Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Carrot Cake Cravings

The week before Weston arrived I was seriously struggling with a severe craving for carrot cake. So, just a few days before he arrived, I carefully grated the carrots and whipped up the cream cheese and made these heavenly cupcakes. Unfortunately, most of them sat in the fridge forgotten about since we were in the hospital with our early arrival.
These were so delicious and so moist, I very easily could have eaten them all in one sitting (okay, probably not, but more than one---definitely!). Even my husband liked them, and he's not a huge fan of carrot cake. The recipe itself is quite simple. No crazy ingredients, like pineapple or nuts. . . just straight carrots. Simple and easy. . . especially for a dessert on the go.

Carrot Cupcakes
adapted from Annie's Eats

2½ cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil

2 blocks of cream cheese (16oz), softened
Powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; whisk together and set aside.
In a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, shred the carrots (you should have about 3 cups). Add the carrots to the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside. Wipe out the bowl of the food processor and fit with the metal blade. Process the sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Continue to process until the mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 more seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.
Scoop evenly into the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for about 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting, I leave my cream cheese and butter out for a couple of hours before baking. This makes it so nice and soft. . . great for the creaminess of the frosting. I put them in a bowl and use my hand mixer and beat them up for a bit, until they are combination of creaminess. Then I add powdered sugar (probably a couple of cups), I don't measure, I just go with it and vanilla and mix that up until it is a creamy, smooth, delicious combination.

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