A moist, sweet and richly spiced cupcakes that will quickly become first on your tastiest-cakes list.
For the cake:
½ lb [225 g] carrots, peeled and finely grated
¼ cup [60 ml] crushed pineapple, drained of excess juice
2 large eggs
¾ cup [180 ml] sugar
1/3 cup [80 ml] brown sugar
½ cup [250 ml] oil
1 tsp [5 ml] vanilla extract
½ orange, zest only
1 cup + 2 tbsp [280 ml] all-purpose flour
¾ tsp [7.5 ml] baking powder
½ tsp [2.5 ml] baking soda
¼ tsp [1.25 ml] salt
½ tsp [2.5 ml] ground cinnamon
¼ tsp [1.25 ml] ground ginger
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
½ cup [125 ml] walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
½ cup [125 ml] raisins (or dried cranberries)
For the cream cheese frosting:
6 oz [170 g] cream cheese, softened
3 oz [85 g] unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups [375 ml] confectioners’ sugar
½ tsp [2.5 ml] vanilla extract
½ tsp [2.5 ml] lemon zest
½ tsp [2.5 ml] orange zest
Preheat oven to 350°F [175°C]. Prepare muffin tins with papers.
To mix the carrot cake: Before measuring the pineapple, press it through a strainer to get rid of the excess juice. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices with a whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Add the finely chopped carrots, pineapple, walnuts, and raisins.
Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool on a rack.
To make the cream cheese frosting: Cream together the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed (or use a hand mixer). Turn down the speed and add the sugar. Once the sugar is incorporated, add the salt, vanilla and zest.
Use a pastry bag or an icing spatula to decorate the cupcakes with the frosting. Decorate with thinly sliced carrots.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from Zoë François, Zoë BakesYum