Summer Carrot and Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing (vegan)

vegan summer zucchini & carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing

When I worked as a cake decorator, many moons ago, one of my coworkers always used to describe things as “moisty,” which really made me laugh, because “moisty” is not a word, but somehow it is also more hilarious and more descriptive than just calling something moist. Moist suddenly seems tepid in comparison.

So in the same spirit, let me just say that these cupcakes are totally 100% moisty.

I started thinking about summer cupcakes when I was planning something for my younger sister’s birthday. I wanted cupcakes that were (of course) vegan, made use of summer-time flavours and produce (I had zucchini and carrots in my fridge) and would pair well with a cream cheese icing (also vegan), because that combo seems so special, and the colour of the icing just fits my vision of a summer party: a delicate and natural off-white.

vegan summer zucchini  & carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing

I found the recipe for the summer cupcakes by googling just that: “summer vegan cupcakes.” When I perused the “Epic Late Summer Cupcakes” recipe on Scarletta Bakes, I knew I’d found my choice. The cupcakes feature shredded carrots, shredded zucchini, and two whole pureed avocados. Having just come off making a lime avocado ice cream that also made use of two pureed avocados and was a major hit, I figured this was some kind of sign.

I made miminal changes to the cupcake recipe, omitting the ginger and doubling the cinnamon. For the cream cheese icing, I crafted a recipe that follows basic cream cheese icing rules, and upped the delicious factor with some vanilla and lemon juice.

Reviews for these cupcakes included statements like “I hoovered this down” and “can I have another one,” as well as “garble garble smunf blerg,” which was delivered through a mouth full of food and which I take to mean something akin to “these cupcakes are ever so delicious.”

carrot and zucchini summer cupcakes with cream cheese icing

Summer Zucchini and Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing 

  • Author – Cupcakes: Scarletta Bakes – read the original recipe for Epic Late Summer Vegan Cupcakes – I’ve reprinted it below noting my specifics
  • Recipe Notes: vegan (cupcakes are also soy-free)

Ingredients – Cupcakes:

  • 2 large avocados, peeled
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil (I used organic olive oil)
  • 3/4 c. white sugar, granulated (I used organic cane sugar)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger, ground (I omitted this, and used 1 teaspoon of cinnamon instead)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. carrot, shredded
  • 3/4 c. zucchini, shredded (I used a mix of green and yellow summer squash)

Ingredients – Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Tofutti (or other non-dairy cream cheese), at room temperature
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease or line your muffin tin.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk sugar and oil together until well combined.
  5. Peel the avocados and toss with the lime juice.
  6. Grab your handy dandy electric mixer and beat in the avocados, until they are completed pureed. If you need to swap to a blender to achieve perfect smoothness, now would be the time. Then put the mix back into the bowl.
  7. To the avocado-sugar mixture, add the vanilla, shredded carrots, and shredded zucchini.
  8. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  9. Scoop into prepared muffin tin (about 3/4 full) and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until tops of cupcakes are firm and spring back when pressed with a finger.
  10. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare icing: beat together room temperature Earth Balance and Tofutti until well mixed. Add the first cup of icing sugar and mix, and then add the second cup.
  11. Once all icing sugar has been added, add vanilla and lemon juice, and beat until light and fluffy, but still able to hold its shape (about 3 minutes). If the icing doesn’t seem firm enough for piping, add additional icing sugar, starting with just a 1/4 cup.
  12. Pipe onto completely cooled cupcakes and enjoy!
  13. Note that these cupcakes should be refrigerated: the high veggie content and moisty-ness, as well as the cream cheese icing, mean that longevity depends on a cooler storage climate. They do keep a long time in the fridge, though – at least 3 to 5 days.

Happy Late Summer!

© Eat Well, Live Vibrantly


8 responses to “Summer Carrot and Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing (vegan)”

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