100% Whole Grain Chocolate Carrot Cake Cupcakes + Surprise Baby Shower

Happy surprise baby shower to Caroline! :)

I mentioned this in my guest post I did for Caroline, but her lemon blueberry scones post is the reason why I started blogging. Baking for myself is fun, but baking and taking pictures of it and then writing about it for the internet to see? So much better. I feel like I owe Caroline a lot, having given me this hobby that has enriched my life so much. I’ve never met her in real life, but I can tell she’s just the sweetest person and if anyone deserves to have an awesome virtual baby shower, it’s her. 

I was so excited for Caroline that I asked a group of her blogging pals if they’d like to throw her a virtual baby shower. This was two months ago and it’s been so hard to keep the secret (Caroline and I are exchanging emails about cupcakes right now and it’s killing me not to hint at what she’s going to wake up to!) but the day is finally here. 

Caroline, I’m sure you are going to be an amazing mom and that is one lucky kid to be born into such a large and loving extended family. I wish you all loads of fun with your soon to be newest member!

Caroline, whose blog is Chocolate & Carrots, once said that she hadn’t yet made a chocolate carrot cake because she hadn’t found the right recipe. So I made her one! I think that these taste like normal yummy chocolate cupcakes, but other people have said that they could taste the carrots (maybe I’m just too focused on the chocolate to notice). I don’t like carrots but I definitely liked these. I’m not a huge fan of mixing carrot cake spices, which for me means ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg with chocolate, so I left it at just cinnamon. I’m not convinced that I like cinnamon and chocolate together, but I had to add something in there to make it “carrot cake” and not just chocolate cake. Next time I’ll try it without the cinnamon and see which is better.

These don’t have much honey so they really rely on the chocolate chips to sweeten them up a bit. Don’t skimp! And the icing also helps sweeten them up. The thing is, I don’t want to eat all that icing you see on these cupcakes. I only wanted to make them look pretty for the occasion. If you want to be able to pipe the icing, I suggest this pipeable cream cheese frosting from Recipe Girl. But make sure you look at how much it yields before you begin. And if you don’t care about piping it on, I like the cream cheese and Greek yogurt frosting recipe found here. It’s not too sweet, has no butter and still tastes enough like cream cheese to make me happy.

  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon (127 grams) whole spelt, whole wheat pastry, or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (~30 grams) cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (146 grams) honey
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 10.5 ounces / 300 grams carrots
  • 1 cup (180 grams) chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 350°F / 175°C and line a 12 cup muffin tin with linersIn a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs and add the honey, apple sauce, olive oil, and vanilla. Using the fine grater of your food processor, process the carrots. There might be some chunks that get stuck at the top, but we don’t want those. Measure out 270 grams of carrots and mix them into the wet mixture. Add the wet mix to the dry and mix only until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips (don’t skimp! ;)). Divide into muffin cups (about 2/3 full) and bake for 17 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. But be careful because it could be a chocolate chip that you’re hitting. So try a few areas if you’re not sure. Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely before icing.

Here’s what they look like naked and in much better lighting. I forgot the chocolate chips and didn’t realize it until they were in the oven. I took them back out and dumped in some chips, which is why all mine chocolate is lumped together. Don’t forget the chocolate and this won’t be a problem. :)

A big thank you to Amanda, Amy, Brandi, Bree, Cassie, Erica, Lauren, Lauren, Miryam, Rachel, and Sara! And an especially huge thank you to Heidi, who will be giving birth any day now but still time found to take part in this baby shower. :)

Go check out what they’ve whipped up!

Healthy Food For Living – Carrot Cake Colada

Bran Appetit – Strawberry Mint Sparkling Lemonade


Baked Bree – Pancetta and Chive Quiche

Simply Whole Kitchen – Mini Quinoa Bites with Goat Cheese Pesto


Food Doodles – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream Filled Whole Wheat Cream Puffs

Kevin & Amanda – Baby Cinnamon Buns


Baked by Rachel – Mini Lemon Lime Cheesecakes

Bake Your Day- No Bake Lemon Cheesecakes with Lemon Blueberry Sauce

Eat Good 4 Life – No Bake Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes

Fearless Homemaker – Angel Food Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Cream

Itzy’s Kitchen – 10 Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Keep It Sweet – Peanut Butter Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Icing and Chocolate Ganache

Texanerin Baking – 100% Whole Grain Chocolate Carrot Cake Cupcakes
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34 comments on “100% Whole Grain Chocolate Carrot Cake Cupcakes + Surprise Baby Shower” — Add one!

