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Carrot cake cupcakes with maple cream-cheese frosting and toasted hazelnuts


Today is Glenda's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Glenda!) so I took advantage of all of those yellow carrots I gleaned and made cupcakes. What? Too February 2010 for you? Are cupcakes now terribly passe? PSHAW! THEY'RE CUPCAKES and sweet and cute is never out of vogue!!!!

The recipe (adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe from Sept. 1999).

Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1 cup home made apple butter
1/2 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger

Frosting
8 ounces organic cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted, organic butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or line muffin pans. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in medium
bowl to blend. Whisk sugar, apple butter and oil in large bowl until well blended.
Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended.
Stir in carrots and ginger. Fill muffin tins.




Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out
clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto
racks or a plate and cool cakes completely.





For icing:
Using an electric mixer (and a smock - I had frosting everywhere), beat cream cheese and butter in
large bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat at low
speed until well blended. Beat in maple syrup. Chill until just firm
enough to spread, 30 minutes.




Using a piece of parchment paper or a pastry bag, pipe out frosting in thick swirls. Top with crushed, toasted hazelnuts.

Eat with friends (but reserve a little extra frosting for a shameless baker's reward).




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