Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Easter

 Last year, my brother, Matthew, requested carrot cake for his birthday.  He insisted that I make it from a box.  I rolled my eyes and told him that I would make one from a box and make a homemade one to see which he liked better.  I was completely convinced I would change his mind.
I printed out a recipe that had received rave reviews and was sure it was my ticket to win him over.  I made both cakes and let's just say even I preferred the box version.  Everyone there was too polite to say that the homemade cake was not as good, but I could see it in their eyes.  It was a sad time for me.  

What makes me more mad at myself is that I had this recipe at my finger tips and I had forgotten about it!  It was a recipe that I had been wanting to try!  My friend Cheri posted it one her blog and said it was the best carrot cake ever.  We seem to share a love of the same kinds of foods and so I believed her.  I just forgot!  If I had brought this cake to last year's birthday party, I would be telling an entirely different story right now.  One that doesn't involve me hanging my head in shame.  I judge my family for not shunning me.  

If I have ever had a better carrot cake, I really don't remember.  This was so good it was ridiculous.  Well, I thought so anyway.  Tyler didn't care for it because I used raisins and nuts, but if you are cooking, you get to make what you like, right?   {Have I ever told you that I used to hate nuts in baked goods?  Now I can't seem to get enough.}  Anyway, Easter or not, you should make this sometime and take a moment to thank Cheri and her friend Lisa for the recipe.  I do.  It's changed my life for the better.  

I made cupcakes because we were going to a barbecue and it seemed easier than having to take a knife to slice it and worrying about plates and forks, but this is also beautiful as a layer cake (see that HERE)!   AND you can make pretty much this whole thing in the food processor!  I was going to try to make some flowers on the top but that's not really the kind of frosting this is.  You could add more powdered sugar, but I didn't want to add anymore than I did and make it too sugary.  And in my book, taste trumps presentation, but that's just me.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves (I omitted this)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb of carrots, shredded
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (I only used 1/2 cup walnuts)

Frosting: (double for 2-8 inch round cakes)
8 oz cream cheese
5 T butter, softened
1 T sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:  Preheat oven to 350, combine dry ingredients and set aside.  If you are shredding carrots in food processor (if they are whole carrots, peel first.  Baby carrots don't need to be peeled) then shred the carrots and set aside.  
Clean food processor.  Add sugars and eggs to bowl with metal blade and process until frothy (about 20 seconds.  Mine didn't really get frothy so I just processed about 30 seconds until it was smooth)  With machine running, add oil slowly until all combined.  
Pour over carrots and stir, add flour mixture, (P.S.  I am lazy and didn't combine my dry ingredients first.)
raisins and walnuts and stir to combine.  
Fill 2 muffin tins that have been greased or lined (I used about 1/3 cup batter for each muffin tin.  They should be 3/4 of the way full or slightly more, makes 24 cupcakes).   
Bake 15-20 minutes for cupcakes (And I am a messy baker.)
Cool completely.

Frosting:  Food Processor-Combine all ingredients in food processor until smooth.  Mixer-with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth, add sour cream and vanilla and 1 cup powdered sugar and combine.  Add remaining powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until all combined, scraping down sides as necessary.  Frost cupcakes 
 These were so moist it was ridiculous, I wish I had more.  And to top it off, they are almost better the next day and the day after that.  I can't help you after that, they are gone.
 Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Hadlee and Calvin on Easter

Remember when I posted on Facebook that these books were on sale?  It was 6 dollars for the set! I wish they were still having that deal.  I have been wanting both of these books and I am so glad the Easter bunny brought them for me.  When they came from Amazon, the price tag said 80 BUCKS!  The Easter bunny must know how much I love a good deal. ;)
I hope you guys had a lovely Easter holiday!  Even though we ate some good food and had fun, we tried to remember what the holiday was really all about.

For instructions on a 9 inch layer cake or 9x13 cake you can go HERE.  Also includes a Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting.


  1. I love carrot cake and/or carrot cupcakes!! These look grat!!

    1. Thanks Mireia, they really are delicious, I hope you get to try them sometime.

  2. Happy Late Easter, my friend. I think I will always prefer YOUR anything to a box.

    1. Jenni, I hope you guys had a great Easter! We miss you guys!

  3. I love carrot cake, I want to try this recipe for sure! I am so bummed, I saw your post on these books, but I was too late. Do you love them? I took your advice on your blog and ordered How To Cook Everything and the 1997 Joy of Cooking and am loving those - I use them all the time! I cleaned out my cookbooks a couple of months ago and took a whole box to DI, now I'm just getting ones that I will love and use, so keep passing along recommendations :) I just got one at the library I had been wanting to look through called "The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook" and it has some really fun things in it that I can't wait to try too!

    1. Michelle, I haven't tried anything from either of these books yet but I am excited to. The first round of TWD used the baking book and there is a group now called "French Fridays with Dorie" that uses the other so I keep seeing all the good stuff they are making!

      I am glad you like those cookbooks, I really do love them. I feel like between the two of them they have just about everything! I am going to have to check out the Day Bakery Cookbook, I love recommendations too!

  4. Thanks for sharing! I've been looking for a great carrot cake cupcake recipe.

    1. Becky, look no further, I hope you get a chance to try them. I can't believe it took me so long!

    2. Amanda- I made these for my sister's baby shower and it was a hit! Thanks so much!

  5. Tasty looking muffins and cute papers!


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