Friday, March 20, 2009

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

I don't like carrots but ended up with a whole pound of them from Boston Organics in my latest delivery. This wouldn't have been a problem back when I was a kid because my brother liked them, so anytime I had carrots I would just give them to him. But now that my brother lives on the opposite side of the country, I am forced to do things like make carrot cake cupcakes. Alas, the tragedy of it all. By the way, my brother's birthday is this Sunday so happy birthday, Timmy, and pretend I made and mailed these to you!

Carrot cupcakes with orange cream cheese frosting

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting (based on the recipe from Tartelette's site)
makes 30 cupcakes

For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound carrots, grated medium fine

For the frosting:
12 oz. cream cheese softened
2 1/ 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Zest of 1 orange
2 sticks butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs at high speed until light and frothy, about one minute. Decrease the speed to medium and add the oil, vanilla, sugar, and salt and mix just until combines. Decrease the speed to low and add the flour mixture until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in the carrots.

Fill each cupcake liner halfway with batter. Bake for 18 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and zest with an electric mixer. Start on low speed and then increase to medium high speed and beat until smooth. Add the butter and mix on medium speed until just fluffy and smotth, about 45 seconds. Add the vanilla and mix until just combined. Do not overbeat.

Carrot cupcakes

The original recipe was for a layer cake, but I thought it translated well to cupcake form. The only issue I had was for the first batch I filled the liners about 2/3 - 3/4 full and the batter ended up overflowing onto the tin when it baked. Adding orange rind to the cream cheese frosting is ingenious and adds a vibrant aromatic and a very subtle whiff of tartness to the otherwise very sweet topping. If I had wanted to go the extra mile, I would've added a sprinkle of additional orange zest on top or maybe finely chopped crystallized ginger. I thought about a carrot curl, but then I'd be defeating the purpose of making these cupcakes because I don't like the taste of carrots.

Off to Mount Tremblant and Montreal!


  1. Man, you make great-tasting food - and have a talent for photographing it beautifully. Ever tried roasting carrots? Sweet and tasty.

  2. That frosting looks really yummy! Carrot cake is my favorite cake and I'll have to try this recipe out!

  3. I just made these cupcakes. They are really good but managed to make 43 cakes with the ingredients! I've got so many I'm going to have to share with the neighbours, but this bodes well with me!!