Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carrot-Nut Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe was passed down by one of my bestest friends Lisa. Lisa shared this recipe back when we were college roommates, and although I've made this plenty of times, I haven't blogged about this until now. For my birthday, I brought in these brownies and these carrot cupcakes- both went over really well (yay)!

For being as easy as this recipe is, this recipe doesn't taste simple at all. The freshly-shredded carrots result in a mild taste, and the sweetness from the rum-soaked raisins and the pineapple give it ample flavor. The result came out incredibly delicious - the cake was very flavorful and moist. Topped with a cinnamon cream cheese frosting- it will send your taste buds wild! With some dried fruit and a sprig of mint, I think the decorations turned out well.

Here are a few tips I've learned and adapted to this recipe:
1. I like my raisins nice and plump- A few days beforehand, I place my raisins in a shallow glass dish and pour some rum (any rum is fine here) to lightly cover the raisins. Over time, the raisins will absorb the rum and they will plump up nice and juicy!

2. Make sure to fill each cupcake well almost to the top. In order for the "nut" edge to adhere to the frosting, you will need cupcakes that crown well.

3. I like to use my food processor's shredding blade to shred the carrots super quickly.

4. For easy and flawless scooping, I like using my large OXO cookie scoop- it's the perfect amount to fill each cupcake well easily and flawlessly.

For the Cupcakes
1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Yellow Cake Mix
2 cups grated carrots, approximately 3-4 carrots
8-oz can crushed pineapple with juice, undrained
½ cup water
3 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup finely chopped pecans
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup golden raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners.
3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, pour into the muffin pans, and bake for 18-21 minutes.

For the Frosting
8-oz package cream cheese, softened
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Decoration- chopped walnuts or pecans (3/4 cup), dried apricots or peaches, mint sprigs

1. Beat together all ingredients in a stand mixer until mixture is well incorporated and there are no lumps.
2. Frost the cupcakes after they have cooled.
3. To decorate the cupcakes, roll the edges of each cupcake in the finely chopped nuts.

4. Slice each dried apricot or peach into small, carrot-shaped wedges.
5. Arrange 2 apricot/peach wedges on each cupcake, along with mint sprigs to look like carrot tops.

6. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container and keep refrigerated- they will keep for 3-4 days.

Yield: Batter & Frosting makes enough for 20 cupcakes

Source: Cupcakes- My good friend Lisa; Cream cheese frosting and decoration idea inspired by Paula Deen


Amy - The Petite Filet said...

The pineapple is a nice addition - I'm sure these cupcakes were super moist. Love the dried fruit "carrot" decoration too!

Dorothy said...

Ooh wow--rum raisins sound awesome in a carrot cake! The dried peach "carrot" decoration is very clever as well! I usually pipe out sad little orange blobs; your way is much cuter!

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