When I was a child I hated carrot cake. The mere thought of vegetables in my cake was enough to make me violently shake my head no when someone asked if I would like a piece. Where was the chocolate cake with the chocolate frosting?! Boy was I missing out! I wish I could go back and tell myself to try a piece when it was served at grandma’s birthday every year. Think of all the cake I missed out on! Well, now I fully understand the appeal of carrot cake and even welcome vegetables into my baked goods (zucchini bread is another delicacy that I should’ve tried much sooner than I did). I’ve whipped up some carrot cake cupcakes just in time for Easter, and they’re too delicious and adorable not to post on the blog.
These cupcakes are incredibly, and I’m sorry for using this word, moist. When they come out of the oven they almost don’t look done, as the tops are quite shiny and a bit wet. Don’t worry though, the middle is definitely cooked all the way through! If you’re using large carrots then a grater would work best to get the carrots to the consistency they need to be. However, I used baby carrots and found that a grater would not cut it (pun intended). I then pulled out my vegetable peeler…which also didn’t work! Finally, I asked my mom to show me how to use her fancy new food processor and alas, I had finely shredded carrots.
While I made mini cupcakes, you could easily make regular sized cupcakes. Simply adjust the cooking time and you’ll be good to go. Something about mini cupcakes just appealed to me. Probably because I can eat five and still feel that that’s better than eating one full sized cupcake. The frosting on these little guys is infused with carrot cake tea, and oh my gosh it’s amazing. Bluebird Tea Co. has just released their Easter collection, and the carrot cake tea is to die for. I simply melted down the butter, let the tea steep for 8-10 minutes, and then strained the butter. Remember to let the butter resolidify before using it or the frosting will be too thin.
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 5 TBSP unsalted butter
- 4 tsp. Bluebird Tea Co. Carrot Cake tea
- 1 cup brown sugar, light or dark make sure it’s really fresh
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar plus more if needed
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your cupcake tins and set aside
Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- Grate carrots. Set aside.
- Chop walnuts (if using). Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat oil, applesauce, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined. Add dry ingredients and beat until combined. Fold in carrots and nuts.
Divide batter evenly among the cupcake liners. Bake 12-13 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. The tops will appear to be wet and look a little underdone. That’s okay! Remember to adjust your time if you’re baking regular sized cupcakes
Melt the butter over low heat before adding the tea directly to the butter. Take off the heat and allow to steep 8-10 minutes.
- Strain the tea out of the butter.
- Place the butter in the fridge to solidify.
- Once the butter is hard again place all frosting ingredients into a bowl and beat until thoroughly combined.
Use a piping bag to pipe the frosting onto your cupcakes.