Monday, July 16, 2012

The Best Carrot Cake (Cupcakes)

I was eating dinner at work the other night, trying to re-energize. The only thing my meal was missing was dessert, but I didn't have any money. It just so happened that a coworker of mine was going on an ice cream run. He kindly bought be some and I told him I'd bake him something tasty in return. When I asked him what his favorite thing was, he said it was carrot cake, & I shouldn't bother because his grandma makes it best...challenge accepted.


The Best Carrot Cake (Cupcakes)

Makes 24 cupcakes

Adapted From: Carrot Cake Supreme


For the Cake

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3/4 of a cup of canola oil
  • 3/4 of a cup of buttermilk 
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of finely grated carrots, packed (about 5 large carrots)
  • 1 heaping cup (about 10oz) of chopped pecans
DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat the oven to 350°
  • Line 2 cupcake pans with jumbo foil cupcake liners (they need to be foil--you'll see why later)
  • Grate the carrots finely (you can buy the pre-shredded ones, but I don't like them because the chunks are too big) When measuring the carrots, pack them in the cup


  • In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt


  • In a large bowl, or the bowl of stand mixer, mix together the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk & vanilla until combined



  • Add the flour mixture while beating at a low speed. Mix until smooth (don't over mix!)

  • Fold in the carrots & pecans until mixed throughout 




  • Pour into the cupcake liners, and fill about half full (since I used the jumbo liners, it made exactly 24 cupcakes with 1/4 of a cup of batter in each one)


  • Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pans to opposite sides of the oven
  • Bake for 5 more minutes
  • Rotate the pans again, only keep them in their place, & just turn them 180°
  • Bake for 3-5 more minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean
  • Prepare the buttermilk glaze while the cupcakes are baking
  • Immediately after the cupcakes come out of the oven, carefully spread the glaze on top of the cupcakes. I used my little food brush, but you can use a spoon to pour and spread. Let it soak in, and repeat 2 more times
Before Buttermilk Glaze

After Buttermilk Glaze

  • Let the cupcakes cool completely--if you don't wait until they are cooled, they will melt the icing
  • Ice and enjoy!

Buttermilk Glaze
(I only used half for the cupcakes, but I use all of it when I make it as a cake)

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 of a cup of butter
  • 1/2 of cup of buttermilk
DIRECTIONS
  • In a large pot (much larger than you think you need) combine all of the ingredients
  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often until the mixture is golden brown (about 5 minutes)
  • Once it is golden brown, turn off the heat & keep whisking
Before it starts cooking
Starts to boil

Starts to turn golden brown & get really fluffy (this is why you need such a big pot)

Golden brown--so turn off the heat & keep whisking

This is how it looks once it cools a little

Cream Cheese Icing

INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 of a cup of butter, softened
  • 12oz of cream cheese, softened (I usually buy 2 of the packages and have a little leftover)
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar (don't level them)
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS
  • Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl--to make it super fine

  • Beat the butter & cream cheese at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Set aside


  • Add in the powdered sugar & vanilla

  • Beat at a high speed until light and fluffy (a few minutes)




These need to be kept in the fridge because the cream cheese in the icing will spoil. Enjoy!






Approximate Nutrition Information for 1 cupcake

These aren't good for your figure, but they're good for your soul...indulge!


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