It was time for another dessert last night, and I realized it had been quite a while since I’d made cupcakes. I used to be really into cupcakes, Alex even bought me this necklace for my birthday one year. Don’t get me wrong, I still think cupcakes are adorable and I love to eat them (and I think the Teacake Bakeshop down the street is the cutest cupcake place ever!). Lately, I just seem to have forgotten about them and have been making/eating other treats (mostly making cookies, eating pie) instead. Well, I decided I needed to give cupcakes a little redemption from my neglect.
Here is another “first” for me- I had never made my own carrot cake, in any shape or form. But it is one of my favorites. So I decided what the heck. I looked up quite a few recipes and ended up taking bits and pieces from each one and here is what I came up with. At first, I was a bit worried because the batter seemed too liquidy, which made it a bit challenging to put in pan. But, the batter tasted wonderful, so I had higher hopes then. They were just right, and had the necessary consistency of cupcakes, instead of a muffin, which would’ve had a much denser batter anyway. The cinnamon flavor was present but not overpowering and the carrots added the right level of moistness and flavor. As for the frosting, with carrot cake, it HAS to be cream cheese! Frosting is funny to me because it is so easy to make and tastes SO much better than store bought. Please, please make your own whenever possible, you’ll never regret it!
Carrot Cake Cupcakes Makes 12 cupcakes
1 1/4 cups flour (I used 1 cup all-purpose and 1/4 cup white whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup grated carrots (a little more or less is fine)
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with liners. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are creamy and yellow. Stir in the oil until well combined. Add the carrots, orange juice and lemon juice and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl and mix until just combined.
Divide the batter into the cupcake cups. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Completely cool on a cooling rack before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
very scant 1/4 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and beat at high speed until smooth, gradually adding the powdered sugar until a thick enough consistency is reached. You may need to add extra powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin. Frost as desired, either using a piping bag with a big star tip or spreading over the cupcakes with a smooth knife.