I’m going to start this blog post off by saying that I am NOT a carrot cake fan. My coworkers at my last company used to go freaking nuts for the stuff though. Whenever it was someone’s birthday or service anniversary, the weirdos would want carrot cake.
I’d sit back in disgust and confusion as to why people always wanted this stuff.
And after first trying this recipe, my opinion was the same.
That was until I let these cupcakes sit for about 4 hours and I decided to try them again.
Holy crap. I like carrot cake.
More importantly, I’m in LOVE with this frosting. I came across Smitten Kitchen’s blog on her infamous carrot cake recipe and the addition of pure maple syrup to the frosting intrigued me. I’m not a fan of traditional cream cheese frosting, so I’m always interested in ways to tweak it.
This frosting is dangerous. My blood sugars were practically rising from just smelling the stuff. But, I was so curious about the flavor, I actually ate a cupcake and didn’t feel guilty. It’s got carrots in it…must be healthy…..
I’ve got to hand it to this gal…I was a hater….a doubter….not anymore.
Here’s why I doubted her. Reason #1, I just don’t like carrot cake (we covered this already). Reason #2, I tried them while they were still warm. They tasted like a spiced muffin, not a cupcake. I still frosted them once they cooled just so I could take a picture…I’m weird, I know.
BUT. The hubs, kiddo, and I went out to run errands tonight, and upon our return home, something inside me said “try them again…..”
I’m so glad I listened.
I will say that even though the walnuts are optional, I HIGHLY suggest using them. It’s the key ingredient that gives the cake what it needs.
So, here you go….a copy of Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. VERY glad I gave it a chance
2 c. AP Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp. Ground Ginger
2 c. Baker’s Sugar
1 1/4 c. Canola Oil
4 Large Eggs
3 c. Grated Peeled Carrots (I used my Kitchen Aid Food Chopper…the goal is to get these carrots into as tiny of pieces as possible)
1 c. Chopped Walnuts (optional, but HIGHLY suggested)
1/2 cup raisins (optional) just say NO to the raisins….
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tins with 30 cupcake liners (honestly, I would make more than 30 since they spilled over a bit….)
2) In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside
3) In the bowl of your standup mixer, with the whisk attachment affixed, whisk together the sugar and oil until they’re thoroughly combined.
4) Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well after each addition
5) Slowly start adding in the flour mixture and mix until well combined
6) Fold in the carrots and walnuts (PLEASE, if you haven’t decided on walnuts by now, PLEASE add them!)
7) Fill muffin tins 2/3 – 3/4 full and bake for 18-22 minutes (she says 14 minutes, but mine were NOWHERE near done)
8) Remove from oven and let the cupcakes cool in the tins for about 5 minutes. Let them finish cooling off on the wire racks. Since we’re using a cream cheese frosting, let them cool completely.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
16 oz. Cream Cheese, softened (full fat works best…)
1/2 c. Unsalted Butter, softened
2 c. Powdered Sugar
1/4 c. Pure Maple Syrup
1) In the bowl of your standup mixer, with the paddle attachment affixed, cream the butter and cream cheese for 2 minutes
2) Slowly start adding in the powdered sugar and mix for another minute
3) Drizzle that maple syrup in and mix until combined. The frosting will look kinda runny. It’s ok!….
4) Refrigerate the frosting for at least 15 minutes (I made my frosting first and chilled for a few hours and it pipes great)
5) Once chilled and the cupcakes are completely cool, fill a piping bag with this heavenly frosting and give your carrot cupcakes what they’ve been longing for since their creation.
Happy Easter, everyone!!