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Test Kitchen Approved

Chinese Five Spice Carrot Cupcakes

Recipe By Janet Johnston, Savory Spice co-founder


1 dozen

Prep Time

10 Minutes

Cooking Time

22 Minutes

Recipe By Janet Johnston, Savory Spice co-founder

Sweet-spiced Chinese Five Spice adds warmth and depth to classic carrot cake. Topped with a smooth and creamy cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes are perfect for any birthday, celebration, or weekday dessert.


For cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained

3 eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 to 4 medium carrots)

For frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

  • Chinese Five Spice

    This classic spice blend from China is believed to be the first barbecue rub and is traditionally used in Peking duck. It's combined heating and co...

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  • Mayan Sea Salt

    Mayan Sea Salt has a clean appearance and flavor but is also an interesting tie to the ancient Mayan way of life. This sea salt was harvested off t...

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  • Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract

    Madagascar Vanilla Extract is the classic, smooth vanilla flavor that immediately comes to mind when people think of vanilla. As with all our vanil...

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  • Ground Ginger (Organically Sourced)

    Our quality Ground Ginger is freshly ground weekly & is an ideal ingredient for most of your favorite baked goods recipes. Though ginger is a m...

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Step 1: Make batter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, Chinese Five Spice, and Mayan Sea Salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together vegetable oil, crushed pineapple, eggs, sugar, Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract, and carrots. Add flour mixture a little at a time and mix until just combined.

Step 2: Bake cupcakes

Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 to 22 min. until center of cupcakes does not wiggle and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. When they can be handled safely, remove from muffin pan and let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Step 3: Make frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, butter, Ground Ginger, and Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract. Mix until ingredients are just combined. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until smooth and glossy. Spread or pipe frosting onto cupcakes and chill until ready to serve.