May 23, 2010

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Some people are true carrot cake devotees and while I'm not one of them, that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good carrot cake every now and then.  I made these cupcakes for my former roommate Helen's birthday a couple weeks ago (hey Helen!).  I say former roommate because she just moved out after getting a job in Lake Tahoe (!!) and let's just say I'm more than a little envious of her budding Northern California adventure. 

We had some people over to our place to celebrate her birthday and pawn her stuff off on.  And we had cupcakes and beer (keglet!) to entice people and lower there inhibitions about taking stuff they may or may not regret in the morning. 

Since I was making these cupcakes for people other than my whole-grain-loving self, I decided to make some healthy changes but not go all out.  I don't like disappointing a crowd and I don't want anyone to think I'm a crappy baker who makes cupcakes that taste like cinnamon flavored cardboard.  I very loosely adapted this recipe from a fondly remembered carrot cake sheet cake I made before I cared about "healthy modifications" and this recipe for carrot cake cupcakes from smitten kitchen

Some of the changes I made were to use half whole grain flour, substitute light coconut milk for part of the oil (I did this in my Revised Pumpkin Bread and had wonderful results), reduce the sugar and use less refined sugars.  Overall, I think they turned out really well though I probably could have used 3 eggs instead of 4 (I tried a piece hot out of the oven and it tasted slightly egg-y but once they were cooled and frosted that flavor was undetectable).  I was also a bit nervous about reducing the sugar from 2 cups to 1 1/3 but I think the sugar-high icing more than made up for that.  They were a crowd pleaser!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Ingredients

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/3 cups sugar [I used a mix of raw sugar and sucanat]
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
1/2 cup raisins [I used a mix of regular and golden]
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
1/2 cup oil [I used sunflower oil]
4 eggs (could probably use 3 eggs)
3 cups carrots, washed and shredded or grated (depending on how thick you want the pieces)

Preparation
Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line or butter and flour 24 muffin cups.

Mix the flours, sugar, baking soda, salt, spices, raisins and walnuts together in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, mix the coconut milk, oil, and eggs.  Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold in the grated carrots.  Mix until evenly combined. 

Pour in prepared pan and bake for about 15-18 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
This is a smaller version of the frosting recipe I used.  I ended up with WAY too much frosting so hopefully this will yield a more reasonable amount.
Ingredients

1 8oz package Neufchatel Cheese (reduced fat cream cheese)
4oz whipped cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
2 1/2- 3 cups powdered sugar (add until you get the desired consistency)

Preparation

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl or Cuisinart adding the confectioners sugar a cup or so at a time.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

1 comment:

Gillian said...

These look lovely!