What’s Up Doc? Carrot Cupcakes That’s What!

Mar 24

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:

Ingredients:

2 eggs
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)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Beat together the eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl-mix well and then add oil and vanilla and mix until incorporated
  3. Fold in carrots and pineapples
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger (optional)
  5. Mix dry ingredients into the carrot mixture until evenly moist
  6. Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts and evenly divide into 12 cupcake lined muffin pans
  7. 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.

Ingredients

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

Directions:

  1. In small saucepan, melt white chocolate over low heat, stir until smooth, and allow to cool to room temperature
  2. In a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth
  3. Mix in white chocolate, vanilla, and orange extract (optional)
  4. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until the mixture is fluffy and then mix in the heavy cream
  5. 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.

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