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Pineapple Carrot Cake Cupcakes are a classic Spring recipe. We're making these healthy by using whole clean ingredients like almond flour and maple syrup. We're also adding sweet juicy pineapples, because pineapples and carrot cake belong together forever.
If you don't think carrots belong in desserts, you've obviously never had an insanely delicious carrot cake cupcake. This recipe will surely change your mind.
I'm warning you, one bite out of these and you'll be wanting to eat the entire tray yourself - so make sure to make these when you have family and friends over so that you can share and aren't tempted to eat the entire tray on your own (guilty). Haha.
The pineapple carrot cake cupcake base is delicious for sure, but the real "cherry" on top is the creamy mouth-watering pineapple cashew-based frosting. Yum. So Yum.
These healthy pineapple carrot cake cupcakes are:
- entirely vegan
- paleo approved
- gluten free
- refined sugar free
- insanely delicious
What you'll need for the pineapple carrot cake cupcakes:
- Almond Flour: To keep these gluten-free we're using my favorite GF flour - almond flour - made from blanched (skins removed) almonds. This flour results in the fluffiest and most delicious gf baked goods. The brand I always use is Terra Soul Almond Flour - which you can get off of Amazon.
- Tapioca Flour: Don't skip the tapioca. Since this is a gluten free recipe, we need the tapioca to bind with the almond flour to make a delicious fluffy cupcake. I purchase the Arrowhead Mills Tapioca Flour from Amazon which is much more affordable than buying it in store. It comes in a six-pack, but if you do a lot of vegan/paleo/gluten free cooking you're most likely going to end up using them all up eventually.
- Flax Eggs: In order to keep these vegan, we're using flax eggs which is simply 1 tablespoon flax meal (ground flax seeds) plus 3 tablespoons water. Let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes to allow it to thicken.
- Maple Syrup: My favorite unrefined natural sweetness of choice lately. I buy this one from Amazon.
- Shredded Carrots: I use baby carrots and shred them using my food processor's shredding blade. You can also use a hand-held shredder but I find that much more difficult to do.
- Pineapple Chunks: I like to use fresh pineapple but canned pineapple will work too - just try to find one that isn't soaked in juice or has added sugars.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: to add just a hint of flavor but also to react with baking soda (baking soda needs an acid to react).
- Vanilla extract, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, and ginger powder: These flavors combined are going to ELEVATE your carrot cake cupcake game. Obviously I recommend that you add all of these but if you're missing one or two it won't break the recipe.
- Baking soda + baking powder: Can't leave our leavening agents out (no pun intended). Always check the expiration dates on your baking powder and soda - expired powder is not effective and won't create rise.
What you'll need for the pineapple cashew frosting:
- Soaked cashews: Usually, when using a strong blender like a vitamix, it is not required to soak cashews for smooth consistency. However my one exception to this rule is when it comes to cupcake frostings/icings. The thing is, you want to use as little liquid/water as possible when making your icing/frostings and the only way to do that and ALSO achieve a super smooth consistency is to soak your cashews - preferably over night for about 8 to 10 hours.
- Pineapple chunks: Because we can't have a pineapple frosting without pineapples.
- Maple syrup: for that sweet sweet goodness
- Medjool Date: just one little date for sweetness and also texture
- Coconut Oil: to help the frosting thicken up
- Vanilla extract: for yummy yummy flavor.
Want to see more vegan cupcake recipes?
Easy Healthy Pineapple Carrot Cake Cupcakes (Vegan, Paleo, GF)
Super yummy healthy pineapple carrot cake vegan cupcakes with pineapple maple frosting – made with almond flour + naturally sweetened.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 10 cupcakes 1x
- Diet: Vegan
- 1.5 cups almond flour (155g)
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour (30g)
- 1 cup shredded carrots (around 120g)
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapples (around 105g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (6g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (11g)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 flax eggs (1 tablespoon flax meal + 3 tablespoons water per egg)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (80g)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- pinch of salt
PINEAPPLE MAPLE FROSTING:
- 3/4 cups SOAKED cashews (soak overnight if possible)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 medjool date (soaked if not soft)
- 1/4 cup chopped pineapples
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
** for best results make sure all frosting ingredients are at ROOM TEMPERATURE. Any cold ingredients will cause the coconut oil to harden in the blender.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Make your flax eggs by combining flax meal and water in a small bowl and let sit to “activate”.
- Mix all dry ingredients (flours, spices, salt, and baking soda + powder) together in a bowl.
- Mix vanilla extract, maple syrup, flax eggs, and apple cider vinegar together and add to the dry ingredients. Add shredded carrots and pineapples. Mix to combine.
- Pour batter into lined cupcake molds. If not using liners, make sure to grease molds slightly unless you’re using a non-stick silicone mold. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Oven times vary. You can use a toothpick to check if they are ready by inserting the toothpick in the center of the cupcake – if it comes out dry and mostly clean, they are ready. If the toothpick comes out wet and with lots of batter, it needs more time.
- Make your pineapple maple frosting while cupcakes are baking. Add all room temperature ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You’ll probably have to use your tamper to get it nice and smooth. You can add tiny bits of water or milk or more oil if your blender is struggling but try to keep liquids to a minimum for a nice thick frosting.
- Allow carrot cake cupcakes to cool down completely before frosting. I use this Wilton tip to decorate the cupcakes. Top with shredded coconut and a dusting of cinnamon powder. Enjoy!
- I use baby carrots and I shred them using my food processors’ shredding blade. Super easy.
- I used fresh pineapples for this recipe but no-sugar-added canned pineapples should work too.
- For best frosting results – soak cashews overnight for 8 to 10 hours.
- Make sure all frosting ingredients are at room temperature before mixing with the coconut oil.
- You can use agave instead of maple syrup.
- Make sure your baking powder + baking soda is not expired. These will not work if expired and your cupcakes won’t rise.
- Oven times vary greatly. Keep an eye on your cupcakes and use toothpick method to test for readiness.
Keywords: healthy pineapple carrot cake cupcakes, vegan cupcakes, carrot cake, pineapple, gluten free, paleo,