Tuesday, May 1, 2012

14-Carrot Good!

A De-Li-Cious Carrot Cupcake Recipe

Let me start by saying that my mother makes the best carrot cake I have ever tasted in my 35 years - hands down!  And it's a general concensus amongst family, friends, co-workers and anyone who has ever come in contact with Joy's Carrot Cake. The cake is always melt-in-your-mouth moist and the cream cheese icing is thee bomb. And get this, she NEVER uses anything remotely close to resembling a mixer - her two hands are the magic that's worked on this masterpiece (jealous much?!)
Well needless to say, the recipe below is not her recipe, but don't get it twisted--it's still deliciously devine! The brown sugar brings out a small taste of molasses, the toasted walnuts give it that added sophistocated and bittersweet flair, and the crushed pineapples are just plain fun! But the real star of these cupcakes is the *frosting*. The brown sugar with the cream cheese gives a tanginess that's out-of-this-world.

Some might dub these as a seasonal cupcake (fall & winter), but where I'm from, they're played all year-round because they're just that darn good!  Enjoy!


Yields: Approximately 1-to-1 1/2 dozen standard size cupcakes

- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup buttermilk (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- small can of crushed pineapple
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Toast the walnuts in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
2. Rinse the carrots and peel off the rough skin; grate the carrots.
3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
4. In the mixing bowl, place carrots, buttermilk, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and pineapples together - whisk thoroughly.
5. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture. Fold in the toasted walnuts until evenly incorporated. DO NOT overmix!
6. Scoop into cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes. Rotate pan after first 15 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (cold)
- small sliver of butter flavored shortening
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 kosher salt
- 1/4 cup regular cream cheese (Philly's)
- 2 Tbsp Neufchatel cheese (Philly's)
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

1. Cream butter until whipped. Add shortening and continue to cream. Don't let it get too soft.
2. Add brown sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and salt. Mix until incorporated. Scrape bowl.
3. Add both cream cheeses and mix to get out lumps. Don't overmix and let get too soft. Don't want it to lose its shape.
4. Turn mixer speed down and add confectioners sugar.
5. Add heavy whipping cream.
6. Turn mixer speed up and mix for about 4 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Garrett McCord off of Simply Recipes

All images courtesy of That's So Morie Cupcakes

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