I did it.

I put a vegetable in a cupcake. And I didn’t do it alone.

Remember when I made these breakfast cookies? I love those things. Anyhoo, I made them with facebaby’s sister (my best friend’s kids… no, no relation) who is pretty much my favoritest little person in the universe. If you click on that cookie link, you can see how much older she looks here. I sort of hate it. Every time I see her I just want to scream STOP GROWING!!

I’m so maternal.

And ever since we made those cookies, she has been asking her mom when we were going to do it again. If we are being honest here… things like this aren’t just for her. I mean, did you know I might not be the most patient person in the world? Yeah. It sure does benefit, well… everyone around me when I spend a good chunk of time with a four year old. Oh the things I learn.

I also encourage them to do this. I sense I may regret it one day. Never mind that when my husband is around, I don’t exist. She loooooooves him.

So – the cupcakes with vegetables. Yes. I feel like carrot cake can be a cult favorite or get no love at all. I am pretty apathetic on the whole situation – it’s not the first cupcake I’d ever choose and I’d possibly even turn down a big slice, but the cream cheese frosting is what draws me in most. AND you guys know how obsessed I am with bananas these days… I just felt like adding some in would be the best choice in the world.

It was.

Oh… and we also made these cupcakes with coconut oil! No butter. Isn’t that crazy talk? I love it.

By now, you know I’m a bit on the lazy side and prefer mixing my cupcakes by hand. Sometimes you guys ask me why I do this in hopes for some special scientific baking answer, but the truth is that I just don’t want to drag my mixer out constantly. Plus, this way things were a bit easier and hands-on for my little friend. It results in a slightly denser cupcake – almost muffin like – but the banana and coconut oil contribute to the texture as well.

We left shredded coconut out of the cupcake itself, mostly because not everyone we were spending time with loooooves coconut like I do. How rude. If you’d like, you can throw a big old handful inside the batter, no other substitutions necessary. The frosting itself is flavored with coconut extract, but in my attempts to be crafty and entertain a small child, we put little nests on top with toasted coconut and Cadbury mini eggs.

Ugh. These stupid eggs. They are killing me. I thought I could be the cool, festive, domestic person that has a bowl of mini eggs sitting in their living room for hungry guests to snack on, but ummm…. no. I ate them all myself. Major fail.

Worth it though. This was so.much.fun.


Banana Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Total Time: 60 minutes


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil, measured solid then melted and cooled
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 bananas, mashed
2 cups freshly grated carrots
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 (8 ounce) blocks of cold cream cheese
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
toasted unsweetened flaked coconut
cadbury mini eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake tin with liners. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Whisk in coconut oil, then once combined, stir in bananas, carrots and vanilla extract. Once mixed, add in half of the dry ingredients. Mix with a large spoon until incorporated, then add in the buttermilk. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until batter is somewhat smooth and not many lumps remain. Using a 1/4 cup measure or an ice cream scoop, fill lines 3/4 of the way full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until cupcakes are set in the centers. Set aside to cool completely.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add in powdered sugar with the mixer on low speed, increasing the speed once all of the sugar is added. Add in vanilla and coconut extracts, then beat on medium to medium-high speed for a good 2-3 minutes until creamy, scraping down the sides if needed. If you find the frosting it a bit too thick, add in some milk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If it is too thin, add additional powdered sugar gradually. Frost cupcakes once cooled. Roll the edges in toasted coconut and top with cadbury mini eggs if desired.

[cupcakes adapted from allrecipes]

Ooooh and that neon pink headband? Yeah. Just guess who bought her that.

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104 Responses to “Banana Carrot Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting.”

  1. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — March 15, 2013 @ 11:15 pm

    Umm how cute is she and how awesome are the nest-like toppings of these cupcakes? I wish you were MY mom’s best friend! :P


  2. #
    dervla @ The Curator — March 16, 2013 @ 12:10 am

    Love this! Little girls are lucky to have you around for pink headbands and cupcakes :) Happy weekend, yay!


