Monday, January 14, 2013

These Cupcakes Need a Disclaimer

I am not a fan of a disclaimer on principle. However, I want to preface this baking session but stating for the record that historically, I despise a Carrot Cake Cupcake. They are simply just not sweet enough for my sweetly-sweet tooth cravings, especially when paired with the requisite Cream Cheese Frosting. Why, then, you may ask dear readers, did I arise at 6am and bake Carrot Cake Cupcakes this morning? I was coerced. Total peer pressure all the way. My lovely co-workers at the doggie daycare where I work (Kirkwood Bark and Lounge - check them out if you live in Atlanta, they rock!!!! begged and pleaded for Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting to be served at our monthly staff meeting tonight, and I gave in!!!!

Behold, my very happy puppy also begging, for she adores nothing more than carrots for a treat. I may have allowed a few carrot pieces to fall to the floor. Quite so.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

 For The Cupcakes:
            1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
            1 teaspoon baking powder
            1/2 teaspoon baking soda
            3/4 teaspoon salt
            1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
            1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
            1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (I cheated and used ground nutmeg)
            3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
            1 cup packed light-brown sugar
            1 large egg
            2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt (I used Vanilla Greek Yogurt)
            1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
            1 1/2 cups grated carrots (from about 4 medium carrots) (takes forever+a day to grate these babies, so prep early!)
For The Frosting:
            1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
            1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
            1 cup confectioners' sugar
            1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
            1 teaspoon grated orange zest (I cheated and used Pure Orange Extract)

                                                        Even the prep looks so pretty - all that bright orange!!!!!!     
.                 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
.                 In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; set aside.
.                 In another large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir in carrots. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture mixing until well combined. Divide among muffin tin. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
.                 Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. To frost: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and confectioners' sugar until smooth; beat in vanilla and orange zest. Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons of frosting and spread to cover.

Now it is time for the disclaimer - even with all of the cheating that 
commenced in my kitchen this morning (or maybe because of!!!) 
These Cupcakes are actually QUITE DELICIOUS!!!! I won't go so far as 
to say I love Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, but I 
actually did enjoy one :-) And that orange zing in the frosting??!! Lip-licking 

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