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The BEST Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These moist carrot cake cupcakes are made completely from scratch and are so soft and fluffy. Fresh grated carrot is the star in this warm spiced batter. Topped with the most amazing cream cheese frosting, these carrot cake cupcakes are the absolute BEST you'll ever taste!

Well I'd like to think that Spring has finally sprung, and it's about time, since I've been ready for Spring since January. The snow is melting, the sun is shining and many of us are preparing for Easter. When they were younger, the kids would love to help me get our Easter Tree out and set up. It is a small, but very cute tree, on which hangs tiny Easter/Spring themed ornaments. It was a symbol of new beginnings, as trees come into bloom, birds return and everything turns green. While I love Easter, I often find myself conflicted during this holiday. I often feel like it I am not careful, I will loose sight of the true meaning of Easter. Being catholic, Easter is so much more than bunnies and chocolate. It is a reminder of a great sacrifice made for us, and an even greater miracle. As Easter day grows nearer, I find myself thinking about the past year and counting the many blessings still in my life. I hope that Spring and Easter brings new hope to many of us who need it during this on going pandemic.


As a person who loves baking, holidays are always an exciting time to be in the kitchen. All those amazing Easter candies that pack the shelve at this time of year, get my creative juices flowing. For the longest time, I have been telling myself that I should make a carrot cake. It has been ages since I've baked a carrot cake, if I recall correctly I made these cupcakes last October, for my SO's mom's birthday. She raved about how delicious they were. So I took the opportunity to make an Easter cupcake. I wanted them to look elegant, like something you'd be proud to serve at the end of your Easter meal. Since it's spring, I knew I wanted to incorporate maple syrup into my frosting and decided to add brown sugar and cinnamon, to the frosting as well. I just knew that the flavours would pair amazingly with the cream cheese. 

Carrot cake is a cake that is made with fresh grated carrots added to the batter. Now a days carrot cake recipes have cream cheese frosting and include walnuts or pecans. Pineapple, raisins or coconut can also be added for natural sweetness. Though the origin of carrot cake is disputed, many say it originated from carrot puddings, eaten in Europe in the Middle Ages. In 1814, a former chef to Louis XVI, published a recipe for 'Gateaux de Carrottes", which was later translated to English in 1824.

How is carrot cake made?

Carrot cake is made by adding fresh grated carrot, to a batter usually spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Nuts such as pecans or walnuts are also very common in carrot cake. Some bakers like to add pineapple, raisins or coconut to their carrot cake recipes. The batter is then baked and the result is a moist, fluffy and soft crumb. A mixture of whipped butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar, is then slathered atop the cake. The tart cream cheese is a wonderful contrast to the earthy and sweet cake.

Is carrot cake healthy?

While many would love for cakes containing vegetables such as carrots and zucchini to be healthy, they are not. While carrot cake is full of carrots, it also contains a fair amount of sugar and fat. Who can help but wish a slice of carrot cake could count towards our 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies for the day! Like everything in life, I use the motto that everything in moderation is OK. I am the sort of person to fall off the wagon hard, if I don't indulge every now and then. A slice of carrot cake will not hurt you, as long as it's not an every day occurrence.

Tips for making the BEST carrot cake

  1. Toast your nuts! It adds a wonderfully deep and nutty flavour to your carrot cake.
  2. Use brown sugar! Most cakes are made with granulated sugar, but brown sugar adds a moist richness to your carrot cake.
  3. Don't skip the oil/fat! Cakes need oil or fat to make them soft and tender. In this recipe I use coconut oil, to add an extra layer of flavour.
  4. Freshly grate your carrots! Refrain from using prepackaged, pre-shredded carrots; they tend to be hard and dry. Freshly grated whole carrots are wet and add much needed moisture to your cake.


Equipment needed for this recipe
  • cheese grater
  • baking sheet
  • 1- 12 well cupcake tin
  • cupcake liners
  • large mixing bowl
  • wet and dry measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • mixing spoon/spatula
  • large cookie scoop
  • wire rack
  • mixer
  • large pipping bag, or zip top bag
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
a generous pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C coconut oil, melted
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3 medium (1 1/2 C) carrots, finely shredded
3/4 C chopped pecans
1 1/2 C sweetened flaked coconut, divided
Easter candies of choice (I used Hershey's Eggies)

Frosting:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 C butter
2 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs maple syrup
4 C powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line muffin tins and set aside.

Place pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until pecans are fragrant and lightly toasted. Let cool.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves and salt. Stir in coconut oil, eggs and vanilla until well mixed. Gently stir in the grated carrots, toasted pecans and 1 C coconut; the batter will be thick. Using a large cookie scoop, fill each muffin tin with batter; to 2/3 full. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes; until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool slightly before removing from tins, to a wire cooling wrack. Cool completely.

Reduce oven to 250 degrees and let it cool to the lower temperature. Spread the remaining coconut onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10-15 minutes; stirring halfway through the baking time. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile whip the butter with the cream cheese; until smooth and fluffy. Add in, brown sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Once all powdered sugar is added, whip the frosting for 3 minutes, until silky smooth and fluffy.

To frost/assemble cupcakes: Place frosting into a large disposable piping bag, or zip top bag; cut a hole in the end, 1/4-inch in diameter. Using a circular motion, pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Carefully roll the edges of the frosting into the toasted coconut and sprinkle a bit on top. Place Easter candy in centre of each cupcake.

PIN IT!!!


I am sharing this recipe with these linky parties!

Comments

  1. I love these recipes cool

    ReplyDelete
  2. These look just delicious!
    I love carrot cake, and have tried baking it, but it never turns out.
    I cannot wait to try this recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I LOVE carrot cake. Your carrot cake cupcakes look absolutely delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My favourite frosting: cheese! This should be in the round-up:))

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. We appreciate your shares. They have been Tweeted Pinned. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yummy! Your recipe looks delicious! I made my first homemade carrot cake last Easter and everyone loved it! But I'm going to use your recipe and tips to make another one this year! I remember thinking that toasting the nuts seemed ridiculous but it sure made a difference! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you appreciated the tips and I hope you find them helpful!

      Delete
  7. Wow, these cupcakes look so yummy. Congratulations, you are being featured at Over The Moon Party. I hope you stop by.
    https://www.eclecticredbarn.com/2021/03/over-moon-linky-party_28.html
    Hugs,
    Bev

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the feature! I will be stopping by in the morning to share :)

      Delete

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