Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
Nonstick cooking spray
2¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
½ cup golden raisins
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup granulated sugar (see Tips)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups coarsely shredded carrots
1 to 2 oranges
1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), room temperature
Dash fine sea salt
¼ cup powdered sugar (see Tips)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line twenty-four 2½-inch muffin cups or forty-eight 1¾-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. Coat bake cups with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, and nutmeg. Add pecans and raisins; toss to coat. Make a well in center of flour mixture.
In a medium bowl, combine eggs, granulated sugar, applesauce, oil, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Add all at once to flour mixture; add carrots. Stir just until combined. Spoon about 2 Tablespoons batter into each prepared 2½-inch muffin cup or about 1 Tablespoon batter into each prepared 1¾-inch muffin cup.
Bake 15 minutes for 2½-inch cups, 10 minutes for 1¾-inch cups, or until a toothpick comes out clean and sides start to pull away from pans. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; cool completely on racks.
Meanwhile, for frosting, remove zest and squeeze ¼ cup juice from one of the oranges. In a medium bowl beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium 30 seconds. Beat in orange zest and juice, remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla, and dash salt. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth.
If desired, remove zest from remaining orange. Top cupcakes with frosting and orange zest.
Tips: If using granulated sugar substitute, choose Splenda® Sugar Blend. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1 cup granulated sugar. Per serving with substitute: Same as below, except 170 calories, 20 grams carbohydrate (9 grams sugars).
We do not recommend using a sugar substitute for the powdered sugar.
To make ahead: Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 3 days.