Thursday, May 14, 2009

Carrot Cupcakes: Getting old (not older, just plain OLD)

Recently daughter #1 has become quite obsessed with age. It probably is directly tied with the fact that she is about to turn 5 years old, but this obsession has turned into the continual question about my own age.

Daughter #1: How old are you mom?
Me: (sigh) I am 37.
Daughter #1: Is that a lot more than 5?
Me: (bigger sigh) It's a lot more than 5 honey.
Daughter #1: You are OLD then mom.
Me: (lying on the floor) I know, I am old honey.
(Repeat exact same conversation 1 hour later.)

These cupcakes didn't do a lot for my self-esteem about my age either. Because I realized, while making them, that the last time I attempted a carrot cake was over 13 years ago. I made it as a cake back then, as the whole cupcake craze hadn't really hit and blasted through the world...yet. But in light of all my other cupcake pursuits, I thought it fitting for me to adapt this one to a cupcake.

I'd like to point out one particular advantages to this particular carrot cake recipe - you do NOT NEED TO GRATE CARROTS! If you look at most other carrot cake recipes, it requires you to "FINELY GRATE" 9 carrots - WOW! The finer the grate, the more tender the cake. This recipe asks you to create a carrot puree, yes an extra step, but one that is infinitely easier than actually grating a bunch of carrots. A carrot puree can simply be made by boiling some carrots and processing them. For this cupcake, I've fiddled with the proportions of carrots and pineapple and also threw in some raisins and ginger. The cake is tender, moist and delicious - a definite winner. It's so good, it almost makes me forget how I old I've become.


Carrot Cupcakes (adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins)
Makes 18

1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cups corn oil (or canola or some other vegetable oil)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup shelled walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 cup pureed cooked carrots (1 lb of peeled chopped, cooked carrots yields about this much - see preparation notes below)
3/4 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple
1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with liners.
2. Sift dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger) into a bowl. Add oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat well.

3. Fold in walnuts (optional), coconut, carrots, pineapple, and raisins.
4. Scoop batter into prepared liners. Set on middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.
5. Cool on a cake rack. When fully cooled, ice with cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Puree (this is just the way I make it when I make baby food for my kids.)

1 lb peeled carrots, cut into a one inch pieces.

Place carrots in a heavy pot with enough water to cover. Cook until tender about 25-30 minutes. (a chopstick should easily go through the center of a piece.) Drain excess cooking liquid. With an immersion blender, puree, or put into a blender and puree. Voila! Baby food or carrot puree for cake!
Cream Cheese Frosting (enough for 18 cupcakes)

6 ounces of cream cheese frosting, room temperature (3/4 of your standard 8 oz block)
6 tablespoons of sweet butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you have vanilla bean, you can substitute a whole scraped vanilla bean in lieu of the vanilla extract - then also add a teaspoon of whole milk.)

1. Cream together cream cheese and butter with a mixer. Slowly mix in confectioners sugar. Continue to beat on low speed, slowly until all the ingredients have come together. Do not be tempted to beat on high speed -this adds too much air; rather beat on low speed for a longer time for a truly creamy frosting.


























Where I get my vanilla beans - better price than you can find elsewhere



7 comments:

Joy the Baker said...

Two things: Please don't, for one minute, think that you're old. You're not... at all.
Also, a carrot puree sounds really great in cupcakes! I love the idea!

Ozge said...

I've been meaning to learn carrot cake for a long time now, and your recipe is just the perfect one. I'm not good at following recipes, but somehow this one has a friendly touch. Thank you! I see you're a fellow Foodbuzz foodie also, but we never met... Going to your page now!

chocolatecup said...

mymy! talk about how i hate grating anything! i never tried making carrot cupcakes before cos i kinda dont like carrots but i really wanna give them a try and this recipe looks soooo inviting:)

Snooky doodle said...

Please don t tell me you re old at 37 Im 30 and already feeling old :( These cupcakes look so good,.Interesting you use puree not grated carrots. Have to try it :)I just posted a carrot cake recipe which i really like. Take a look at my blog if you wish.

Julie Redman said...

made them today, really yummy! thanks!

www.publicidad.org.es said...

Oh my god, there's a lot of worthwhile info here!

Nora said...

