Not Just Rabbit Food.

Even though this may be more appropriate for Easter which just passed, I wanted to use up all the carrots I had in the fridge. This compelled me to make carrot cupcakes, my post-Easter treat. I had bought a bundle of carrots at Sam’s Club last week, which was basically a pack of God knows how many for only 3-4 bucks. Thinking I’d probably use a lot of carrots for cooking here and there, I thought this was a practical purchase. I have really got to learn how to steer away from good deals and instead think about food waste and cost. I also should remind myself how I do not particularly like carrots, especially cooked ones. Yuck.

Despite my reservations about cooked carrots and carrots in general, I really enjoy carrot cake. Actually, I should rephrase that. What I really enjoy is a good cream cheese frosting on carrot cake. Let’s be honest here people, when it comes to carrot cake and most simple cakes in general, it is all about the frosting. Don’t lie, your favorite part is the top half of a cupcake too because that’s the part with all the good stuff and by that, I don’t mean good in a healthy sense.

Carrot Cupcake with Honey-Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 20-22 Cupcakes

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preparation:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.Line cupcake molds with paper, or butter and flour them.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend.
Separately, whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time.
Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them.
Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of each.
Bake cupcakes 14 to 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing them.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup of honey

Preparation:

In a blender beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy.
Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it is more firm to spread smoothly.
Use a frosting decorator or ziploc bag with a small hole for decorative icing.


Now, the original recipe called for a maple-cream cheese frosting, in which case you just substitute maple syrup for honey. However, I did not have maple syrup and instead, I had pure lehua honey. Now, we all know what honey is, but do we all know what lehua honey is? Lehua is the official flower of Big Island and this particular honey is common in Hawai’i. It gives the honey a subtle floral flavor since the honey is harvested from the blossoms of these flowers.

I think the Lehua honey makes the frosting even more irresistible. Try it! My roommate and co-workers couldn’t get enough!

2 comments

  1. monica

    I used to make carrot cookies a lot and it was just like carrots and milk. Honey cream cheese sounds uber delicious! I need to try this when I get back to Hawaii because I don’t really have a kitchen here T_T sniff sniff.
    We need to cook together sometime! 😀

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