Monday, August 15, 2011

Carrot Cupcakes

At least once a week I make a special treat...usually something baked with lots of butter and sugar. Because I LOVE special treats and would eat the entire batch myself, I try to send most of them to work with my husband (which I'm pretty sure his co-workers don't have a problem with). My husband asked his co-workers if they had any requests and carrot cake just happened to be the first request. To be honest I am not a huge carrot cake fan but it has butter and sugar so I usually eat it anyways. I didn't have a "go to" recipe so I tried this recipe and was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved these cupcakes. I couldn't stop eating them. The cake was very light and moist and the cream cheese frosting was slightly tangy. I think I have found my "go-to" carrot cake recipe. 

Carrot Cupcakes
Servings: 80 mini cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups canola or vegetable oil

12 oz. cream cheese, regular or reduced fat, chilled
7 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp. vanilla
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a mini muffin pan with cupcake liners. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, shred the carrots. Transfer 3 cups of the shredded carrots to the bowl with the flour; do not mix. Remove the shredding disk and place the metal blade in the food processor. Add the sugars and eggs to the food processor and blend until frothy and smooth. Add the oil in a steady stream while blending and process until well incorporated. Add the mixture to the flour and carrots and gently stir just until combined. 

Fill the cupcake liners approx. 2/3 full (an ice-cream scoop works great). Bake at 350° for 12-14 minutes (for minis) or until lightly brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting, using an electric mixer, beat the chilled cream cheese and softened butter together on med-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Carefully add in the confectioners' sugar while mixing on low, then mix on med-high until the frosting is smooth. Top the cooled cupcakes with the frosting. 

The cupcakes can be covered and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Source: adapted from Annie's Eats, cupcakes originally from Baking Illustrated, frosting originally from Confections of a Foodie Bride

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