Monday, June 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Carrot Cupcakes for my Dad

June 12 is a special day in our's like a Father's Day warm-up.  It's Dad's birthday!  Nothing says June like searching for the perfect pair of "miracle socks" (aka polypropelene/COTTON FREE/hiking friendly), packet of Gu, or a classic Dad shirt.  You know, the kind you look at and say, "that is SO Dad." Bonus points from Dad if any of said items are made in the USA (note my festive cupcake liners just for him!)

This year I was in charge of making Dad the perfect dessert.  After some serious thought, I decided to do carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, AND one of Lindsay's famous Rhubarb Bakes.  My dad is definitely into the more healthy desserts, more fruity, less chocolatey, so I wanted to do something I knew he'd love.

I'm happy to report that both desserts were right on the money.  Look at this smile!!  I wonder if it has anything to do with the ridiculous cupcake toppers that I made just for him, hah!

In a fashion typical of my family, everyone had one or two cupcakes, one or two squares of rhubarb bake, AND we each had a scoop of ice cream- Brighams Coffee or Hood Moose Tracks were the two options Grammy decided to pull out of her freezer yesterday.  Don't worry, there were 3 others IN the freezer just in case. We are so unhealthy on birthdays and holidays.  But, I love it!

I used a carrot cupcake recipe from Smitten Kitchen and I *HIGHLY* recommend it.  The cake is incredibly soft and moist, and it's so easy to whip up!  I was a little nervous pre-bake, because the batter was very runny, but the result was a really decadent carrot cake.  Cream Cheese frosting recipe was from who else, Martha Stewart!

I have always avoided making carrot cake because I can't fathom the thought of turning these:

Into these:

However after some blog-hunting I learned that my second favorite kitchen appliance, my food processor, makes this a fast and easy job.  Recipes follow, happy baking!

Carrot Cupcakes adapted from a recipe by Smitten Kitchen
This made 36 smallish cupcakes


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated peeled carrots
  • You can also add 1 cup of walnuts and/or 1/2 cup of raisins if you'd like.  I left these out.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line 24 cupcake molds with papers
  • Blend flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a medium bowl
  • In a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, mix together sugar and oil until well blended
  • Whisk in eggs 1 at a time, mixing well between each egg
  • Add flour mixture and stir until blended
  • Stir in carrots (and raisins/nuts if you're using them)
  • Bake cupcakes 14-18 minutes.  Smitten recommended leaving the cuppies in the pan for 5 minutes before putting them on a cooling rack and this worked well for me.
  • Let cool completely before frosting- you don't want melty cream cheese frosting!

Cream Cheese Frosting adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes 2 cups (I needed to make 2 batches of this to generously frost all of my cupcakes)

  • 8 oz. cream cheese brick, room temperature
  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 1-2 cups confectioners sugar (start with one, add more to make it the consistency you want)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • Put cream cheese and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until smooth
  • Add in confectioners sugar, a little bit at a time until you reach your desired consistency
  • Add in vanilla extract, beat well, frost cupcakes and enjoy!

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