Carrot Cupcakes Posted by: | December 22, 2010
 

It’s back-to-back cupcake blogging this week, as I have been baking cupcakes for various occasions lately. I still think cupcakes are the best desserts for crowds as it is easy to distribute, not messy, and always cute to look at. This time, I made these adorable Carrot Cupcakes for my office to celebrate the end of my probation period at work. Yes, time flies, it’s already been 2 months working in Vietnam, and the fact I could bake things and bring to work, shows that I am fitting in just fine. And yes, it also means I have found my Vietnamese guinea pigs for my dessert creations! And I think they don’t mind :)

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Back to the Carrot Cupcakes. I’ve always wondered how a vegetable like carrots could go into a dessert, but apparently carrot cakes have been made since the Middle Ages, as carrots add a lot of taste and sweetness to cakes (carrots have more sugar than any other vegetable and hence often used as a natural sweetener back then). Coincidentally, my Mom came home one weekend from the local market with a bunch of fresh organic carrots that looked so fresh, so I decided to hijack them to make Carrot Cupcakes for the first time. My Mom is a health nut so the thought of using Carrots for a dessert was welcomed by her, even though she had no idea how it would taste like. And we were all pleasantly surprised by its taste and texture. The amazing thing is, you won’t taste the carrots at all, only a very rich & sweet taste with a solid, moist texture. It’s a nice change from the light, buttery cupcake batters we are used to. To prepare grated carrots and apples for this cupcake, please use a Food Processor. Don’t bother grating by hand unless you have endless time on your side. I <3 my Food Processor!

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Carrot Cupcakes (adapted from joyofbaking.com)

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INGREDIENTS (makes 20 cupcakes)

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Cupcake:

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  • 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) corn/canola oil
  • 2 cups (210g) finely grated raw carrots
  • 1 cup grated apple (from about 2 large apples)
  • 1/2 cup (55g) walnest, coarsly chopped
  • 1 cup (100g) raisins
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Frosting:

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  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 227g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 – 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

*Note: Cream Cheese, Icing Sugar and Pure Vanilla Extract is available at Lien Hoa shop (Phung Hung street, Hanoi)

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METHOD

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1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C or 350 deg F. Grate the carrots and apples in a food processor. Coarsely chop the walnuts.

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2. In a big bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. In another large mixing bowl, use a stand mixer or electric mixer to whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar until slightly thickened. Fold in the dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the egg mixture until fully incorporated (see picture below).

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3. Using a spatula, fold in the grated carrots, apples, raisins and chopped walnuts into the batter. Divide the batter equally into a muffin pan. This batter makes about 20 cupcakes so you will need more than 1 pan. I had to use a 12-pc muffin pan and packed the balance into 8 silicon lined cupcake cups. Remember to fill only up to 2/3 cup, as the batter will rise a lot during baking. As you can see, I filled mine up to the rim and ended up with ultra high-rising cupcakes which I had to shave off slightly to have a flat surface for frosting. Greedy me :P. Bake for about 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out dry.

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4. Remove the cupcakes and let cool completely on a wire rack. Using a piping bag, pipe out the frosting on top (as I did) or use a knife/spatula to spread the frosting out on top. To make the frosting, in a bowl, mix the butter with creme cheese using a stand mixer (with paddle attachment) until smooth, then gradually add the icing sugar until fully incorporated.

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Alright… it’s only 9:41pm now and my I’m already dozing on and off… the cold weather in Hanoi somehow makes me lethargic all the time! I sleep sooo early every night and still don’t seem to feel fresh in the morning. Argh. Hate that feeling. Anyway, gonna head to bed soon. Only 2 more days until Christmas! Can’t wait to roast chicken on Christmas Eve for my parents :)

 

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