The Tykes responded after the break with Emil Hallfredsson equalising from close range in the 52nd minute.
Newcastle retook the lead and Carroll was involved again, setting up substitute Marlon Harewood to score in the 78th minute before Bobby Hassell earned the Tykes a late point.
Hughton said: "[Carroll] coped very well with it. I think the fact that he was instrumental in both goals and gave the contribution that he did.
"I suppose he didn't give us anything we don't already know. We know he's a handful and on his day a very good player."
The draw ended Newcastle's run of seven straight victories and Hughton felt his side should have held on for all three points.
"I think when you're 2-1, up with so little of the game to go, it's very disappointing when you don't get the result," he said.
"What we didn't do well enough today in that last period was defend a set play, which we've been very good at doing. "
Hughton also paid tribute to the fans after 7,000 Geordies made the trip to Oakwell.
"The effect it had was a real appreciation from this group of lads. On a cold Saturday afternoon, just before Christmas, 7,000 fans turning up to the game is outstanding," he said.
Barnsley boss Mark Robins claimed Hassell's late equaliser was the least his side deserved after pushing the league leaders all the way to extend their six-match unbeaten run.
He said: "We got off to a bad start, the worst possible start where we conceded early on. You just hoped that we didn't get too damaged by that early goal.
"It was really pleasing because we didn't deserve to take nothing from the game."
The Tykes had a number of chances to add to their goal tally in the second half, with striker Andy Gray particularly wasteful, but Robins refused to be too critical.
Robins said: "We got a point and it could have been better than that had we had a little bit more composure from Andy Gray, who was outstanding today and that's probably his best game since I came."