It was a co-workers birthday and I remembered that she liked carrot cake. I’ve never made carrot cake before, so I did what I thought would be a quick recipe search on “carrot cake”. The search results were overwhelming with endless possibilities on this one type of cake! However, the ingredients seem to be the same: cinnamon, nutmeg, and a whole lot of grated carrots.
I am not too keen on carrot cake, but one recipe caught my eye-it called for some pineapple. Being it was my first attempt at making carrot cake, I decided to follow the recipe as is and not deviate too much. I found a recipe for Carrot Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing on allrecipes.com and the description promised ” a moist and light” cupcake. It got some great reviews. I think this above anything else helps me to decide if I will try a recipe.
Making carrot cake is more involved than I had thought. And it made me realize that I need a bigger food processor! I have a barely three cup food processor, not at all near the capacity and power I needed to shred the carrots. So I did it the old fashion way-with a grater. This pic is before I started to grate the carrots. Unfortunately, there is no after shot since my arms hurt and I could hardly hold up the camera with all that grating!
I made some slight adjustments to the recipe. My co-worker is diabetic (and I try to watch my sugar intake as well, but it’s all about moderation) so I decreased the sugar. Carrots are sweet when cooked and so I figured that the carrots would provide some natural sweetness. I used 3/4 cup of white sugar and 1/4 of a cup of brown sugar. As for the pineapples in the recipe, I didn’t want large chunks so I used my tiny food processor and gave it a quick whirl. I omitted the ground ginger since I did not have any on hand. And finally instead of plain walnuts, I opted for some candied walnuts. Here is the recipe on the carrot cupcakes:
1 1/8 c white sugar (I used 3/4 c)
1/3 c brown sugar (I used 1/4 c)
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c shredded carrots
1/2 c crushed pineapple
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger (I omitted this)
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used candied walnuts)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Beat together the eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl-mix well and then add oil and vanilla and mix until incorporated
- Fold in carrots and pineapples
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger (optional)
- Mix dry ingredients into the carrot mixture until evenly moist
- Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts and evenly divide into 12 cupcake lined muffin pans
- Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean-cool completely on wire racks before topping with the icing and sprinkling with remaining walnuts
As for the frosting or icing, I also tried to follow the recipe as is, but made a few adjustments. I didn’t use the orange extract since I didn’t have any, and I didn’t use 4 cups of powdered or confectioners’ sugar. When making a powdered sugar based frosting I usually add until I achieve the right consistency, which is never near the amount called for in a recipe. One of my pet peeves with frosting/icing is having it too sweet. Here is the recipe for the white chocolate cream cheese frosting/icing.
2 oz white chocolate
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp orange extract (I omitted this)
4 c confectioners’ sugar (I used probably 2 c)
2 tbsp heavy cream
- In small saucepan, melt white chocolate over low heat, stir until smooth, and allow to cool to room temperature
- In a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth
- Mix in white chocolate, vanilla, and orange extract (optional)
- Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is fluffy and then mix in the heavy cream
- Frost cupcakes and sprinkle remaining walnuts from the cake recipe
Before the sprinkle of candied walnuts
All nutty now!
I call them Carrot Spice Cupcakes since they had a bit of a kick, more than I wanted. I think carrot cake isn’t my favorite because of the nutmeg. But my usual taste testers (my ai love family) said it tasted good and they are my quality control before I ”unleash” my creation to the world bwuahahaha!
Note: The “spice” mellows after a day and I thought they tasted great! They were not at all greasy and very light as the description promised. My co-workers did enjoy them, but then again I have to work with them day after day! I would definitely make this again and experiment more with the ingredients.