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I have made hundreds of carrot cakes throughout the course of my career. There was a man in my hometown who loved carrot cake. And every time anybody in town had a life event – a death in the family, a new baby, coming home from the hospital after an illness – he called me, ordered a carrot cake, and had me deliver it to them. In the South, anytime there’s an event in somebody’s life, good or bad, we take (or sometimes send) food.
I decided I wanted to turn my carrot cake into cupcakes, but I also wanted to update it a bit. The first go round, I got a little heavy handed with the ginger. But I did make an excellent carrot/ginger cupcake! While they were really good, it just wasn’t exactly what I wanted. So…I cut back on the ginger a bit. Now I’m happy with it!
What is a carrot cake cupcake?
Carrot cake cupcakes are basically spice cake batter with carrots mixed in. Because carrots are naturally sweet, it allows you to cut back on the amount of sugar that would normally be used. The carrots don’t add much flavor to the cupcakes, but they do help keep them moist.
How do I make carrot cake cupcakes?
The secret to making a really good carrot cake cupcake is to grate the carrots with the smallest grater you own (the same size grater you would use for parmesan cheese). I’ve even seen people grind them in the food processor, even though I personally have never done it that way.
You’ll need 6 large carrots. It takes 2 large grated carrots to equal 1 cup. Mis en place with this recipe is as simple as it gets. The dry ingredients go in one bowl. The wet ingredients go in another. However, you don’t want to be grating the carrots after you have combined the wet and dry ingredients. Make sure that is the first thing you do.
Do I need to refrigerate carrot cake cupcakes?
Once they are frosted with cream cheese frosting, here is a general guide. If you are going to eat them in a couple of days, they should be fine left at room temperature. There are obvious exceptions to this. If it’s the middle of summer and your air conditioner broke down, refrigerate them. If you think it’ll take longer than a couple of days to eat (or share) them all, refrigerate them.
Can I freeze carrot cake cupcakes?
Yes. They freeze really well. Even frosted! This is especially helpful if you are making them in advance or if you need to deliver them to another location.
Let us know what you think about this recipe in the comments section below! Tag us on Instagram @msdeltahospitality or on Facebook at Mississippi Delta Hospitality.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add cupcake liners to pan, or spray with cooking spray.
- Sift dry ingredients together.
- Combine eggs and oil.
- Add to dry ingredients.
- Stir until thoroughly mixed. Do not over beat.
- Fold in carrots.
- Using a large cookie scoop, place batter into prepared pans.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add vanilla.
- Stir in powdered sugar.
- Beat until smooth and creamy.
- After frosting cupcakes, garnish with chopped pecans, if desired.
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Serving Size:1 cupcake
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 384 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 53mg Sodium: 172mg Carbohydrates: 40g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 31g Protein: 3g