  • Joanna says
    April 14, 2017 @ 9:09 pm

    Hi! Wondering if you could make this as a cake? I bought my son a cute bunny cake mold so we could bake for Easter – I suggested carrot cake, but his 4-year-old mind of course went right to chocolate. So I searched for a healthy choc carrot cake recipe (hey, I gotta sneak veggies into his body somehow!!), not sure if it even existed, and found this, which looks perfect…except I was hoping to use that bunny mold! What do you think? Thanks!! Oh, and approx how much carrot in cups is 10.5 oz? Thanks!!

    • Erin replies to Joanna
      April 14, 2017 @ 10:07 pm

      I haven’t tried making this with a special mold (or any cake pan) but I’m thinking it should probably work. Sorry I can’t give you a more definite answer! 10.5 oz grated carrots is about 3 1/3 cups (but using a scale would give you more accurate results ;)) I’d love to hear how it comes out. :) I hope you’ll both enjoy it and that you have a happy Easter!

      • Joanna replies to Erin
        April 17, 2017 @ 8:21 pm

        Thanks for your reply! Wanted to let you know I made the bunny cake and it turned out great!! Baked it for about 40 minutes, put a little bit of cream cheese/Greek yogurt/honey icing on it. Texture was amazing! I usually have a problem with getting my cakes to turn out light and tender and moist but this one really surprised me. I loved the flavor and un-sweetness of it – took my mom a few bites to get used to it, but then by the next day we were both
        ripping through the leftovers. Thanks again!

        • Erin replies to Joanna
          April 20, 2017 @ 8:11 pm

          That’s great! I’m so happy that it worked out well and that your mom could enjoy it after a few bites, too. :) Thanks a bunch for coming back to let me know how it turned out! Can’t wait to try this again in cake form. :)

  • Diane
    January 13, 2015 @ 11:41 am

    I made these yesterday and they are awesome! I was looking for muffins with carrots that my kids would eat and since they will eat anything if it is hiding in chocolate, I decided to try these. I did substitute 100 g agave syrup for the honey and only used 150 g semi-sweet chocolate AND left out any frosting. They were still sweet enough for us. Delicious! Thank you.

    • Erin replies to Diane
      January 13, 2015 @ 9:28 pm

      I’m so happy that they came out well and that your kids liked them! Your subs sound great. :) Thanks so much for your feedback!

  • Emily says
    October 9, 2012 @ 8:55 am

    Wow, carrot cake always is my favorite. These really look irresistible. Love it.

    • Erin replies to Emily
      October 9, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

      Thanks! I hope you can try it out. It's a favorite around here too. :)

  • Erin says
    April 23, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

    Honey – Thanks! They're kind of unusual I guess, but pretty good. :)

  • Honey says
    April 23, 2012 @ 1:47 am

    oooh, never seen chocolate carrot cakes, looks delicious. loved how you used applesauce.

  • Erin says
    April 19, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    Thanks everyone! I'm happy you all liked these and all the other goodies that everyone else also made. I'm so happy that Caroline was pleased. :)

    And Baltic Maid – Thanks a ton! I'll head over to your blog now.

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts says
    April 18, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

    How sweet to organize the shower. I have enjoyed checking out what everyone made. These cupcakes look delicious!

  • Baltic Maid says
    April 18, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

    What a fun idea to throw a virtual baby shower.

    I also want to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award

  • brandi says
    April 18, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

    these look irresistible!!

    thanks again for organizing the shower – it was so fun! :)

  • Baking Serendipity says
    April 18, 2012 @ 5:32 am

    Such a sweet thing to organize :) And such a perfect cupcake recipe! These look fantastic!

  • Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking says
    April 17, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    What a fabulous contribution to the baby shower! I love a good carrot cupcake and yours look delicious!

  • Erin says
    April 17, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

    Katie – Haha. Thank you! :)

    Lauren – Thanks! That's a nice way to look at them. I was really thinking that there was too much icing but we'll just call it indulgence. :)

    Miryam – I keep giggling about the cheesecakes. I don't know why. I just think it's great. :) And yeah, make these! But they're kind of strange like I mentioned in the post. I can't put my finger on it but they're just kind of weird. But yummy!

    Erica – Yours was perfect for Caroline too! :)

    Chung-Ah – Well of course you could! AND they have some vegetables in them so basically they're health food. :D Thanks for stopping by!

