Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Carrot Cupcakes to the Rescue!

My biology grade dropped 4% today (tragic, isn't it). Anyway, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well, I decided to make the best of my situation by going into a little therapeutic baking - carrot cupcakes to the rescue!
The first time I heard of carrot cake, I thought it was the most disgusting idea possible. Well, I was mistaken. The combination of spiced cake batter with shredded carrot, coconut and walnuts makes magic in the oven. Frost it with gooey cream cheese frosting, and you've got yourself a winner. I decided to get a little fancy and garnished the top of each cupcake with a piece of shredded carrot.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 12.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
8 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and eggs.
  2. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut.
  3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
  4. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Frost cupcakes, and garnish with shredded coconut.

I used a different frosting recipe and used half a bar of softened cream cheese with enough sifted icing sugar to get the desired consistency. I also omitted the toasted coconut garnish. I would suggest that you sift all of the dry ingredients prior to making the batter to avoid lumps.

The recipe I used came out of the cookbook Everyday Foods: Great Food Fast
. It can also be found here.

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