Sunday, May 19, 2013

carrot (cup)cakes with honey-cream cheese frosting

Back at Easter, I had my mom and dad and whatever brothers+families could make it over for dinner that Sunday. I didn't go too crazy with the menu - as much as I like to experiment, I kept it calm this year.

One thing I did try was a fabulous recipe for carrot cake with a few twists - as a cupcake, and with a wonderfully tasty frosting. I found it on one of my absolute favorite cooking blogs, Honey & Jam, and am linking you there (see below recipe title) so check her out! Great food photography and fantastic recipes to try.

Normally I change a thing here or there, but this time, I stuck to the recipe 100%. After tasting, I wouldn't change a thing.

So - is carrot cake counted as a vegetable serving?

Carrot Cake with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

makes 1 layer cake or 24 cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated carrots (6 large)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted and cooled (single layer in a pan, toast for 6 minutes - save a few for garnish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. I found some cute pleated ones at Walmart.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger.  In an electric mixer bowl, add sugar, vegetable oil, and eggs; beat at medium speed until well blended. Add flour mixture in 2 or 3 batches, mixing just until all the flour disappears and is incorporated (do not overmix). Gently stir in carrots and pecans. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Place cupcakes on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting:
2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup honey (local, if you have it!)
1/2 cup powdered sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and honey until light and fluffy. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until spreading consistency.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with a spreader or pipe it on with a decorating bag/tip. Sprinkle with reserved pecans.  Try not to gorge yourself.

Thank you, Hannah, for a perfect Easter dinner finale.

Note: my dad doesn't care for nuts in his food, so I mixed and filled half the cupcake liners before adding nuts to the remaining batter, and didn't garnish those with nuts.  They were only slightly less awesome.