  3. #
    Laura — March 16, 2013 @ 5:30 am

    OOMG, wowzer. They are beautiful and you convinced a small child to eat vegetables in a cupcake – Genius.


  4. #
    Arlene Diehl — March 16, 2013 @ 9:11 am

    My daughter would like this one. She has discovered her love of coconut oil.


  5. #
    Suzanne — March 16, 2013 @ 1:20 pm

    Yum, what pretty cupcakes and looks like you had fun making them too. Great idea for the Easter holiday :)


  6. #
    Sarah — March 16, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

    Wow! Those look amazing. I love that you incorporated banana into the carrot cake! What a delicious treat, and they will be perfect for my Easter table setting! Thanks! :)


  7. #
    Molly @Bakelette — March 16, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

    These sound incredible! My mom has a similar carrot cake recipe, but your addition of bananas sounds divine! I bought M&M eggs to make very similar nests!

    P.S. I love the headband!


  8. #
    Lauren @ Dallas Duo Bakes — March 16, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

    Those are soooo cute! Perfect for Easter. I can’t wait to try them. Great job on the awesome photos. :)


  9. #
    Jackie — March 17, 2013 @ 2:38 am

    Hi Jessica

    Is there anyway I can scale this recipe down to 12 cupcakes.


  10. #
    amelia — March 17, 2013 @ 7:25 am

    I love carrot cake and banana cake, so putting them together sounds like a good plan to me!! Not to mention the cream cheese frosting!! Vegetable and fruit…surely these could be classed as one of your 5-a-day!?!


  11. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — March 17, 2013 @ 8:45 am

    These are the cutest. So is the little girl. Great Easter treat.


  12. #
    Stephanie — March 17, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    You have managed to combine three of my most favoritist (?) things — coconut, cream cheese AND carrot cake. I mean when is my turn to cook with you in the kitchen haha?? I promise I’l be just as good of a listener as this sassy little lady (who is ADORABLE btw!!!)


  13. #
    Catharine @BakingChemist — March 17, 2013 @ 12:28 pm

    I visit your blog weekly and this is the first time I’m commenting because anything with banana, carrots, buttermilk, coconut, and cream cheese must be freakin amazing!


  14. #
    Lindsay — March 17, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

    Stupid eggs is right. Those things are the most dangerous candy ever. As I sit here devouring a bag as I watch mob wives and write this comment. Ugh.


  15. #
    Michelle — March 17, 2013 @ 10:26 pm

    I absolutely love carrot cake and bananas are always on hand here. Never would have thought to make cream cheese into frosting. A very interesting recipe I need to try.


  16. #
    Alexis @ Hummusapien — March 17, 2013 @ 11:15 pm

    What a cutie! She looks like a fabulous baking partner. I love the coconut extract and toasted coconut on top!


  17. #
    Lexi {Whisking It} — March 18, 2013 @ 4:29 am

    Oh my goodness! These look divine! :D And what a gorgeous girl! I love love love anything coconut, cant wait to try these.


  18. #
    Not Only Sugar — March 18, 2013 @ 6:45 am

    Mmmm.. beautiful!!!

    Not Only Sugar


  19. #
    Amy — March 18, 2013 @ 7:09 am

    These not only sound good they are DELICIOUS, I’m not a very good baker and they still turned out amazing. I love the texture and flavor of the roasted coconut on top and the cream cheese frosting. Thanks for this one!


    • Freya — April 19th, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

      I’m not the best baker either! How long did you need to whisk the sugar and eggs?


  20. #
    Mindy@FindingSilverLinings — March 18, 2013 @ 11:44 am

    How cute is she?! I’ve been looking for a good cream cheese frosting recipe!! Do you think this frosting would work if I omit the coconut extract and use it to top a coconut cupcake?


