Carrot Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds

Trader Joe’s makes chocolate covered sunflower seeds… yes, I know.  Amazing right?  I knew when I saw them in the store that I had to bake something fun with them.  Since spring has officially begun in the DC Metro Area and since I wanted to bake something special to celebrate 3 different friends’ April birthdays, I decided to bake some Carrot Cupcakes w/ Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds.

The carrot cupcake recipe has been adapted from a carrot cake recipe from Cooking Light.  The cream cheese frosting is so simple to make, but truly makes these cupcakes delicious.  The chocolate covered sunflower seeds are literally the icing on the cake; the salty and sweet combo is amazing and they go so well with the carrot cupcakes.  If you don’t have  Trader Joe’s near you, I’ve seen chocolate covered sunflower seeds at Marshall’s while waiting in the checkout line.  These little guys are delicious and are great to bake with or to snack on.

I hope you have a wonderful and blessed Easter!


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained


  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate covered sunflower seeds (via Trader Joe’s)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° and place 18 muffin cup liners in cupcake pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add 2 cups grated carrot, tossing to combine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugars and butter until combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and crushed pineapple.
  4. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth.
  5. With a cookie scoop, spoon batter into cupcake tins until level with the brim.  Bake at 350° for  about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack.
  6. To prepare frosting, place softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at medium speed until combined (don’t over beat).  Add more confectioner’s sugar if too thin.
  7. Pipe frosting on top of cupcakes and sprinkle with chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

*Adapted from Cooking Light


Filed under Baked Goods, Desserts

32 responses to “Carrot Cupcakes w/ Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds

  1. Wow Kara these look great! The colors are so adorable! Cream cheese frosting is also my faaaaaaavorite. Yum!

  2. Darling. I love the chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Perfect for spring!

  3. Beautiful! I just love how you decorated! Nicely done!!!

  4. Hi Kara! Really? Trader Joe’s sell those chocolate covered sunflower seeds? I haven’t found those yet… they look so cute! I like their chocolate collections. Your cupcakes look awesome! My kids would scream with delight if they see it. Happy Eater to you!

  5. Ang

    I have never heard of such wonder…..(chocolate covered sunflower seeds) In a couple months they open a new “Trader Joe’s” just down the way from me. I’m so excited! The carrot cake muffins look amazing and what a perfect topping choice:)

  6. Good to know they are at TJs. I have seen them in a couple blogs and never knew where to get them.

  7. My mom loves these things! lol I should make this for her ♥- Katrina

  8. Love carrot cake and these sunflower seeds just make it extra special. Happy Easter to you too!

  9. I love the sunflower seeds and your beautiful cupcakes! They look so delicious and perfect for Easter. Thanks for sharing. You have a beautiful blog and I’m so glad to have found it. I’m looking forward to exploring your recipes and seeing more! 🙂 – Georgia

  10. They look so yummy! I’ll have to get some chocolate covered sunflower seeds 🙂

  11. Yummy and pretty cupcakes. Those sunflower seeds are so pretty. So they are like healthier M&M’s. I don’t think we have that here in the UK but the cupcake on its own is nice enough.

  12. CUTE!!! I’ve seen chocolate covered sunflower seeds on cooking shows but never in real life, so I’m impressed!

  13. These are so adorable! I’ve got to get me some chocolate covered sunflower seeds!!

  14. I love these chocolate covered sunflower seeds…and they are the perfect touch to these cupcakes 🙂 PS: I have a fun giveaway going on right now…stop by and check it out!

  15. I love your cupcakes. The sunflower seeds are perfect on top.

  16. Amy

    These are so cute! I love carrot cake, and awesome idea using the chocolate covered seeds instead of nonpareils! Yummy :)! Happy Easter to you and your family!

  17. these look great. i love sunflower seeds. have never tried the chocolate covered ones. thanks for sharing!

  18. I drooled just by reading that title! Beautiful, delicious cupcakes!

    Happy Easter to you and to yours!!

  19. Oh my do these look delicious! Having this for breakfast would make me (and everyone around me) a very happy person. I’m happy to pass your wonderful blog a couple of awards:

    Happy Easter! 😉

  20. carrot cupcakes looks mouthwatering …. and sun flower seeds looks beautiful.

  21. Isn’t Trader Joe’s awesome? These cupcakes look great! So pretty!

  22. Mom Kenyon

    These look amazing, Kar. Could you please get me some of these sunflower seeds the next time you come home? We don’t have a TJ’s around us.

    • If you don’t have a TJs nearby, you can get Sunny Seeds at Borders, Michaels, Cracker Barrel, World Market, and some Whole Foods, depending on where you live.

      If you are still looking, Mom Kenyon, let me know, and I will help you locate some in your area!


  23. those little seeds look so cute! chocolate covered anything is fine with me.

  24. I love the chocolate covered sunflower sees. What a great idea!

  25. super cute, thank you for using our seeds! 🙂 I work for the company that sells those to trader joes! 🙂

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