The first three months of this year went by both quickly and slowly. Anyone feels the same? I blinked and here we are, already a quarter way through April, which means that Easter is almost here. So, it is just fitting that I try making some sort of carrot cake, or to be more specific, carrot cupcakes! Because I can’t resist individual size dessert. The reason it took me so long to try my hand at these is my suspicion of a root vegetable disguising as a dessert; I have a story about beet in a dessert but we’ll have to save that for another time. That and I’m not a huge fan of raisins. I love grapes, but for some reason not raisins. So naturally, I omitted raisins from these carrot cupcakes.
These carrot cupcakes are so soft and moist, slightly spiced with just a little bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, not at all overpowering. The walnuts give it just a little crunch. And the cream cheese frosting is creamy but not too rich; it is satisfying but doesn’t leave a film of fat on your lips. I don’t like overly sweet frosting, so this one takes the cake. With these carrot cupcakes, you can have your cupcake and eat your vegetable too! Ain’t that a bonus?
If you’re still deciding what will be on your Easter menu, add these carrot cupcakes, most definitely! They can cover both the dessert and vegetable side dish categories. 😉 All kidding aside though, they’re a fun alternative to the classic carrot cake. They’re also easy, yet still delicious. Or just go make them now! You need a test batch before next weekend, don’t you? So, have fun with the recipe below! Happy weekend!
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 and 1/4 cup finely shredded carrot (about 2 medium carrots)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 8 oz. regular cream cheese – room temperature
- 4 oz. unsalted butter – room temperature
- 3/4 cup powder sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts for garnishing
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a regular size cupcake pan with cupcake liner.
- In a small bowl, measure out flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, mix together with a whisk and set aside.
- Measure out the buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla extract in a medium bowl and beat with a whisk to combine.
- Add the light brown sugar to the liquid mixture, and mix with a whisk to combine.
- Add the finely shredded carrots to the liquid mixture, and mix with a whisk until evenly distributed.
- Slowly pour the flour mixture into the liquid mixture while slowly whisking with the other hand. Mix only until combine, use a spatula to scrape any flour on the side of the bowl and mix up anything at the bottom of the bowl.
- Fold in 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts with the spatula.
- Divide batter equally among 12 cups.
- Bake for 17 minutes until an inserted toothpick in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove cupcakes from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
- Leave the cream cheese and butter out on the counter for a few hours until they reach room temperature and are softened, but not melted.
- Cream the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract and mix to combine.
- Add powder sugar and mix to combine.
- Use a spatula to scrape the side and bottom of the mixing bowl as necessary.
- Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with the star tip, top cupcakes with frosting.
- Garnish cupcakes generously with chopped walnuts.
2. Best enjoy within 1 – 2 days, but you can store cupcakes in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
3. Let cupcakes come to room temperature before serving if stored in the fridge.