The Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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I made these cute and so yummy cupcakes for our Sunday School party and Easter day dessert last weekend. I must share the recipe since everyone who tried one thought they were the best! I started off with this recipe from Zoe Bakes, which she got from the Essential Baker cookbook.

Cupcakes:
1 pound grated carrots
4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I bet coconut oil would be great too!)
2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
handful of pecan pieces (chopped small)
1 small (8 oz?) can ofcrushed pineapple

Prepare muffin tins with papers (about 60 mini or 48 regular cupcakes). Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate the carrots as finely as you want them. I used the fine side of a cheese grater. Mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract and orange zest. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Add the finely chopped carrots, pineapple, and pecan pieces. Scoop batter into the cupcake papers (fill 3/4 full). Bake cupcakes for about 18-25 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting and enjoy!

Cream Cheese Frosting from Essential Baker:

12 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons pure vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Squeeze in some juice from the lemon and orange, mmm, tasty!

Mix all ingredients together

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