    Catalina – Oh, but it did! It went wrong several times before I got to this recipe. And I'm happy you like the recipe. Thanks! :)

  • Catalina @ Cake with Love says
    April 17, 2012 @ 4:16 am

    I love this recipe, carrot cake and chocolate together – it can't go wrong!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
    April 17, 2012 @ 1:59 am

    You guys are just too sweet. And your cupcakes look AH-MAZING. Since it's whole grain, I could technically eat 10 of these, right? :)

  • Erica says
    April 17, 2012 @ 12:58 am

    ooey gooey and delicious! What a treat! Perfect for Caroline!

  • eatgood4life.blogspot.com says
    April 17, 2012 @ 12:27 am

    Wow, this sure sounds good. Chocolate and carrots? I have never thought of that combination before, and apple sauce as well. The cupcakes look really moist! I really need to make these, super healthy :-)

    Thanks you so much for doing all of the work with the virtual baby shower. I think it turned out really good, lots of cheesecake out there :-)

  • Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living says
    April 16, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

    These cupcakes look and sound absolutely sensational! Perfect balance of health and indulgence =).

  • Katie|Epicurean Mom says
    April 16, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    Oh my!! These look so good Erin!! I will email you my addy and I'll be expecting a dozen of these asap ;-) what a cute idea to create a virtual baby shower!!

  • Erin says
    April 16, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    Thanks everyone! :D And I hope you enjoyed the posts, Logan. I think you might be the first male to ever comment here. Woohoo! And Caroline and I have been emailing each other all day so I'll just say thanks there too. :)

    Heidi – Of course! Here you are about to have your own baby and you were working on the post for this last weekend. That's dedication right there. :) Cinnamon and chocolate still seem weird to me. I love cinnamon in almost everything, but chocolate? Hmm. I don't know. Thanks a bunch for your nice comment! I hope your baby comes soon and everything goes smoothly. Thanks again for making time for this!

    Nora – Hehe. Thank you! And I think I need to include a melty picture with every post. People seem to like those the best! I also like that picture way better than those bad lighting, super-frustrating-for-me pictures at the top. The decent looking piping was a fluke and I could never reproduce it. :( Oh well. I wish I could also taste these goodies right now but because I can't, I got a raspberry cheesecake ice cream cone on the way home. That was my celebration. :)

  • nora @ Natural Noshing says
    April 16, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

    How sweet and adorable are you?!?!? What a nice dedication to Caroline and for her family's new addition! I love this post…and of course I LOVE this recipe. Just look at that melty cupcake…I now have chocolate carrot cake on the brain…oh I wish I could taste all these recipes right now! :)

  • amy @ fearless homemaker says
    April 16, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    these look gorgeous, erin! thank you so much for organizing this for caroline. i'm honored to be a part of it! =)

  • Heidi @ Food Doodles says
    April 16, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

    YAY!! I have to say – awesome job Erin!! I knew this was going to be awesome, but it exceeded my expectations! What a fantastic shower :D Your cupcakes look lovely. I can honestly say chocolate and carrot cake is a combo that never crossed my mind before, but I'm totally intrigued. I seriously add cinnamon to everything(I have to restrain myself or else I'd have to change my blog name LOL) so it sounds great with chocolate to me!
    And thank you for the special mention! It was really so much fun to participate – I'm SO glad I did. We're still waiting – and here I thought I would have a newborn for this shower!

  • Cassie/Bake Your Day says
    April 16, 2012 @ 6:10 pm

    Thanks so much for organizing, Erin! Your cupcakes look so moist and delicious. Perfect for any kind of celebrating!

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says
    April 16, 2012 @ 4:22 pm

    So sweet of you to create that mix of flavors for Caroline. Thanks for organizing the virtual shower!

  • Sara says
    April 16, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for organizing the shower (and including me)! Can't wait to try these!

  • Lauren at Keep It Sweet says
    April 16, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    Thank you again for organizing the shower, I was so happy to be a part of it! These cupcakes look fabulous.

  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots says
    April 16, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

    Erin, you've officially surprised a person that is #1 hard to surprise. I had absolutely no idea and woke up to such a wonderful and amazing day! I can't believe all of the love that I'm feeling right now. I just want to sit on the computer all day and read all of these posts over and over again, then make all of the wonderful goodies!

    Thank you sooo much!

    You're the sweetest,

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
    April 16, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    Ohhhh my!!! These are lovely! Carrot cake is my favorite, but with chocolate?! Sign me up! All of these baby shower recipes are awesome. Great job!

  • Logan says
    April 16, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

    As Caroline's husband, I must say I am very impressed by the foodie community. You people are incredible and at 6:23AM, I already want a serving (or 7) of each of the delicious recipes prepared by everyone. Thank you!


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