Grain-free Carrot Cupcakes with Dairy-free ‘Cream cheese’ Buttercream

Every couple of months there’s a recipe that; no matter how many times I try, just won’t work out.

I have a really hard time giving up on things and have a very strong desire to reach for my dreams, no matter how ridiculous they may be.

Who dreams of making the perfect grain-free cupcake?

This girl does. And for the past 3 months, that’s all I’ve been dreaming of.

I should mention that not all attempts during this long and drawn out 3 month process were failed attempts. I’ve enjoyed countless batches of grain-free carrot muffins as a result of months of cupcake recipe testing. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if I saw another carrot muffin I’d probably die.

No more carrots for me for awhile, but you can pass the chocolate my way. Mkay?

… of course that’s after I finish scarfing down these cupcakes.

Speaking of chocolate, I made this killer sugar-free chocolate fudge that’s ridiculously high in calcium, jam-packed with super foods and is 100% carrot free. Total bummer that I’d made the fudge at 4am on Saturday morning and can’t figure out what I put in the stuff.

The only thing I can remember was thinking, “Wow, this is going to have so much calcium in it!”

Why was I up at 4am on a Saturday? The better question is why was I eating fudge at 4:30am

I chalk it up to a magnesium deficiency. It’s all those sore muscles ;)

Today isn’t about chocolate, it’s about carrots. So let’s get back on topic…

Grain-free Carrot Cupcakes

Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free

These paleo, grain-free cupcakes are light and airy, perfectly sweet and mouth-watering good!

Yield: 12 medium-sized cupcakes

Servings: 12



  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • 6 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 6 tablespoon carrot juice
  • 5 1/2 tablespoon egg whites
  • 30 drops liquid stevia *see note
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 6 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
  • pinch ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line 12 muffin tins with medium-sized paper liners.
  2. Place eggs and egg white in blender and beat well, about 30 seconds. My magic bullet worked great for this!
  3. Pour in carrot juice, milk, coconut oil, stevia and vanilla. Blend quickly to mix.
  4. Drop in dry ingredients and mix for about 10 seconds. The batter should be slightly thicker than pancake batter.
  5. Pour into prepared muffin tins and bake for 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Mine took 26 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack for at least 1 hour before applying buttercream.

note: I have not tried these cupcakes with anything other than stevia and am not exactly sure how it would work with another sugar.

calories: 119 | fat: 10g | carbohydrates: 3g | fiber: 1.5g | sugars: 1g | protein: 3g

Dairy-free ‘Cream cheese’ Buttercream

Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free

It’s so hard to find a dairy-free icing recipe that doesn’t include coconut flour, oil, or some form of coconut. For this, I wanted to make it 100% coconut free for those days (albiet it doesn’t happen much around here) where you just don’t want coconut.

Yield: 3/4 cup buttercream, enough for 12 cupcakes depending on frosting technique (I used a #21 tip)

Servings: 12


Stage 1

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 4 hours
  • 2 tablespoon unpasteurized honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar, ground
  • 3 tablespoon arrowroot starch

Stage 2

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoon non-dairy milk


  1. Place all stage 1 ingredients in the bowl of your processor, or blender and blend on high for 5 minutes, or until really smooth.
  2. Transfer to a small sauce pan and bring to a low heat, stirring constantly. Once it turns into a sticky blob mess (it should start to clump together and you’ll get concerned, don’t worry it wont look like icing now, but it will)
  3. Transfer back to the same food processor and add stage 2 ingredients: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of milk. Add additional milk if necessary. The consistency was perfect for me at 3 tablespoons.
  4. Blend until smooth and allow to cool for 30 minutes or so before frosting the cupcakes.

If you want to make this in advance it freezes really well. Remove from the freezer 6 hours or so beforehand to allow to defrost on the counter. You may need to add a touch of non-dairy milk to thin out slightly, but the flavor is just as fantastic!

calories: 73 | fat: 3g | carbohydrates: 11g | fiber: 2g | sugars: 7g | protein: 1g


I feel like being invited to a Birthday party just so I have an excuse to play around with a chocolate version. Anyone have a party coming up that they’d like me to crash? Preferably someplace warm… it’s chilly here today!


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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Leanne,

    oh my goodness. This is wonderful, and I have all the ingredients! But I’m sure you will make it waaaaaay prettier than me (obviously), so please come bring this to my birthday! It isn’t until March….but who cares! I’ll have an early birthday for these cupcakes! And it’s warm down here in Florida-absolutely perfect weather. 75*, sunny, no humidity. Just lovely.

  2. Leanne these look wonderful….you’re the 3rd blog in a row I’ve been to who’s made cupcakes. I think the universe is speaking to me or something :)

    The ‘Cream cheese’ Buttercream…wow. That’s all I’d need to be very happy!

    • Clearly it’s a sign. I see delicious cupcakes in your future, Averie!

  3. These look and sound amazing. Oh and thank you for making me feel normal with the food dreams! It definitely becomes an obsession when I need to figure out a recipe! Now, I need you to figure out the chocolate thing!

