Carrot Cake Cupcakes (sometimes vegan!)
It seems I’ve amassed quite the collection of cookie, brownie, and cake recipes thus far, but no cupcakes! Let’s fix that. My story with cupcakes is that many years ago, when cupcakes were becoming the next “thing”, I thought I hated them. I had never had a cupcake I liked, never mind loved, and so I thought that they just weren’t good. Then - I decided to make some. Delicious! I realized that in the consumer market they were just being overproduced and under-engineered - they were usually dry and didn’t have the right ratios of filling to cake to frosting. But it didn't have to be so!
Cupcakes are now one of my most requested things to make, and so I share with you one of my favorite cupcake recipes. I discovered these when I was doing an order for a baby shower and the mom-to-be didn’t eat eggs. These cupcakes are SO moist, have tons of flavor and the perfect balance of sweetness and spice. If you make the cake only from this recipe it’s totally vegan! But, if you add the frosting (which you should cause it’s delicioso), notsomuch. If you want go totally vegan you can do an american buttercream with a butter substitute and it will be great, especially if you flavor it with maple or cinnamon.
Makes ~20 regular sized cupcakes; half the recipe will make ~26 mini cupcakes
2 cups AP flour (240g)
1 cup sugar (200g)
1/4 cup brown sugar (53g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
3 cups shredded carrots (you can use the pre-shredded store-bought kind, but if you shred them yourself they’ll be more flavorful!
3/4 cup coconut oil (you can use canola oil if you’d prefer)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 ounce carrot baby food (optional, but makes them super flavorful & moist!)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (sweetened is also fine)
1/2 cup toasted & chopped pecans (no oil - http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-toast-nuts-in-the-oven-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-181294)
Cookie (ice cream) scoop
2 8oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2.5 teaspoons vanilla
1 and 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
**If you are making mini cupcakes, halve the amount of frosting ingredients - unless you want extra frosting to freeze and use another time!
Preheat your oven to 350F and line your cupcake trays with liners.
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine 240g AP flour, 200g sugar, 53g brown sugar, 1/2tsp salt, 2tsp baking powder, 1/2tsp baking soda, and 2tsp cinnamon and mix on low until fully combined. Use a spatula to pull up what’s on the bottom of the bowl to make sure it’s all mixed together.
Add your 3c of shredded carrots and mix on low until combined.
Add your 3/4c coconut oil, 1/2c orange juice, and 1oz baby food and mix on medium until just combined - don’t overmix at this step!
Add 1/2c golden raisins, 1/2c shredded coconut, and 1/2c toasted chopped pecans, and mix on medium until combined.
Using the appropriate sized cookie scoop for either regular (~2.5”) or mini (~1.5”) cupcakes, fill each cupcake liner with a scoop of batter that fills it about 3/4 full.
Bake regular sized cupcakes 15-20 minutes and mini cupcakes 11-14 minutes. They’re done when the top springs back against a finger press, and a tester comes out with no crumbs or wet batter.
Let the pans cool until you can touch them, then let the cupcakes cool fully on cooling racks.
For the frosting, beat your room temperature cream cheese (16oz) in your stand mixer until smooth. Sift the 1c powdered sugar into the bowl, beating on low and then high until combined. Add 2.5tsp vanilla.
Remove the beater attachment and attached the whisk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then whisk on medium-high while you stream in the 1 & 1/3 cups cold heavy cream until you’ve got thick frosting! If you’re nervous about making the frosting or find that you have any issues, check out this video for some tips.