carrot cupcakes

Last night I found myself with a baby in my arms - midway through a feeding, checking on cupcakes I had just pulled out of the oven, getting ready to make cream cheese frosting, all while burping Little Olivia and telling her how I can’t wait until she can chow down on cupcakes with her mama. Cue, Carrot Cupcakes.
 CARROT CUPCAKES                  
1 Dozen
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
     *Modified to be Gluten Free - I used William’s Sonoma Cup4Cup GF Flour
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
8 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and eggs.
Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut.
Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
Frost cupcakes, and garnish with shredded coconut.
Note: If I made these again, to my personal preference I would nix the frosting and just eat them as carrot “muffins” for breakfast or pack them in Dustin’s lunch. For us, the frosting was a bit rich, and the cupcakes themselves were so moist that frosting wasn’t even needed.

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