carrot cupcakes

easter carrot cupcakes

i must confess: i hate carrots. yes, even the baby ones dipped in ranch. everybody likes those, i know. i wish i liked them... i promise i've tried. carrot cake on the other hand? i'm all over it. i've always had a thing for cream cheese frosting, and when slathered on moist, subtly spicy carrot cake, i can't refuse. this year, carrot cupcakes were my dessert of choice for easter day. with a jam-packed weekend, i worked in stages: cupcakes baked on friday night, frosting made on saturday night, cupcakes frosted on sunday morning. {note to self: do this multi-step process in the future, it takes off a lot of last-minute stress!}

carrot cake cupcakes
from cupcakes by shelly kaldunski
yield: 12 cupcakes

ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

maple cream cheese frosting

2 (eight-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup


method:

1. position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

2. in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. in another bowl, whisk together the grated carrots, sugar, oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla to combine. using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until completely combined.

3. divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

4. in a stand mixer, beat all ingredients frosting ingredients on medium until fluffy. chill the frosting for 10-20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly.

{note: the frosting recipe is technically for 24 cupcakes, but i made the whole thing. my method requires much more frosting to achieve the abundant layering effect, and therefore this batch was in order. i ended up with a small bowl-full left over, which we put to good use on fresh strawberries}

maybe one day my taste buds will take a turn for the better and decide that carrots are an appealing vegetable. but until then, i'll just have to get my nutrients from carrot cake...