Carrot Cupcakes

9 Jun

Though this blog may not yet have indicated as such, I am baker. Love to bake, have all the schmancy baking tools, do it all from scratch… usually with success. Recently however, I had a full on baking disaster. I offered to make dessert for my father and small brother’s joint birthday fiesta. The request? Carrot cake. I had never made carrot cake but found a recipe and dove right in.

Problem 1) It seems that only one of my cake pans survived my last move. Hm… so on to carrot cupcakes. The batter was actually easier to whip up than most (that is of course providing that you have the schmancy kitchen tool that peels and grates the 65 pounds (ok 3 cups) of carrots that the recipe calls for aka the boyfriend (highly recommended)). The finished batter seemed runnier than most but fearing not I filled the cupcake papers (3/4) full and popped them in the oven. 22 minutes later problem 2) my cupcakes runneth over. The tops of the cakes had run over covering the entire pan, looking very lumpy and unattractive. At this point I figured we would be making a pit stop at a bakery but what we sampled was actually quite good:  very moist, not too sweet, with a little salty kick from the pecans. Trimmed up and covered with a generous smear of cream cheese frosting they were actually kind of addicting (not so pretty but addicting).

Final thoughts: This is a very good carrot cake recipe BUT if you are making cupcakes fill about 2/3 or less of the cups to avoid cupcake disaster.

Cupcake Time!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Bon Appetite, October 1994

Cake

2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups finely grated peeled carrots (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (about 1/2 ounce)
1/2 cup raisins

Frosting
4 cups powdered sugar
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation for the cake:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Lightly grease waxed paper. (If making cupcakes line muffin tins with cupcake liners)Using electric mixer, beat sugar and vegetable oil in bowl until combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into sugar and oil mixture. Stir in carrots, chopped pecans and raisins.

Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and cakes begin to pull away from sides of pans, about 45 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks and cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature.)
For frosting:

Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth and creamy.

Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with another cake layer. Spread with 3/4 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Using icing spatula, spread remaining frosting in decorative swirls over sides and top of cake. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome and refrigerate.) Serve cake cold or at room temperature.

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