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CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES

I wasn't a huge fan of carrot cake growing up, mainly because it was more carrot, raisins, nuts, and pineapple than cake. I would think, "where's the cake?" while staring at a heavily-textured formation of things that were not cake. I've since changed regarding fruits and nuts in baked goods...B U T these cupcakes are still in the way I would have appreciated as a child.


There is carrot, but the carrot is blitzed to fineness before getting stirred into the spiced batter. If you need raisins, nuts, pineapple, etc. in your carrot cake, by all means, add it. Otherwise, proceed with the recipe and everyone will love them (even kiddos).


Candied pecans are so fun pressed into the top of the cupcakes, plain pecans work well too, if you want to cut some sugar.

Notes: Oil is grape seed.


CARROT CAKE CUPCAKES

Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups processed carrots (about 4) 3 eggs at room temperature, 1 tbsp. rum, 1/2 cup neutral oil, 1 cup milk, 1 standard box white or yellow cake mix, 2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves. Frosting: 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1-2 tbsp. milk. 1/2 cup candied pecans.

Makes 24 cupcakes.


1. Preheat oven to 350*. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and spritz with cooking spray.

2. Process carrots in a food processor or chop finely. Stir in rum and set aside.

3. Combine eggs, oil and milk in a large bowl, whisk until smooth. Stir in cake mix, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until well combined. Fold in carrots.

4. Spoon batter into cupcake liners, to 2/3 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until just firm and lightly colored. Cool completely.

5. Make frosting: whip cream cheese with vanilla on medium-high speed until loosened and smooth. Add powdered sugar slowly, alternating with little dabs of milk, up to 2 tbsp. You want the frosting thick, but smooth (not overly wet).

6. Spoon frosting into a plastic baggie and snip one corner, or into a piping bag fitted with a tip. Frost cupcakes. Press in a few candied pecans on the top.


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