingredients

  • For the frosting:
  • 1, 16 ounce white sweet potato (Hannah variety), cooked in pressure cooker and skin removed*
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons vegan, soy-free butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 tablespoon oat milk
  • 1/2 lemon (optional to give it a slight tang/cream cheese flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 3 cups gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened plain oat milk (I use Oatly brand)
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and add silicone baking cups to a muffin tin. Set aside.
  2. For the frosting: In a blender combine the cooked white sweet potato (skin already removed), maple syrup, butter, milk, lemon juice (if using), vanilla and salt. Blend on the highest speed until smooth and creamy. If the mixture has trouble blending you can add a splash more of the oat milk to get it going. But, try to avoid adding extra oat milk if possible as it will ultimately make the frosting too thin for piping. Place the frosting in your refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the frosting to harden.
  3. For the cupcakes: Clean out and fully dry your blender. Place oats inside and blend on the highest speed for 30-60 seconds until a fine flour is formed. Be sure there are no chunks of oats remaining before transferring the oat flour to a large mixing bowl with a pour spout. To the mixing bowl, add baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir well. In the blender, add all the wet ingredients (maple syrup, avocado oil, oat milk, baby carrots and vanilla extract) and blend on the highest speed until the carrots have completely liquified. Pour this mixture into the dry mixture in the mixing bowl. Whisk well to ensure there are no chunks in the batter. Carefully pour the batter into the silicone baking cups. They will be 100% full and that is okay. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven, change the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool before decorating. Transfer the silicone baking cups to a wire cooling rack and allow to sit for 15 minutes undisturbed before removing the cupcakes from the baking cups.
  4. To decorate the cupcake: Remove the cupcakes from the liner before frosting. Cut a tiny hole in the bottom corner of a plastic bag and place a piping tip through the corner. Use a mini spatula to transfer the frosting that has been chilling in the refrigerator into the plastic bag. Seal the plastic bag and squeeze gently to pipe the frosting through the piping tip onto the cupcakes. Start on the perimeter of the cupcake and circle around moving inward after each circle. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator to prevent the frosting from melting.

Notes

To cook the white sweet potato:

1. Add white sweet potato to the steamer basket in your pressure cooker. I layer a couple at once while I’m doing it but you will only need one large white sweet potato for this recipe. Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker and secure lid. Valve should be on sealed. Cook on manual high pressure for 18 minutes.

2. When cooking is complete, manual release and use tongs to transfer the white sweet potato(es) to a cutting board. Slice through each lengthwise with a knife. The knife should slide through very easily. If not, return to the pressure cooker to cook for another minute or two.

3. Allow the white sweet potatoes to cool until you can safely handle them. Peel the skin off and discard.

You could also roast the sweet potatoes in an oven but it could take 40-60 minutes to fully cook. Here are the instructions for that method:

1. Place a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven.

2. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce the white sweet potato with a fork on one side then place directly on the middle rack (not on a baking sheet and not wrapped in foil).

3. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until tender and the skin is thin and toasty. Baking time will vary based on the diameter of your sweet potato. You may need up to 60 minutes for a large sweet potato. The bottom baking sheet will catch any drippings for an easy cleanup.

4. Remove from oven and pierce with a knife to ensure it is fully cooked. Allow the potatoes to cool for 5-10 minutes for easier handling. Slice the potatoes in half and split the flesh down the center. Remove the skin.

  • Category: Dessert

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Sweet Potato Frosting

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link above and complete a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for reading!

Did You Try This Recipe?

Follow Eating by Elaine for all the latest content and behind the scenes!

Want to receive simple, nutritious recipes in your inbox every week?

Need a complete listing of all my favorite kitchen and cooking products?