  4. I’ll throw a party just for the sake of it if you bring these cupcakes!! They sound awesome! It’s definitely not gorgeous outside here, but I know for a fact that it IS warmer than Calgary. Have a wonderful day Leanne!

  5. Great recipe. I haven’t cooked much with coconut flour but it looks like it does a good job. Carrot cake used to be my favorite cake but I haven’t had one ever since going gluten-free. I think it’s high time to bake one.

  6. These cupcakes look sooo amazing!! I love how few ingredients there are. Yum.

    These photos are so beautiful, too. The lighting and colors are perfect. Did you shoot these with natural lighting or lights? I am having such a tough time now that it is getting darker earlier, my kitchen is pretty dark to begin with. I have a light booth setup that I have used in the past, but I am just never quite happy with the results. Why can’t the sun just shine all day? haha

    • I’m totally scared to use lights in my photography… I have all the gear. Well, Kevin does. Right now I just shoot against a window between the hours of 12pm-4pm anything after that is just killer. I’m getting frustrated by the lack of sunshine, too. So I may be getting into the lighting this winter. It just looks so unnatural to me. But that could be because I don’t exactly know what I’m doing yet.

      • Yeh, I totally agree, lighting always looks completely unnatural, at least my totally unprofessional lighting, anyhow. I took a handful of photos for my blog last winter using the lighting and I despise them all. I want to go back and reshoot all of them, haha. The problem for me is that right now I shoot almost ALL of my photos outside on the back patio, that is covered overhead but open to the elements. So as it gets colder and snowier it gets harder and harder and I eventually have to give up on it. I am going to have to come up with some sort of a set up by the window inside this year or move sooner :)

        • Your enclosure sure sounds nice though… I bet it’s great in the summer. Is it heated? I’ve always wanted something like that. Such a pain with the whole lighting issue. If I come up with an inexpensive solution, I’ll be sure to let you know. I tried making a lightbox last winter… and it was great if I wanted close up shots of my food, but didn’t allow much abience and props in the back.

  7. My god you’ve outdone yourself again! :) These look amazing! And I love that they are gluten-free. So many people around me are on gluten-free diets now so these are the perfect treat! Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. The stands look gorgeous filled which such delicious looking cupcakes. I love making grain free breads and muffins- I like the challenge, and they don’t make me sick :) !!

  9. I love that this recipe is so healthy. I started running again and I am thinking I don’t want to mess with a good healthy routine just by giving in to sweet cravings. But who says healthy cannot be delicious? This is healthy and delicious! Hurray! Love your post!

  10. Leanne, it’s 8.25pm on a gorgeous warm evening here, aaaalllll the way around the other side of the world in Bathurst, Australia :) Fan on in the children’s bedroom, back door still open watching the sunset – perfect weather for carrot cupcake parties ;) Oh, and my best friend/neighbour/running partner is Canadian, so we could even speak your language! Ha!

    Annnddd, made the oil-free protein cookies for my boys last night, and at karate today, the sensei asked the children “what healthy food did you eat today?” Guess what got a mention from my 7-year old? Yup, they did! :)

    • Wow, you make your home sound so fantastic! And you’re right, us Canadians do speak somewhat of a different language. It’s too awesome that your boys mentioned the cookies! :)

  11. Wow these look GREAT. Wonderful idea using carrot juice for the wet part to help sweeten. I’m gonna have to try these with raisens walnuts – sounds like a great breakfast to me with a dallop of cream cheese on top! Hello morning~

  12. I am looking forward to trying these. I am thrilled that you sweetened the cupcakes with stevia, but not so thrilled that the frosting has sugar and honey in it.

    I may try the frosting with Birch Xylitol, which has a very low glycemic level and see what happens.

    Thank you for doing a sugar free, gluten free cupcake.

    • I love the idea of using xylitol for the frosting! I’ve just begun using xylitol and love it already. Would love to know how it turns out… and maybe where you get your birch xylitol? I’ve only been able to find the birch based product in the UK!

  13. I loved your post! You’re right, it’s so hard to find tasty carrot cupcakes. They are my mom’s favorite and finding things like this for people trying to lose weight is hard. Thank you so much for the post. I even went out and ordered one of the Paleo cookbooks for her since there seem to be many people on this blog sight that like the food :) Click Here

  14. I just made half recipe of this this morning. The cupcakes did not rise at all! The flavor was also o.k. They tasted more like coconut cupcake than carrot cupcake. Also it was hard to measure egg whites in Tbspoon without beating it; but beating it incorporating air so the volume wouldn’t be accurate based on your measurements. All in all it was a bad batch…It would be very helpful it you state the weight instead of volume of your ingredients. Thanks.

    • Hi Claire – I’m sorry to hear that the cupcakes didn’t work out for you. These cupcakes didn’t rise too much, as you can see from the photos. And yes, the flavor is very slight. I’ve just started playing around with how to display the weight of my ingredients and hope to have it live soon. Thanks for your feedback!

    • Hi Chris – I’ve never had much success in making coconut flour goods with no eggs. I would say… don’t try it! Sorry :(

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