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.