Cupcakes are good for your eyes…

… when they are made out of carrots!

My buddy Dan requested carrot cake cupcakes for his birthday. Seriously, I love carrot cake. But I honestly thought that other people didn’t, and that it was something you’re just born with tastebuds for. Like coconut.

Anyways, I leaned on good ol’ Martha Stewart for  some guidance with this one. It’s a terrific recipe, but just reading how much sugar in it made me cringe. I always do a little less than, because it tastes the same and the frosting definitely makes up for 1/4-1/3 less cup sugar in the batter. As far as I know, no other baking catastrophes have resulted from a little less suga’ so that’s how I’ll leave it.

Here’s the recipe (copied and paraphrased from “Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes”)

Cake:

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled + finely grated (I do mine differently, see below)
  • 3 large eggs @ room temp
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk
  • 2 cups sugar (I use at least 1/3 cup less)
  • 1.5 c. oil
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 c. A.P. flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • (P.S. cheated on the spices, just used 1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice instead of ginger n cloves)

Oven: 325 degrees

Whisk wet ingredients together in a bowl (includes carrots). In another bowl, dry ingredients. Stir dry ingred. into the wet ingred.

Bake till toothpick comes out clean, 23-28 min. (I believe mine were good at 23 exactly)….

Makes 24 scrumptious cupcakes! 

Frosting:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 12 oz cream cheese, room temp.
  • 1 lb. (4 c.) powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

Cream butter and cream cheese with electric mixer till light n’ fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, a little at a time, then vanilla. Yum!

Megs and I baked these at her place, so that’s bonus #1: A different setting with non-fluorescent lights in the kitchen for photos to follow. Bonus #2 is…. the photos weren’t taken by me! These were taken by none other than Miss Lauren, who made the cupcakes look gooooooood. Thanks to these girls!

Let’s get the show on the road… First things first, grate the carrots.

Yep, I use a peeler. I find that grating is a pain, and peeling the carrot is faster. Additionally I think it creates a better cupcake. I figured this out when I lived in my beloved teeny 300 sq. ft studio apt in Chicago, and didn’t have space to have BOTH a grater and a peeler. Well, ya can’t peel with a grater, but you CAN grate with a peeler…. (of sorts). Anyways, this produces longer thinner strands, but I use my industrial strength scissors to just cut ’em up once they’re all bunched in a bowl. Sounds tedious, but it literally takes seconds.

So, we have carrots. The other key? Cream-cheese-frosting- Y-U-M.

Cupcake, slightly domed and delicious smelling:

Mmmm. More cupcakes!

Frosted generously with the swirl by the back of a spoon. No fancy tools needed for these ones, and they still look pretty nice 🙂

This just leaves one problem… what does one do with the leftover frosting?!

Bust out the animal crackers… and a *few* sprinkles for a *little* fun:

Orrr… a LOT of sprinkles for a TON of FUN!!!!!!

Can’t hold me back… party animal 🙂

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One thought on “Cupcakes are good for your eyes…

  1. Wow the carrot cupcakes sounds so yummy and they look absolutely adorable. I will try cooking this with my son…
    Thanks for the recipe,
    Tes

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