17 Comments

  1. Rona

    Hello. Firstly just wondering if you have a weight measurement for the sweet potato. As they all differ in size, even when you say ‘large’, a weight measurement would be very helpful.
    Secondly my daughter is requesting a pink frosting. Would it work to blend up some freeze dried strawberries or adding a teaspoon of pink pitaya powder? If so, any recommendations on measurements.
    Thank you for another wonderful recipe

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      You know, you are totally right! They do vary quote a bit in size. The next time I make this I will weigh it and let you know. For the pink frosting, yes, the freeze dried raspberries or strawberries should work well. Start with just a little because you can always add but obviously you cannot take away the color. And pink pitaya powder should also work great! I have tried that before and I believe I started with 1/2 teaspoon and increased from there until the desired color was achieved. My grocery store also started carrying natural and organic food dyes (Simple Truth makes them now). You can also buy on Amazon (Supernatural is a good brand). Please let me know how it turns out for you and if you have any other questions. I will report back on the size of the potato. Great feedback! Thank you!

      Reply
      • Rona

        Thank you so much for your prompt response Elaine. I will be making the frosting tomorrow to go on top of chocolate cupcakes. I’ll wing it with the sweet potato, hopefully I use enough/ not too much. I’ll be in touch with results. Thanks again

        Reply
        • Elaine Gordon

          Of course! I was hoping to get to the store today to get the white sweet potato and test it myself. Hopefully tomorrow! We will keep each other posted for sure! Making it chocolate is a great idea. One fun idea is to add chocolate chips to the sweet potato while it is hot and let the heat of the sweet potato melt the chocolate chips. It is sooo good. You can add a pinch of salt and a drop of vanilla. Maybe 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. It will be fab!

          Reply
          • Rona

            Hi Elaine ! Success for me too. I actually forgot to weigh before I steamed them, but I did weigh after but before I peeled skin. It was about 470 grams (greetings from Sydney Australia!). And I used about a heaped 1 tablespoon pink pitaya powder for a gorgeous deep pink hue. We all loved it especially the birthday girl. So thank you 🙂

            Reply
            • Elaine Gordon

              Yay! Love to hear that. It is a pretty forgiving recipe so I’m glad it worked out for you despite not knowing the exact weight. And I’m SO happy the pink pitaya powder worked out too! Sounds like a total success! I’m working on a chocolate sweet potato recipe for Valentine’s Day (if all goes well) so look out for that one soon! And, wow, Sydney! Love it! Wish I could come visit! 🙂 Happy belated birthday to your birthday girl!

              Reply
        • Elaine Gordon

          I have not forgotten about you or this! Just wanted to let you know it is on my radar for this week. Did you have success with the recipe on your end? If so, what size/weight potato did you end up using?

          Reply
        • Elaine Gordon

          Hi again! I retested it with a 16 ounce white sweet potato. I hope that helps!

          Reply
  2. Shelley

    Hi Elaine – can you freeze the cupcakes and then defrost later and frost them?

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Theoretically, yes, that should work but I honestly haven’t tested that out with this specific recipe so I’m not 1000% sure. If you do give this a try please let me know! And I hope you enjoy it! It is a good one!

      Reply
  3. Shelley

    Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Anj

    Hi this recipe looks Fab and I want to try it for my daughter’s upcoming bday and was wondering if I can use soy milk instead of oat milk in the recipe as thats what I have on hand and dont want to venture out in these times. Also of I can use regular butter.Thank you

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Thank you! Yes, the soy milk and regular butter should work just fine. Happy early birthday to your daughter! I hope you all love this one!

      Reply
  5. thejellyfishbar

    Thank you for the awesome recipe.

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Aw you are welcome! Thanks for letting me know you liked it!

      Reply
  6. sherri

    I will be trying these I’m quite sure in the near future. I’ve made a chocolate sweet potato frosting before and was totally amazed how good it was.

    I’ve ‘Pinned it’ and just need to get to the store!

    ps – your little one is SO adorable

    Reply
    • Elaine Gordon

      Yes, very similar to the chocolate sweet potato frosting concept. It is so easy and so good! And thank you SO much!

      Reply

Submit a Comment

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

Hi, I’m Elaine!

Thank you for checking out my vegan and gluten-free recipes.

Trending Now

Follow Eating by Elaine for all the latest content and behind the scenes!

Want to receive simple, nutritious recipes in your inbox every week?

Need a complete listing of all my favorite kitchen and cooking products?