Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Can you ever have too much of a good thing?  Well, if you happen to be my mom, and the “good thing” is carrot cake, then her answer would be “No!”.

My mom has a slight weakness for sweets.  Especially carrot cake.  Growing up, my mom would take my brother and I all over town in search of the best carrot cake.  We probably visited every bakery in the greater Los Angeles area during our “Tour de Carrot Cake”.  But it looks like her extensive research paid off.  My mom has developed a deliciously moist and spicy carrot cake with the right amount of crunch and enough veggies to consider this a “healthy option”.

Ingredients

Cupcakes

2 cups plain flour sifted

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground ginger

2 cups granulated sugar

1 ¼ cups canola (or vegetable) oil

4 large eggs

3 cups grated, peeled carrots

1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (optional)

Frosting

12 tablespoons room-temperature unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

12 ounces room-temperature cream cheese (1 1/2 bars)

6 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preparation
Cupcakes
1.  Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a medium bowl.  Once blended set aside.
2.  In a large bowl whisk sugar and oil until well blended.  Add eggs one at a time and mix. Add flour mixture and stir until well blended. Stir in carrots (and pecans if using).
3.  Divide batter among cupcake pans that have been lined with paper liners. Fill about ¾ full.
4.  Bake about 14-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Let cool in pans about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before icing them.
Frosting
In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract; beat until light and fluffy.  Refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 day.
Frosting recipe slightly adapted from MarthaStewart.com
I have never been shy about putting veggies in my baked goods (remember the Beet Cake, Zucchini Cupcakes, Carrot Cookies and Chocolate Beet Muffins) but for some reason I could never get excited about carrot cake…unless, of course, it was my mom’s recipe.  Like most of the food she cooks, these cupcakes are magical.  And they are a delicious way to use up a bunch of carrots when you become sick of smearing them in veggie dip.  Plus, who said carrot’s can’t be naughty sometimes?
Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to sweeten up carrots?  Any special memories of baked goods from your child hood?  I look forward to reading your responses :) 
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11 thoughts on “Carrot Cake Cupcakes

  1. I absolutely adore carrot cake – I could just keep on eating. That looks absolutely fabulous.

  2. Angela says:

    Ooooh I want one right now!

  3. I should try this to use up the last of last year’s CSA carrots–would make that much much more fun!

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