Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Normally I’m not a huge fan of carrot cake. To me “carrot cake” is an oxymoron and I don’t generally think that vegetables should masquerade as dessert. But, I’ve watched Oliver devour carrot cake at his day care so I thought that I should make these for his birthday. Turns out he doesn’t like carrot cake with icing on it. Go figure. But I loved them. I found the recipe at Joy of Baking. They turned out really moist and tasted more cakey than carroty.

What you need:

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable, safflower, corn, or canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/3 cups finely grated raw carrots
  • Optional: chopped walnuts

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 1/4 cups icing sugar sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

What you do:

For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners (I was able to get 15 small cupcakes out of this recipe).

Whisk together the flour ( I used whole wheat), baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the walnuts if desired.

In another large bowl whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Then whisk in the sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until slightly thickened. Add the applesauce and grated carrots. Then add this mixture to the flour. Fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake about 20 – 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack, and let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

Beat the butter and cream cheese until very smooth and creamy with an electric or hand mixer. Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.

At this point the original recipe says that you can pipe the frosting on the top of each cupcake. My frosting turned out too runny for that. I don’t know if it was the humidity or if I could’ve added more icing sugar to thicken it but I didn’t mind just spreading it on with a knife. As far as I’m concerned, piping it on looks great aesthetically but then you end up with too much frosting and it’s a bit sickening. Besides…not piping it on meant that we were left with extra frosting that we used for dipping pretzels in. That tasted amazing! I would seriously make this frosting again for that purpose!

Here’s Oliver with his birthday carrot cake cupcake. He’s too cute. 🙂

Oliver_20130709_3415 Oliver_20130709_3421Oliver_20130709_3427 Oliver_20130709_3433



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