Monday, September 6, 2010

Carrot Cake Birthday Cupcakes

Every year on Courtland's birthday, his one request is that I bake him Carrot Cake.  I've tried low-fat and bundt cake varieties in the past.  This year, in the spirit of the cupcake craze, I decided to bake cupcakes. This recipe is an adaptation  from Ina Garten's cookbook, "Barefoot Contessa Parties!"  I followed most of the recipe;  however, I substituted canola oil for vegetable oil, used less powdered sugar in the frosting, and toasted coconut instead of sauteing carrots for the topping.  I also adjusted the baking temperature and time.  There was plenty of leftover frosting. . .a bonus for the kiddo to top on graham crackers.  This recipe makes 22 cupcakes, so invite a few friends and family over to enjoy them with you.  Or have 2. . .I just might have done so:)

I know. . .he's almost 4 and probably shouldn't be using a knife by himself. . .but he's got skills.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups oil (I used canola)
3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 Tbsp.
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1 lb. grated carrots (2 1/2 cups)
1 cup raisins (I used golden)
1 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 lb. ( 12 oz.) cream cheese (light) at room temp
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sieved

1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line muffin pans with paper. 
Beat sugar, oil, and eggs in a bowl with a mixer until it turns yellow. Add vanilla extract. 
In another bowl, sift 2 cups flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.   Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Toss carrots, raisins, and walnuts with the 1 Tbsp. flour.  Add to the mixture and mix well. 
Scoop the mixture into the muffin cups until almost full.  Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a bowl until just combined.  Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

For the topping,  melt butter in saute pan and add coconut.  Saute coconut until lightly browned.

When the cupcakes are cool, frost generously and garnish with coconut topping.

Time for candles!