Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Last weekend, I hosted a 50th birthday party for a close friend. Before the party, I asked her if she had any special requests (the party wasn't a surprise, which made it much less stressful for me). Her only request was  cupcakes for dessert. Great! I love making cupcakes.

I served three flavors, which I'll cover in three different blog posts. First up: Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I originally found the recipe on a food blog, but then I spotted the same cupcake recipe in a past issue of Cooks Illustrated. I was missing one of the spices called for in the recipe, so I substituted pumpkin pie spice -- it contained all of the spices listed in the recipe.

In the end, the cupcakes were good but nothing I'd swoon over. My guess is that Cooks Illustrated was going for a recipe that focused on the carrots, but I'd prefer more going on -- more spices and maybe some coconut and/or walnuts. The cream cheese frosting was my tried and true.

Some details: I frosted the cupcakes using a Wilton 6B decorating tip and a large coupler. I got the cute cupcake liners from this online Esty shop. The liners were said to be greaseproof, but maybe 1 1/2 cups of oil was too much for even greaseproof liners.

Next up will be the cupcakes that were the real hit of the party!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I'd use more spice next time)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil
(I'd also add coconut and/or chopped walnuts next time.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with 24 baking cup liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; set aside.
In a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, shred the carrots. Dump the carrots on top of the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside. Wipe out the bowl of the food processor and fit with the metal blade.

Process the sugars and eggs until frothy and combined, about 20 seconds. With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube. Continue to process until the mixture is light in color and combined, about 20 more seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.

Divide the batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature. Frost with cream cheese frosting, below.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Frosts about 24 cupcakes

1 8-ounce package of regular cream cheese, cold
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar

Blend together cream cheese and butter. With mixer on low speed, add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar until completely incorporated.


Lorie said...

OOOH! I love carrot cake. And I love the colors in those wrappers!

Angela FRS said...

I seriously have never made a successful batch of cupcakes since I moved a mile above sea level--I did have a memorable, exploding batch--so I suffer from severe cupcake envy. Cannot wait to see the next set.

M said...

As the Guest of Honor at Tracy's most recent party, I have to say 1) It was quite simply a fantastic party and 2) everyone there thought the cupcakes were OUT of this world ! Thanks for the party and, just as importantly, the recipes!

Shelby said...

Tracy these are so pretty! Thank you for telking what size tip you used because I need one!!