  21. #
    Chef Portia — March 18, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

    Cute cupcakes! Even cuter kid! These came out a lot better than my recent holiday cupcake über-fail (see URL to see the disaster unfold before you). Maybe the secret ingredient is a cute little baking partner? Bake and learn…


  22. #
    Simone — March 18, 2013 @ 3:12 pm

    Every time I look at a picture of these I want to be eating them right now.


  23. #
    Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up — March 18, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    I have to agree with you on the too-lazy-to-take-out-my-mixer thought. Plus… its more dishes. I will do anything to lessen the amount of dishes in my sink. The cupcakes came out ADORABLE, and anything that resembles carrot cake gets two thumbs up in my book.


  24. #
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen — March 19, 2013 @ 4:52 am

    These are so cute! Even though there is a veggie in a cupcake I bet they are delicious! I am always looking fr a tasty and cute Easter dessert recipe, and this one is definitely a front runner. Thanks for sharing!


  25. #
    Krysta — March 19, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    those cupcakes looks delicious! and what a adorable little girl :)


  26. #
    Michelle — March 19, 2013 @ 3:38 pm

    Yum… Although I’m not a carrot cake fan, these have bananas in them, so I think I’l try them! Jessica, can you clarify the 1 1/2 (8 oz) cream cheese ingredient. Do you mean a total of 12 oz of cream cheese? Just want to be sure :) Thanks!


    • Jessica — March 19th, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

      yes! 12 total oz


  27. #
    Petrea — March 20, 2013 @ 11:27 pm

    Can you find real coconut extract? Or do you have to use imitation coconut flavoring? I have searched the web for it, too, but have been unsuccessful in finding it. Help!


  28. #
    Kex — March 23, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

    I’ve made your delicious looking cupcakes or at least I tried to make them ;) But they are a bit doughy, I even baked them for 25 minutes. Are they supposed to be a bit doughy? Most probably I made a mistake! Even though they weren’t a huge success, I loved your post!


  29. #
    Lindsay — March 25, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

    I just made the cupcakes following your instructions exactly. They are wonderfully moist and flavourful. Perfect. The banana flavour was quite strong.


  30. #
    Avena — April 1, 2013 @ 12:33 am

    I made these for my family and they were wonderful! Everyone loved them! They were moist and I could taste the carrot, banana, and the coconut. I could not find coconut extract in time, so I just made the cream cheese frosting without it, and it still tasted delicious. They were so moist. Thank you thank you!


  31. #
    Lynell Raderstorf — April 29, 2013 @ 6:01 am

    Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Throughout the tropical world, it has provided the primary source of fat in the diets of millions of people for generations. It has various applications in food, medicine, and industry. Because of its stability, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidity, lasting up to two years owing to the high saturated fat content.”

    See ya soon


  32. #
    Irina — April 30, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

    I just had to leave a comment cuz These were absolutely AMAZING!!! Delicious in every way! I’d make them again and again :-)


  33. #
    Elizabeth Heather — May 7, 2013 @ 2:30 pm

    These. Sound. Incredible.


  34. #
    Allison @ thebakingyear — May 14, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    carrot cake is my favorite thing in the world, and since it’s banana dessert month on my blog, I will definitely be trying these out!!!


  35. #
    Mary Frances @ The Sweet Tooth Life — May 15, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

    This looks incredible. She is SOO cute and I’m sure it’s the headband;). The texture looks incredibly from your pics snd the lighting is gorgeous. Coconut is such a delicious ingredient and it is used so well here!


  36. #
    Sarah — July 10, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

    love banana and lovely girl! i’m addicted to all your lovely sweets! I had featured u in the post of Top 7 Lovely Cake Recipes on AllFreshRecipes , Enjoy a Sweet Moment! Looking forward to ur more delish recipes!


  37. #
    Erin — April 12, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

    I tried this recipe and they taste like a yummy carrot & banana cloud! However they came out with more of a muffin texture and less like a cupcake texture that I was looking for. They won’t go to wast though. ;)



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