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Author Notes: Chocolate was my favorite flavor of cake until the day I had carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I was a teenager, and it was love at first bite. My mother and I couldn't find a recipe for it anywhere, so we made one up. And here it is, with a few minor changes for cupcakes. For cupcakes, I use more finely shredded carrots, more finely chopped nuts, and tiny Zante currants instead of raisins. This is quite a light textured carrot cake, not at all heavy and dense as so many are.
—Jean | Delightful Repast
- 1 3/4 cups (8.75 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup organic canola oil
- 1 3/4 cups (10 ounces) finely shredded carrots
- 3/4 cup Zante currants
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound powdered sugar, unsifted
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 drops red food coloring, optional
- 2 drops yellow food coloring, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put 2½-inch paper bake cups in two standard muffin tins. In small bowl, whisk together flour*, soda, cinnamon and salt. In another small bowl, stir a tablespoon of flour mixture into chopped nuts and currants to coat and separate. *It is important to note that this is a packed measure of unsifted flour.
- In large bowl, beat eggs; beat in sugar, then oil. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in carrots, raisins and nuts.
- Using a 1/4-cup measure, fill the bake cups with a scant 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 24 minutes or until they are golden and test done with a toothpick.
- Immediately remove from pans and cool on wire rack for an hour. They must be thoroughly cool before frosting.
- In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and salt. Gradually add powdered sugar (no need to sift) and mix until thoroughly combined, adding milk and food coloring at the end. I usually oppose food coloring, but I like to give a slight peach tint to the frosting if there's going to be more than one kind of cupcake, just so I know which is the carrot. You may need to add a little more milk, a teaspoon at a time, for proper piping consistency. With a pastry bag fitted with a 2D (sometimes I use a 1M) tip, pipe frosting on cupcakes in a classic swirl.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Carrot Recipe
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