Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

After another spell of cloudy, snowy weather, I decided it was time to start baking again. I was craving cream cheese frosting, and what suits that better than carrot cake? I wanted to make a moist, flavor-packed cupcake and this recipe sounded like the perfect fit. This batter is not only delicious when licked off a spatula, it makes one of the best carrot cakes I've had.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the ingredients available for Smitten Kitchen's frosting, so I made a basic cream cheese frosting which was delicious and so easy to make. I usually don't have much success with your usual buttercream frostings as I find them too sweet, but I've never made a cream cheese frosting that didn't turn out great.

If you need to make these ahead of time, keep the cupcakes stored in an airtight container up to 2 days and frost them just before you need them. I had 1 leftover cupcake (which I had in the fridge so nobody else coud find it) and it was still great the next day. I also made slightly fewer cupcakes than the recipe suggested since I filled my cupcake forms higher than 3/4 full. Either way you go about making these, they will be a definite hit with any carrot cake fan.

Cupcake recipe from Smitten Kitchen frosting recipe from Cathy Lowe

For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional, I use almonds, Deb uses walnuts)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Line 24 cupcake forms with paper liners, or grease and flour them.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and oil until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the flour mixture until smooth. Stir in carrots, nuts and raisins (if using). Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake forms, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake the cupcakes 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting the cupcakes.

For the frosting:

4 ounces/113 grams unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces/113 grams cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese. Keep the mixer running on low and add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Either spread or pipe the frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Pin It Now!

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