With Easter right around the corner and daffodils blooming, it’s definitely carrot cake season. Nothing conjures the warmth and excitement of Spring quite like the traditional flavors of carrot cake, but this year, we decided to put a twist on the classic and make cupcakes.
Upon further inspection, it seems odd to add healthy vegetables to dessert cakes, but carrot cakes (and zucchini breads and the like) are so delicious and sweet, we usually don’t think twice about it. Instead, it’s a great way to justify eating cake!
To make these adorable cupcakes, we use our tried and true carrot cake recipe, which calls for shredded carrots, pineapples and pecans. We quickly and easily shred the carrots in a food processor, then mix everything together using a stand mixer before baking. The recipe makes exactly 24 moist, fluffy cupcakes.
After they’ve had a chance to cool, we top each cupcake with cream cheese frosting using a large round piping tip. (See more tips and tricks on How to Frost a Cupcake.) Then, we top it off with a candy carrot decoration or sprinkles and arrange them on a platter for everyone at our Easter brunch or dinner to admire and enjoy.
Carrot Cake (and Carrot Cake Cupcakes)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 can (8oz.) crushed pineapple in own juice, undrained
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch baking pans with parchment paper.
- Add flour, carrots, pecans, pineapple, sugar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and eggs to a large mixer bowl; beat on low 2 minutes until blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 4 minutes.
- Pour mixture evenly between prepared pans.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks.
- Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
- Place one cake layer on cake plate; spread top of layer with 1/2 cup Cream Cheese Frosting. Top with remaining layer; frost side of top of cake. Garnish with finely chopped pecans, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make Carrot Cake Cupcakes, line muffin pans with paper baking cups. Fill each baking cup about 3/4 full. An ice cream scoop works well for filling baking cups. Bake at 350°F for 16 to 18 minutes. Remove immediately from muffin pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting. Makes 24 cupcakes.
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