Honey Butter Carrot Cake

March 7, 2015

Author Notes: Honey and carrots are a great pair. Throw some butter in and you've got something spectacular. Add cake and cream cheese frosting to the equation, and it would be, well, whatever the word for better than spectacular is. Dreamy?

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake. Have you made this cake? It's one of my favorite Dorie Greenspan things ever. Did you know I met her once? She gives the best hugs.
mrslarkin

Makes: 20 - 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

FOR THE CUPCAKES

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (4 ounces, or 8 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup runny mild honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 large egg whites (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/8 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup dried currants (plumped if super dry in some hot water, then drained well. Pat dry with paper towels.)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Frosting and Candied Walnuts

  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (4 ounces, or 8 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons mild runny honey
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar for the candied walnuts
  • 1/8 cup mild runny honey for the candied walnuts
  • 1/8 cup water for the candied walnuts
  • 24 walnut halves
In This Recipe

Directions

FOR THE CUPCAKES

  1. Set oven rack to middle. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin tins with liners. Lightly spray top of pan and liners with cooking spray.
  2. In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter, sugar and honey for a few minutes until creamy.
  3. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Set aside. Whisk together egg whites, buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. Beginning with buttermilk mixture, pour in 1/3 and mix well. Add 1/3 flour mixture. Repeat two more times, ending with flour mixture. Stir in nuts and currants and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape bowl with a spatula to get any floury bits mixed in.
  5. Spoon evenly into muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes, or until deep golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Cool pans completely on cooling racks. At this point, cupcakes can be frozen. Defrost before frosting and serving.

Frosting and Candied Walnuts

  1. FOR THE FROSTING: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, butter, honey and salt on medium-high speed. Add the confectioner's sugar and beat on medium-low speed until smooth.
  2. FOR THE CANDIED WALNUTS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, water, and honey to boiling for a few minutes. Mixture will darken slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the walnut halves.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove the nuts to the sheet pan and separate each piece. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool, but occasionally move the walnuts around. They will firm up pretty fast.
  5. Frost and top each cupcake with a walnut half.

More Great Recipes:
Carrot Cake|American|Butter|Cream Cheese|Currant|Honey|Walnut|Buttermilk|Sheet Pan|Dessert

Reviews (7) Questions (0)

7 Reviews

EmilyC December 8, 2015
This sounds so good! My kids would love this -- I would love this -- not sure what I'm waiting for! Curious if you think this would work in sheet cake format? I haven't done the math to know what size pan would work...
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin December 8, 2015
I think it would work! I'd probably use a 9 x 13 pan. Or two 9" round, to make a layer cake!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin December 8, 2015
P.s. thank you!!! :)
 
drbabs March 12, 2015
Oh, I am so making this for my sister. She loves carrot cake. I think it's usually too one dimensional and oily. I'm betting this is amazing. Thanks, Scone Queen!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin March 12, 2015
You're welcome, drbabs!! I hate oily cakes, in general, so was very excited when this came out great! I'm guessing you can also bake in two 9" cake pans (greased and lined with parchment), for about 30 minutes, if you wanted to make one big cake. Haven't tried the one cake yet, but I will.
 
luvcookbooks March 8, 2015
Beautiful photos!
 
Author Comment
mrslarkin March 8, 2015
Thanks, Meg!