Saturday, February 12, 2011

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

For Elise's preschool this week, we read a book called "The Carrot Seed."  To go along with learning about carrots (and other vegetables) we made some carrot cake cupcakes for dessert last night.  She only ate the top with the frosting, but everyone else, including Caelyn, loved the whole thing.  (The recipe is from Lick the Bowl Good, which is accompanied by some lovely photos.)

1 c. sugar
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. flour
1/4 c. shredded coconut
1 1/2 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine sugar, oil, orange juice, vanilla and eggs. Stir in baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour and mix. Stir in shredded carrots, coconut and nuts (optional).

Line a muffin tin with muffin liners and spray well with nonstick spray. Distribute the batter evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 25 minutes.

For frosting:
In a medium bowl, whisk cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until creamy and smooth. Use immediately or store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

Let cupcakes cool then frost with cream cheese frosting.

* Note that by using a generous amount and my swirly decorating tip, I only had enough to frost 9 cupcakes.  If I had just smeared on top with a knife, I would have had plenty.  For generous swirls, I would make the frosting plus 1/2 recipe. :)

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes

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