Thursday, April 21, 2011

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yes, I decorated them with little carrots. Yes, I'm a total tool. I embrace it.

Allow me to brag about my mother for a second:

My mother is an amazing cook. Imaginative, inspired, and passionate. While there isn't anything at which she is bad, cooking-wise, she truly excels at baking. From a very young age, my siblings and I would watch as she painstakingly decorated gorgeous from-scratch cakes for our birthdays, and every December, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the house is filled with the smell of baking cookies, dozens of kinds, and dozens of each kind.

"So?" (you may say to your not-so-nostalgic self) "Plenty of people can bake."

This, readers, is true. Anyone can bake, really. Basic baking is just chemistry and following directions. But it takes a gift to elevate it to an art form.

There are two things that my mother makes better than anyone else on the planet. Trust me on this one. I've done my research. I've ordered these things at innumerable restaurants, and each time they pale in comparison. Many good meals have been ruined by sub-par desserts.

They are, in no particular order:

Carrot Cake


Key Lime Pie

The key lime pie recipe may make its way onto this website in the future... only time will tell. Today, I will provide a version of her recipe (I'm being selfish and keeping the true original for myself) that has been adapted for cupcakes.

For cupcakes:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups grated carrots

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper cupcake holders into the cups of cupcake tins.
  2. Sift together dry ingredients.
  3. In separate bowl, mix oil with beaten eggs.
  4. Add small amount of dry to wet, beating well after each addition, until combined.
  5. Fold in grated carrots until combined.
  6. Fill each cupcake holder approx 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out cleanly. Remove from tins and allow to cool completely on cooling rack before icing. Makes approx. 2 dozen cupcakes.

For frosting:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lb powdered sugar

  1. Cream butter and cream cheese in stand mixer. Add vanilla.
  2. Add sugar in small amounts, beating well after each addition.
  3. Pipe or spread on to cooled cupcakes.
  4. Devour.

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