I don’t know about you, but I’m drawn to anything with cream cheese frosting. Red velvet, coconut and of course carrot cakes would be nothing without that topping of sweetened cream cheese. I dare say that the frosting is more important to me than the cake. The beauty of cream cheese frosting is that it’s simply four ingredients whipped together. What could be easier?
This carrot cupcake is moister than most other cupcakes so it definitely can be made a day ahead. I baked these, refrigerated them overnight and frosted them just before serving. Should you have leftovers pop them into a covered container and keep in the fridge. They’ll be good for three days, if they last that long!
Feel free to add chopped nuts to your batter if you prefer a little crunch in your cupcake. By the way, the cream cheese frosting would be the perfect complement to pumpkin or gingerbread cupcakes. ‘Tis the season…
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (from about 6 medium carrots)
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar (8 ounces)
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar, then beat at high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 14 muffin cups with paper liners. Spray the liners with vegetable-oil spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the canola oil. Gradually beat in the sugar at medium-high speed and beat until thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, then fold in the carrots.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool slightly, then transfer the cupcakes to the freezer to chill.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip with the Cream Cheese Frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the carrot cupcakes and serve. Alternatively, use a knife to spread the frosting on the cupcakes and serve.