I'm not going to write about how delightful it is to trick yourself into eating vegetables in your dessert. I love carrots and will eat them any way, so there will be no trickery involved here.
They look like carrot cupcakes don't they? Well, they are, they're just a bit different. I wouldn't call this a twist, just different.
First, I was in search of a simple carrot cupcake and just that, no add-ins like raisins, nuts, coconut, pineapple, etc. Nothing complicated. I found this recipe and it fit the bill with less than 10 ingredients.
Second, the process is also altered to make these perfect. I always gripe about having little bits of egg white that aren't completely blended in the wet ingredients of such an application. This is solved by my trusty immersion blender (I've always wanted one and just received one for Christmas this past winter. I love it, you'll hear me talking about it a bunch.)
Also, the carrots are not shredded but boiled then chopped resulting in a really tender and moist cake.
Finally, a few of the ingredients are tweaked from previous tests, experiences, and what I have on hand. So with a final count of 10 ingredients in the cake and 4 ingredients in the frosting here is my version of carrot cupcakes.
- 8 oz peeled carrots
- 5 oz unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar (1 cup if you prefer sweeter)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 3 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 10 oz confectioner's sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
- Boil carrots until soft but not mushy.
- In a medium mixing bowl sift then whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a liquid measuring cup measure vegetable oil, add sugar and eggs.
- Now, my favourite step: buzz all the wet ingredients together with an immersion blender. Blend it smooth but do not incorporate air by keeping the blending mechanism below the liquid level.
- Drain your carrots and chop them in a food processor until the pieces are about 1/8" - 1/4".
- Stir chopped carrots into flour mixture. Add wet ingredients. Fold together until no lumps of flour remain.
- With a #16 portion scoop fill prepared liners evenly. They will be a little fuller than 12 flat scoops with a #16. Lightly spritz the pan to prevent any sticking when the cake rises.
- Bake for 24 - 30 minutes depending on your oven (I recommend using an oven thermometer for accuracy) or until the tops spring back when lightly tapped.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before speed chilling in the freezer. (The linked recipe recommends freezing before frosting to firm up the butter in the cake to prevent crumbs. This is most definitely a good tip. This tip can also be applied to decorating layer cakes.)
- Beat together all frosting ingredients except for walnuts until light and fluffy. The frosting in the photo is piped on with a large open star tip.
- Garnish with toasted walnuts.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Interior of the carrot cupcake. Some undesired tunneling but still moist and tender.