Suburban Sweets: Mini Carrot Cupcakes

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Spring brings such a feeling of renewal, doesn’t it?  It inspires us to (spring) clean our homes, plant our gardens and generally prepare for the loveliness ahead.  It is in honor of this, my favorite season, that I share my go-to Easter dessert recipe.

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I try to appease my appetite for sweets by making smaller desserts, so when it comes to carrot cupcakes, making minis is a no-brainer.  Not only does the smaller size appeal to those of us trying to portion-control, they also look a heck of a lot cuter than regular cupcakes.  The piped frosting gives them a bit of a ‘wow’ factor and makes them a perfect choice to tote to family gatherings.

Since this recipe makes an abundant 72 cupcakes, you may opt to leave some unfrosted.  While not nearly as decadent, the little unfrosted muffins are a great, more healthful snack for kids and adults alike.

A word of caution when making minis:  they bake quickly and dry out easily.  As soon as there’s no ‘jiggle’ to their batter (this is 13 minutes in my oven), they should be removed immediately from heat.

Mini Carrot Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 6 dozen mini cupcakes

Mini Carrot Cupcakes

Spring brings such a feeling of renewal, doesn’t it? It inspires us to (spring) clean our homes, plant our gardens and generally prepare for the loveliness ahead. It is in honor of this, my favorite season, that I share my go-to Easter dessert recipe. I try to appease my appetite for sweets by making smaller desserts, so when it comes to carrot cupcakes, making minis is a no-brainer. Not only does the smaller size appeal to those of us trying to portion-control, they also look a heck of a lot cuter than regular cupcakes. The piped frosting gives them a bit of a ‘wow’ factor and makes them a perfect choice to tote to family gatherings. Since this recipe makes an abundant 72 cupcakes, you may opt to leave some unfrosted. While not nearly as decadent, the little unfrosted muffins are a great, more healthful snack for kids and adults alike. A word of caution when making minis: they bake quickly and dry out easily. As soon as there’s no ‘jiggle’ to their batter (this is 13 minutes in my oven), they should be removed immediately from heat.

Ingredients

  • Cupcake ingredients:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • ¾ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • Frosting ingredients:
  • 16 oz (2 bars) cream cheese, softened
  • 8 tbs (1 stick butter), softened
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 F. Line a mini muffin pan with foil paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, stir two sugars until combined. Add eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla and mix with electric mixer for 2 minutes or until well blended. Add flour mixture and mix until just blended. Stir in carrots, raisins, walnut and applesauce. Using a tablespoon-sized ice cream scoop, spoon batter into cups, filling each about two-thirds.
  4. Bake two trays at a time for 13 - 15 minutes or until the cupcakes don’t jiggle when the pans are shaken back and forth. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
  5. To make frosting:
  6. Mix the cream cheese, butter, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer until well combined. The frosting can be spread on the cupcakes, but piping it on is a special touch, and not that difficult.
  7. To pipe the frosting, prepare a pastry bag by cutting an inch off the corner and inserting a Wilton M1 star tip. To place frosting into prepared pastry bag, roll down sides of bag, and hold the bag firmly with one hand as you spoon the frosting in with the other. Unroll the bag, twist the top and rubber band it as close to the top of frosting as possible. When frosting the cupcakes, squeeze gently from the top.
  8. Makes 6 dozen mini cupcakes. Keep refrigerated.
http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/04/10/mini-carrot-cupcakes/

 

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About Author

Suburban Sweets columnist Josephine D’Ippolito is a baking enthusiast whose passion began more than twenty years ago, when, on a whim, she and her college friend made a single batch of cookies from scratch. One husband, three children and thousands of cookies later, Josephine enjoys the creative and culinary process of baking more than ever. Older, wiser and slightly more health conscious, she tends to justify her habit by making her desserts on the tiny side. Quite possibly her favorite day of the year is her annual cookie exchange held each December, when she gets to revel in the talent and sweetness of her dearest family and friends.

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