Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Carrot Cupcakes

Cupcakes are so much fun to make. They're easy, and it almost doesn't matter how sophisticated the decorations are, they always seem to make people smile. The only drawback is that they are difficult to transport, but it's totally worth it when you set them out in front of people and see their eyes light up. A tiny, individual cake for everybody! I wanted to make "healthy" cupcakes for my birthday this year; carrot cupcakes at least give people a portion of their daily vegetable intake. I adapted this recipe and used a simple cream cheese frosting. I also tried out my new cake decorating implements to make the little carrots. I got carried away a bit at the end, some of the cupcakes have three carrots on them! I also made about two dozen mini cupcakes, which were perfect to bring to a bar for happy hour on Friday.

Moist Carrot Cupcakes

2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 cups finely grated raw carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Place paper liners into muffin cups.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.

In another large bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, and oil until slightly thickened. Fold in the flour mixture until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots. Evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 ounces cream cheese (2 bars), room temperature
1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Whip together all three ingredients until the texture is smooth. Set aside about 1/3of the frosting to color for the decorations, separate that third into two small bowls. Using food coloring or an icing gel, tint the frosting in one bowl orange, the other green.

When your cupcakes are cooled, spread the frosting onto the tops and then decorate. I used the Wilton website to learn how to make my carrots:

I think they came out kinda nice.

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