Sunday, April 26

carrot cake :: cupcakes ::

Aren't cupcakes just scrumptious looking? It seems cupcakes are like wedding cakes in the sense that their actual taste quality takes a backseat to their aesthetic appeal. Obviously we want our cupcakes and our wedding cakes to taste good but aren't we pretty satisfied as long as they look darn scrumptiously dainty?
All that to say that my mom and I made cute cupcakes and they also tasted delish. I love carrot cake so that's what we did. These were moist, spiced, nutty, and just enough cream cheesy. If I'd had the right food colorings I would have made orange and drawn little carrots on them. But had to settle for monograms since I forgot to take red food coloring to my mom's.
Ah yes, the pictures begin. Here we are adding the carrots and "folding" in the pecans. One of the reasons I decided that cooking at my mom's is ideal is that her kitchen is much better lit than mine and a lot more conducive to good picture taking. Secondly, I discovered that she can be my sous chef. She pours, I click.
On the left you see the cupcakes fresh out of the oven. Cooling and waiting to be iced. We popped them in the fridge to expedite that process. What you don't see is my dad...hovering over the hot cupcakes asking permission to sample.
We used some apple sauce in lieu of part of the vegetable oil, and I believe apple sauce can substitute for the oil completely. Try it that way and let me know how it goes.

carrot cake cupcakes

adapted from
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil (3/4c vegetable oil, 1/2 c. apple sauce)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cups in cupcake pans. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil (oil/applesauce mix), sugar and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly beat dry ingredients into sugar mixture. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

The frosting was fun to make. I think store bought cream cheese icing is pretty great though myself so don't let the homemade icing scare you. I actually made it using only about a tablespoon of butter and 1/4 cup water since it turned out my sous chef's kitchen had no butter.
And of course food coloring, sprinkles and monograms.
Last but not least, here is one of the little cake bombs we made using a miniature muffin pan. I will certainly make cupcakes with a mini pan again because not only were they a great little portion (given you don't pop five) but the icing to cake ratio is much more balanced....that's a very important thing to me.


  1. The sous chef agrees about the cake to icing ratio being a great balance on the minis. Being the math teacher that I am I like good ratios. :)

  2. Patti, you're so funny! Erin, I like good ratios, too; but it's because I love sweets!!! These look SCRUMPTIOUS! I want some right now!

  3. Your blogspot is absolutely professional looking! I think you should send this to some magazine that publishes recipes and have them come to your website! You would probably be asked to be a contributing editor or something! AND, you could also be on television with your own cooking show....good summer job for a teacher???? Aunt Elaine :)