Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Shhh. I’ve never liked carrot cake. I’ve always been sort of fundamentally opposed to a vegetable becoming so intimate with my dessert (although I suppose the Chocolate Beet Cake didn’t turn out so bad).

I also was always under the assumption that carrot cake was somehow healthier than other desserts, which I am pretty sure is not true when you look at the sugar, oil, butter, etc. that still go into these. Anyways, my favorite part of carrot cake was always the cream cheese frosting.

In the spirit of Easter, and therefore bunnies, I decided I would try my hand at some carrot cake cupcakes. And you know what? They turned out pretty darn tasty! As part of my Easter dessert spread (along with these and some other things yet to come), they were quite a hit and were just in the right spirit for a mid-afternoon Easter sunday snack.

The fun part of these was making the little chocolate carrots to go on top. I always love making things with melted chocolate because they are so easy to make and yet always look impressive and fancy… best of both worlds right? To make these, I just melted down some orange candy wafers, put them in a pastry bag, and drew little carrots all over the parchment paper. When that part dried, I added some green for the leafy parts! Easy peasy, peel them off, pop ’em on top of those cupcakes, and they look like they are from the bakery!

Any carrot cake lovers out there? These are for you! Happy Easter!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
cake adapted from A Pinch Of Yum

makes 12 cupcakes

1 cups flour
1 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 c + 1 T vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups grated raw carrots
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners (I would suggest doubling up since one layer does get a bit oily). Mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and pinch of salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add in the oil and carrots and mix until combined. Mix in the eggs and stir until incorporated. At the point, the batter will look all wrong – like it has too much oil and too many carrots. Don’t worry. It’s right.

Fill the cups evenly, about 3/4 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting. Frost with cream cheese frosting (below) and serve chilled for best taste!

Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from Joy The Baker

4 oz cream cheese (softened – leave out on counter for 2 hours before)
4 T unsalted butter (softened – leave out on counter for 2 hours before)
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes, until fluffy. Add the butter and beat for another 1-2 minutes, until completely combined. Add the vanilla and salt and beat until incorporated. Add the powdered sugar in batches, beating well between each addition, until frosting reaches desired consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.

 

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