Carrot Cake Cupcakes

These cupcakes are so yummy, and the cream cheese frosting makes them even more irresistable!

This is the "Best-Ever Carrot Cake" recipe, a "Best Loved" recipe, from the Better Homes and Garden "New Cook Book" 12th Edition we received as a wedding gift. This recipe was adapted to make cupcakes. Click here for the newest edition of this cookbook.

Prep takes 45-60 minutes (including frosting)
Bake for 20-25 minutes
Cool for about 2 hours
Makes 24 cupcakes
Oven: 350°F

Ingredients:

  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3 cups finely shredded or finely chopped carrots (lightly packed) *See step 4

  • 3/4 cup cooking oil

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional and toast if desired)

  • Cream Cheese Frosting

  • cupcake liners

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 5-3/4 to 6-1/4 cups powdered sugar

 

Directions

  1. Set the eggs out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Also, make sure you have the cream cheese and butter out to soften it for the frosting, but you don't want the cream cheese sitting out for longer than two hours (or one hour if above 90°F) according to the FDA ;)
  2. In the meantime, use two 12-cup cupcake pans and line with cupcake liners; set pans aside, and preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon (optional), and baking soda.
  4. If using whole carrots, finely chop or shred them. We now use a food processor to finely chop the carrots, which was much faster and easier than shredding them, just make sure not to process them too much. I have to be honest that it took me a long time to shred them the first time I made this recipe instead of using the food processor. So I personally would not suggest shredding them because of the time it took me. *The carrots need to be finely chopped or shredded, or they may sink to the bottom of the pan during baking.
  5. In a medium sized bowl combine beaten eggs, carrots, and oil. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, filling each cup about half way full (try to have the batter fairly evenly divided between all the cups).
  7. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. While they are baking, I like to cleanup what I can during this time and start prepping for making the frosting. You will need another bowl (in case you need to clean one that you just used). I like to use a large bowl for the frosting, for the higher walls, to make mixing easier.
  8. Cool your cupcakes in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. I left mine in the pans afterwards to cool completely for a couple hours (because I was going to be transporting them), or you can remove the cupcakes from the pans to finish cooling them on the wire racks.
  9. While the cupcakes are cooling, time to make the Cream Cheese Frosting! With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add in 2 cups of powdered sugar while beating well. Continue to gradually add additional powdered sugar until the frosting reaches the desired spreading consistency. Depending on how much longer the cupcakes need to cool or when you will be frosting your cupcakes, you would want to put the frosting in the fridge until you're ready to frost because of the cream cheese.
  10. Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, frost the cupcake tops. I used a decorating tip to frost them and had a funny adventure with that. Also, if you use a decorating tip, you may want the let the frosting sit out for just a little while to warm up a little if it has been sitting in the fridge. Otherwise, it is quite firm and harder to squeeze out for piping and fatigues your hand more.
  11. If desired, sprinkle chopped pecans over frosting. Cover and store cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
 

So, the funny adventure I had with frosting the cupcakes is that I actually ended up frosting them in the car! I tell you all about it in "Bad" Cupcakes. These cupcakes were made for an Easter treat! Everyone loved them! Just don't forget to refrigerate any leftovers, and we let others know that as well ;)

If you are interested in the cake version of this recipe, you can look here: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/layer-cakes/best-loved-carrot-cake/ However, PLEASE NOTE that this Better Homes and Garden recipe link must be an updated version of the recipe from my 12th Edition Book, because there are a few differences. Unlike the recipe in the link, our cookbook recipe does not include salt; says to use two 9x1-1/2 inch round cake pans; says to grease and flour the pans and does not say to use waxed paper; and says to bake for 30 to 35 minutes (or until a wooden toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean). Whether you choose to make cupcakes or cake, ENJOY!