To Die for Recipe: Carrot Cake Cupcakes

 

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Carrot cake gets a bum rap. Too many spongy, soggy, greasy, fibrous concoctions have ruined the reputation of what should be a light, bright, and delicately wholesome dessert. Until now. Who knew that a single batch of cupcakes could restore my faith in such a tarnished treat?

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But seriously. These are awesome. There are no raisins to gum them up, no pineapple to muddy the waters. Just a fluffy spice cake flecked with sweet grated carrot and studded with walnuts. Lemon and orange zests add a subtle note of citrus, and of course a generous swirl of cream cheese frosting mellows the scene. Bake these cupcakes and join me in my crusade to raise carrot cake to the auspicious heights it so deserves!

Carrot Cupcakes
Recipe courtesy of How to Be a Domestic Goddess

1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
zest of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
2 medium carrots, finely grated (I used my indispensable Microplane)
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with baking papers. With a hand or stand mixer blend brown sugar and oil, then whip in eggs until a smooth, emulsified liquid results. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and zests. It will be dry at this point, but add the carrot and you will see how the liquid in the carrot moistens things up nicely. Mix in walnuts and distribute batter evenly into muffin tin. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar (I increased to 1 1/3 cup so that it would be stiff enough to pipe)
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Whip up ingredients until fluffy and lump-free. Ice by hand or with an icing bag—I find it easiest to shove the frosting into a Ziploc bag and then cut off the tip. And don't skimp! Carrot cake is depending on you!

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12 Responses to “To Die for Recipe: Carrot Cake Cupcakes”

  1. Courtney Says:

    These sound so good! And no raisins? Right up my alley.

  2. Chris Says:

    Wow, these sound a-MAZE-ing! I can already feel my waistline expanding, LOL! Thanks for yet another fabulous recipe!

  3. jora Says:

    This sounds like a great recipe! And I totally want to be Nigella when I grow up. 🙂

  4. Betsy Says:

    Don’t you love the Domestic Goddess book? Have you tried the molten chocolate babycakes? They are, quite possibly, the most delicious thing on earth! And pretty easy to make! Oooh, I guess I know what I am doing tonight!

  5. Rachel Says:

    I love carrot cake, even when it’s bad. These look absolutely perfect. And you’re right – not skimping on the cream cheese frosting is critical!

  6. The City Sage Says:

    Jora– It’s a good one for sure. And if you get to be Nigella, can I be your twin sister? How is it that she gets to be gorgeous AND a great cook! Even when I was in high school (oh, so long ago) all the guys thought she was a major babe…
    Betsy- Just saw the recipe for chocolate babycakes on your blog! I’m scheming about the perfect opportunity to make them…like, say, breakfast tomorrow?
    Rachel- I choose carrot cake over chocolate cake every time. Icing is key, and I even love it when they do a little carrot out of orange and green icing! Though I’m not sure what Nigella would think of that 🙂

  7. The City Sage Says:

    Courtney- Are you a raisin hater in general or just in carrot cake? I’m okay with them in some things, but when it comes to carrot cake I’m a purist for sure.
    Chris- The good news is, a great pair of shoes makes even the most expansive waistline look trim and slim! So start baking, and shopping 🙂

  8. The Pissed Off Bride Says:

    They look so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  9. Sara Says:

    Anne- I tried this recipe and they worked great!! My family loved them, keep up with the good recipes =)

  10. WendyB Says:

    I love carrot cake…now I am craving it.

  11. HerLyana Says:

    they look absolutely stunning!! if i may ask, u only use 1/2 cup of brown sugar? how was the sweetness?

  12. The City Sage Says:

    Hi HerLyana,
    Thanks for stopping by! These were just the right amount of sweetness I found…I think the 1/2 cup is enough not only because it’s a pretty small batch to begin with, but also because the carrots add a natural touch of sweetness as well. And of course there’s that icing 🙂
    Let me know if you make these how you like them! I’ve heard from a couple readers that they turn out quite nicely indeed…

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