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Saturday
Apr302011

carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

I've been craving carrot cake. Specifically, Dorie Greenspan's carrot cake.

Studded with plump raisins, coconut and walnuts, this moist cupcake is definitely Dorie-ish -- her chunkied-up twist on the traditional carrot cake.

We were a little worried about the presence of coconut in the mix. I love coconut. He loves coconut.

But still...it's carrot cake.

However, it's just the right amount. It adds a flavor dimension to the cake that supports the carrot, gives it a boost...loves it a little. 

It's also an oil cake. Oil cakes are naturally awesome and, as far as I can tell, foolproof.

They come out smelling like a cross between cupcakes and donuts.

The edges are just the tiniest bit crisped, too, like the best deep-fried donut.

The rest of the cinnamony carrot cake is so moist and chock-full of stuff it's surprising the cupcakes hold their shape.

The frosting is a 1:1 ratio of butter to cream cheese (ah, my math skills suck...it's actually 1:2 situation :)), and then a whole lot of confectioners' sugar.

It's the perfect sweet, creamy, lickable topper to the cake.

Bill's Big Carrot Cake

adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours 

makes 12 to 14 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup moist, plump raisins (see note)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature

For frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line one or two cupcake pans with paper liners. Place each cupcake pan on top of a cookie sheet.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, stir together coconut, walnuts, raisins and carrots.

In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the oil and sugar until well-combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low, beat in the flour mixture until it just starts to disappear into wet mixture. Stir in coconut mixture until just combined. Do not overmix.

Fill each cupcake paper liner about 3/4 full.  Bake for about 25 to 27 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center of a cupcake comes out with only a few crumbs attached.

Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then carefully remove and cool completely on cooling racks.

To make frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. With mixer on low, slowly add sifted sugar. Beat until creamy.

Note: If the raisins are dried out (like mine were), combine them with about a tablespoon of water in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds. They should plump right up. Drain water from bowl before using raisins.

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