Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting


A few ladies at work planned a surprise baby shower for my colleague and friend, Nicky. I decided to bake something in the unknown cupcake genre territory, which I normally leave up to Jacquie, the cupcake queen. I didn’t want to make ordinary chocolate or vanilla cupcakes, but rather a flavor I had never attempted before. So, I perused Pink Parsley for one of Josie’s recipes, and found her carrot cupcakes, which she adapted from Annie’s eats who adapted her cream cheese frosting recipe from Confections of a Food Bride. Perfect! I absolutely love carrot cake but have never baked it myself, because for some reason it seems daunting, with its double layered carroty goodness in between thick layers of sweet, buttery, smooth cream cheese frosting. However, mini carrot cakes seemed more feasible and less scary, so I went for it. I decided not to deviate from the recipe at all this time and meticulously followed every measurement and every step.

The raw batter and freshly beaten frosting were so delicious that Ty and I couldn’t stop ourselves from taking spoonful after spoonful. And more importantly, I impressed the cupcake queen, who mmm’ed the entire time as she ate her cupcake and then licked every last bit of frosting from the tray I brought them to work on and nearly half the frosting off of Daren’s cupcake before it even got to him.

Good thing I made cupcakes, because I froze in the baby store and had absolutely no idea what to get Nicky. I was overwhelmed by the multi-coloured teething toys, pacifier clips, car clips, noise makers, squeaky giraffes (which Nicky later told me was totally the rage must-have), mobiles, and finger puppets gallore. I indecisively settled for African beats baby music and hoped that Nicky wouldn’t think it was cliche but rather a tribute to the little bit of Africa flowing through her soon-to-be British baby’s veins. I am not so sure I want to have little jingly, jangly, multi-coloured, squeaky creatures walking around my lounge…

Carrot cupcakes (makes 24 cupcakes)

Carrot cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups peeled, shredded carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sunflower oil
  • 24 cupcake liners

Cream cheese frosting

Cream cheese frostingIngredients

  • 340g cold cream cheese
  • 7 1/2 tbl softened butter
  • 1 tbl vanilla extract
  • about 600g sifted confectioners sugar

Directions

  1. move the oven rack to the middle slot and preheat to 180F
  2. in a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt
  3. in a large bowl beat together the sugar and eggs until frothy, then add the oil and beat for another 20 seconds or so
  4. stir the carrots and dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
  5. add cupcake liners to a cupcake pan and pour the mixture into the cupcake liners until 3/4 full
  6. bake for 20-22 minutes or until you get a clean toothpick
  7. let the cupcakes cool before frosting
  1. for the frosting, in a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until soft
  2. add the vanilla and continue to beat
  3. slowly add the confectioners sugar and beat until the frosting is the desired consistency. I ended up adding more than the recipe called for (3 3/4 cups) and I could have probably added even a bit more to get the frosting more stiff
  4. add the frosting to a sturdy ziploc bag (or else it will burst – I speak from experience) and cut the tip of the bag. squeeze out the frosting in the desired pattern. The more frosting the better!
  5. enjoy!