I think I’ve mentioned somewhere on here before that my kids each get multiple birthday parties. It is a function of both growing older (and having kid parties) and having out of town families which are difficult to coordinate. So I stopped trying, and instead have 1 party for each side of the family and then also one with kids. Anyway, although Sammy’s birthday is the 20th, we had her party for my family 2 Saturdays ago, before my dad left on his annual hunting trip and during an out of town away game for my brother (who coaches college football), so his wife and their kids were free to come. The point being, these carrot cupcakes are birthday dessert number 1 for Sammy–because let’s face it with 3 parties plus an actual birthday, the most important question is what is for dessert on each of those occasions?
Sammy requested carrot cupcakes–I am not sure where she got the notion, but she became obsessed with it. Which was nice, because I used to feel guilty for foisting more autumnal desserts on her when Alex got chocolate and/or lemon in June. Sprinkles are a Shaky Handed Mom’s dream come true, because every kid loves them and you don’t need steady decorating hands to use them. (My niece’s birthday is also in the fall and we just went to her party, where her mom had made a beautiful pink princess cake–someday I am going to get her to come and decorate my kids’ cakes!) With Halloween just around the corner, we went for Halloween colored sprinkles–but you might also see dinosaurs and football helmets mixed in there.
The frosting is Rose Levy Berambaum’s White Chocolate Creamy Dreamy Frosting, which has definitely become my go-to cream cheese frosting. It is so much less sweet and so much more, well, creamy. I used a combination of Guittard and Green & Black’s white chocolate–the most important thing is that it have real cocoa butter in the ingredients. I was tempted by Beranbaum’s carrot cake recipe as well, but instead I went with my tried and true America’s Test Kitchen recipe from Baking Illustrated. The recipe is for a 9 X 13 sheet cake, so it makes a lot of cupcakes. I like it because, as promised in the recipe, the cake is never bottom heavy or soggy, because you mix the batter by emulsifying the oil into the eggs in a food processor.
- 12.5 oz (2½ cups) AP flour
- 1¼ t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- 1½ t Vietnamese cinnamon
- ½ t freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ t ground cloves
- ½ t salt
- 1 lb grated carrots
- 1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed (3/5 oz) light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups vegetable oil (neutral tasting; I used regular olive oil)
- Double recipe of white chocolate creamy dreamy frosting
- Preheat the oven at 350 F with oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line the muffin cups with liners and lightly spray (I used 24 muffin cups plus a tray of mini muffins to use up the extra batter, to give you an idea of amount).
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Toss in the grated carrots. Set aside.
- Dump the sugars and the eggs into a food processor and process until frothy and well combined, about 20 seconds. With the processor still running, add the oil in a slow but steady stream in the feed tube. Continue processing until the mixture has lightened in color and is well emulsified, about 20 additional seconds. Scrape this mixture into a large bowl and then stir the carrots and flour into it until there are no more visible streaks of flour. Divide the batter between 3 muffin pans (36 wells), filling the extra wells with water. You will have to wait to bake one tray of cakes until the other 2 have finished.
- Bake 2 trays of cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Bake the third tray after moving the top rack back to the center of the oven.
- Let each finished tray cool for 5 minutes, and then dump the cupcakes out onto a cooling rack. When they are cool, frost them with the white chocolate frosting.
Affiliate links were used to link to items I am discussing.