There was a baptism today at church and I offered to help with the refreshments afterward. So there I was yesterday digging through my hoards of recipes trying to find the "perfect" treat. I wanted to make something that would keep both the adults and the children happy. As an adult, there isn't anything more tempting to me than moist carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and I know there isn't a kid out there who would pass up a cupcake. I debated whether or not to use nuts because I know they scare most kids away, but pecans were quickly added when I realized that means more for me! I'm not kidding. I'm really that selfish when it comes to dessert.
I was brave and tried untested recipes I found on Gigi's Cakes and Joy the Baker. I was thrilled with the results. The cake was moist and tender but not too light a crumb as many cakes can be. The cream cheese frosting is made with brown sugar and gives it a bit more depth than normal without being tooth-achingly sweet. The recipe makes a lot of frosting and I only used about half. The other half is calling out to me from the fridge, begging me to whip up some cinnamon rolls and slather it on top.
Carrot Cake (makes 24 cupcakes or 2 8" rounds)
2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tb cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
3/4 C canola oil
2 C sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 pound freshly grated carrots
3/4 c pecan or walnut pieces
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
3. In your mixer bowl fitted with whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high until light and fluffy. Decrease the speed to medium, add the oil, sugar and salt. Decrease speed to low
and gradually add flour mixture.
4. Remove bowl from the mixer and fold in the carrots and nuts with a rubber spatula.
5. Divide batter evenly among the cupcakes. Bake for 25 minutes and cool completely before frosting.
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting
1 1/2 C butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 C brown sugar
1 t vanilla
3 T milk
5 C powdered sugar
1. Cream the butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer. Be sure they are room temp or your frosting will be lumpy.
2. Add the brown sugar and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and add 2 C of powdered sugar. Turn the mixer of low speed and allow to incorporate. Add milk and remaining powdered sugar. If you want a thinner frosting, add more milk or thicker, add more powdered sugar.