Carrot Cupcakes

I’ve always loved carrot cake – but as a passionate anti-raisin-ist, it’s always risky to buy it! So I decided to make carrot cupcakes for my co-workers birthday (Happy Birthday Lorraine!).

As a first timer, I used a trusty Martha Stewart recipe and made very few modifications. (modifications are bold and italicized – I also doubled the recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots (from about 6 medium carrots) I used beautiful organic carrots that were the perfect shade of orange!

Frosting:

  • 2 packages (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Decorations:

  • 1 package of ripe blackberries
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup super fine (or “easy dissolving”) sugar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two 12-cup standard muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice; set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir in carrots. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture mixing until well combined. Divide among muffin tin. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  4. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. To frost: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth; beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes with your favorite tip (I used Wilton 1M).
  5. While cupcakes were baking (or cooling) sugar the blackberries. Dip each in egg white, and lay to dry on parchment paper. Once they are tacky (about 5 minutes) sprinkle with sugar. Repeat the process until some of the sugar remains dry upon application. Top cupcakes with these.


The result was moist, delicious cupcakes, which in all honesty could have been a little more carrot-y. While this time I grated the carrots by hand using a metal cheese grater, next time I would do that to half (some nice bigger carrot pieces) and food process the other half to get more of a carrot mush. I think this would give the cupcakes a more carrot-y taste and maybe make them a bit more moist as well (note: they were nice and moist, but with carrot cake, it can never be too moist!).

A few handy tips for this recipe:

  1. You don’t need an electric mixer! Stir these by hand and fold in the carrots, which means less mess!
  2. Make sure you bake for long enough – a carrot cake that is slightly raw in the middle will collapse
  3. The batter is thick enough, so you can use an ice cream scoop to get it into the cups! Very convenient
  4. I wish I had thought to flatten the top of the batter a bit before baking – since I didn’t, I had some lumpy cupcake (hence the excess icing!)

Enjoy!

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