Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Hoppy! Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I really can't believe it is Easter weekend! As I look out the window to see the snow falling on the ground it is hard to imagine that my kids will be comfy in their cute sear sucker shorts and linen shirts I have picked out for them to wear.
My weekend is going to be quite wild with egg hunts and a huge wedding I am catering but one item that will be on my weekend to do list will be making a batch of these delicious carrot cake cupcakes to take for a family dinner we will be crashing...that is not our family! The salesman was totally against carrot cake until he had these. With some strong convincing a few years ago he finally took a little nibble of one cupcake, then a bigger nibble, and by the end of the day he agreed with me that eating healthy can be fun! I have overheard him several times telling others to try a bite because these are the best. Remember, I am a purist when it comes to my food so you will not find any impostors like raisins, nuts or pineapple in this recipe which is exactly how I like it. This cake has made a believer out of many who didn't think they would like veggies in cake...but trust me, they will. These are very reminiscent of a delicate spice cake muffin but with a big slather of old school cream cheese frosting it sends them over the moon. This recipe can be made as a cake with two, 8 inch round pans lined with parchment, a greased 9x13, or about 24 cupcakes made with a liner. Oh, and the lovely picture was provided by my dear friend Evin of www.evinphotography.com where these appeared at her daughters Easter birthday celebration. Happy Hoppy Day, Y'all!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

2 Cups all purpose four
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
3 cups fresh shredded carrots (I prefer to do this in a food processor but you can grate them as well)
1 cup veggie oil
4 eggs

1. Grease and flour a 9x13, 2 8inch rounds or line 24 muffin cups with liners.
2. In the bowl of a standing mixer combine the first 7 ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients and lightly mix just until combined, scraping down a few times to make sure there are no dry ingredients stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
3. Pour into selected pan. Bake at 350 degrees, 25-30 minutes for pans and about 18-20 minutes for cupcakes until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. The cake should spring back when gently touched. Remove and allow to cool on wire racks.

Cream Cheese Frosting (I have been known to double, and would if you are doing an 8 in round or cupcakes...you need plenty to lick up after!!)
1 8oz package of cream cheese at room temp
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp milk or cream

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until softened and combined.
2. With the mixer on low add the vanilla and powdered sugar a 1/2 cup at a time.
3. This will be really thick frosting so add just 1 Tbsp at a time of milk until it is a good spreading consistency.
4. Spread over cooled cakes or cupcakes and sprinkle with chopped nuts or any decoration of your choice.

Enjoy Y'all!