Sunday, March 31, 2013

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Happy Easter everyone!  Since the Easter Bunny eats carrots, I decided to make these carrot cake cupcakes to bring to my Mom's Easter dinner and boy are they delicious! 

For those of you who don't know, I work in the hospitality industry.  Right now I am the Director of Sales at a smaller hotel but my last position was with the Hyatt Regency Princeton.  Although I was in the sales department, anytime I could find an excuse to go hang out in the kitchen, I was there.  With just under 400 rooms and a good amount of meeting space, the kitchen was pretty large.  I loved watching them get ready for large events.  It was like a well oiled machine. When I left the hotel, our head chef gave me a chefs coat as a goodbye gift.  Sometimes I wear it when I'm cooking... It makes me feel special.  

This recipe comes from a friend who was a server at our restaurant in the Hyatt.  I am very grateful that he shared this with me because it is a keeper.  The cupcake is very moist and dense and cream cheese frosting is the perfect compliment.  

On a side note, I used this same recipe to make two 9 inch cakes a few months ago and it didn't turn out too hot.  I don't know what I did wrong but figured I'd warn you.  So just stick with the cupcakes.        

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.  I just love the smell of cinnamon.

The recipe calls for 3 cups of shredded carrots.  I use my food processor to do this as it does the job in record time.  Sirius and Gryffindor like carrots as well.  They were waiting patiently for a few to drop...

All of the wet ingredients in the mixer.  The crushed pineapple really makes these cupcakes extra delicious.

I used pecans but you could also use walnuts.  Save a little to garnish at the end.  

A tip I picked up from Barefoot Contessa a while ago... Use an ice cream scoop to portion out cupcakes and muffins.  You will get the same size every time for even cooking.  

When they come out of the oven, the tops are slightly flat.  Don't be alarmed.  They don't rise like normal cupcakes because they are so dense.  Let these cool completely (I even put mine in the fridge) because you don't want to top hot cupcakes with a cream cheese frosting or it will melt right off. 

You can see the flecks of vanilla bean in the frosting.  That is because I used my fancy-shmancy vanilla bean paste.   Once this is all whipped and the cupcakes are cooled, you are ready to frost!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
3 c. shredded carrots
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 16oz can crushed pineapple
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/2 c. golden raisins (optional)

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.  

Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl and whisk together until blended.  Set aside.

Add oil, carrots, eggs, vanilla, pineapple,  together in another large bowl and mix until blended.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  This will be a heavy batter.  Do not over mix.  Once mixture is combined, slowly add in nuts and/or raisins.  

Grease and flour pans or line with cupcake tins. Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  About 20-25 minutes.  

Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 t. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until creamy.   Add the vanilla and vanilla bean seeds, then gradually add in the confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  Mix with a whisk attachment until fluffy.   Store in the refrigerator after use.

1 comment:

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