I am a HUGE carrot cake fan! Cannot wait to try this recipe. Hope mine turn out as pretty as yours, as I would like to share them with the ladies at bible study. I love that you added the nuts, pineapple, and coconut. come by and visit my web page at FASD.com

Labels

allergy friendly (8) almonds (7) appetizer (27) appetizers (4) apple (3) apples (1) apricots (3) artichoke (3) arugula (7) asian (7) asparagus (6) avocado (4) baby broccoli (1) bacon (5) baked (3) baking (8) balsamic (1) banana (11) bananas (2) banchan (3) bar cookies (7) basil (3) bbq (7) bean sprouts (2) beans (4) beef (12) bell peppers (2) berries (1) birthdays (5) biscuits (1) blackberries (2) blueberry (10) bok choy (2) braise (4) braising (1) bread (6) breakfast (24) brie (2) broccoli (4) brunch (2) brussel sprouts (1) bundt (12) bundt cake (15) burgers (2) buttermilk (1) cabbage (4) cake (15) cantaloupe (1) caramel (9) caramelized onions (1) cardamom (2) carrot (4) casserole (1) chai (2) cheese (16) chicken (32) chicken breasts (1) chicken thighs (3) chigae (1) chip (1) chocolate (24) chocolate chips (5) Christmas (1) cilantro (3) cinnamon (4) clams (1) coconut (6) coconut milk (5) coffee (4) cold (1) college (1) comfort food (1) cookie (2) cookies (16) corn (6) corn-free (2) cornbread (2) couscous (3) crab (1) cranberry (6) cream (5) cream cheese frosting (11) crisp (2) crostini (4) cucumber (2) cupcakes (20) curry (8) custard (1) dairy free (28) dairy-free (12) delicious (1) dessert (39) dinner (9) dip (2) donations (1) dressing (1) easy breakfast (9) easy dessert (11) easy lunch (7) easy main course (42) easy side dish (42) edamame (1) egg (6) egg free (14) egg-free (10) eggs (3) entertaining (1) event (1) fall (1) family (1) feta (3) figs (1) financier (1) fish (5) food as gifts (15) food for schools (1) french fries (1) fried (3) fried rice (3) frozen yogurt (1) fruit mosaic (7) fundraising (1) fusion (9) ganache (1) garlic (6) gelato (1) gift ideas (3) gift packaging (3) giveaway (8) gluten free (16) gluten-free (8) granola (3) grapefruit (1) Greek (3) green beans (7) green onion (1) green tea (2) Group (1) Haiti (1) halloween (1) ham (3) healthy eating (9) healthy snacks (7) holidays (34) honey (3) honeydew (1) hot (2) ice cream (3) indian (3) jalapeno (1) juices (1) kale (8) kids (3) kimchee (6) kimchi (6) korean (48) lasagna (1) lemon (12) lemongrass (2) lobster (1) lunch (7) lunch box (4) main course (5) main dish (9) make ahead (6) make-ahead (2) mango (1) marinade (7) marshmallow (1) Marx Foods (1) matcha (1) meatballs (1) meatloaf (2) meet (1) menopause fighter (6) menu (3) menu ideas (8) mexican (2) mochi (1) muffins (12) mushrooms (2) mussels (1) nectarine (1) non spicy (9) noodles (5) nut free (3) nuts (2) oatmeal (9) oats (3) orange (1) ornaments (1) orzo (1) oven cooking (16) paella (1) pan cake (3) pancetta (4) pandamania (1) parfait (1) party planning (15) pasta (24) pasta salad (6) peach (3) pears (2) pecans (3) pepitas (1) pickles (3) pie (4) pineapple (2) pizza dough (4) polenta (3) poll (1) pops (1) pork (6) pork chops (1) potatoes (7) pretzels (2) Project Food Blog (1) prosciutto (4) puff pastry (1) pumpin (1) pumpkin (10) quinoa (3) radishes (2) raisin (1) raspberry (3) review (1) ribs (2) rice (5) rice cake (3) rice crispies (6) ricotta cheese (2) roast chicken (3) roasted (3) rum (1) salad (21) salami (2) salmon (3) sandwich (10) sauce (3) sausage (12) savory (1) sea salt (2) seafood (2) seaweed (1) sesame (2) shawarma (1) shortbread (2) shrimp (2) side dish (19) simple (6) smoothie (1) sorbet (2) soup (15) soy free (3) soy sauce (2) soy-free (1) spice rub (1) spicy (11) spinach (5) squash (3) squid (1) steak (2) stew (3) stir fry (6) strawberry (6) stuffing (1) sugar free (2) sugar snap peas (2) summer dessert (7) sweet (1) sweet potatoes (4) taco (2) tart (1) tea (2) tea cake (1) teaching (1) tex-mex (2) thai (3) thank you (1) thanksgiving (12) Thomas Keller (1) toffee (5) tofu (12) tomato (11) tortilla (1) treetop treats (1) tuna (1) turkey (13) twice cooked (1) Vacation Bible School (2) vanilla bean (6) vegan (22) vegetables (19) vegetarian (36) velvet (1) vitamix (3) watermelon (1) wheat-free (4) white chocolate (1) wings (6) winter (1) yogurt (4) zucchini (1)