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Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spring is in the air! Okay, I know we’ve still got a ways but it’s been starting to warm up and did you know Easter is in March this year? So what does that mean for me?? Time to start making all things carrot cake, like these Carrot Cake Cookies, this Carrot Cake Cheesecake, a layered Carrot Cake (one of my all time favorite cakes), these Carrot Cake Bars, and why not some Carrot Cake Pancakes, and of course these perfectly fun and irresistible Carrot Cake Cupcakes! I’ve already shared this recipe before (2 years ago) but I just decided to update things and add a new spin on the decoration to them – because I’m just now realizing how amazing Marzipan is! It’s ready to go as in you don’t need to mix anything up, just tint it the color you’d like, it’s not made of nasty ingredients just almonds, sugar or honey and wheat starch and the taste reminds me of macarons. So these tiny little carrots are made out of Marzipan, a little food color, the faintest amount of cocoa powder and some fresh parsley. I also had to try the dill because it looks even more legit but I just couldn’t bring myself to put dill on top of a cupcake, so the parsley will do just fine :). Here is a video on how to make the shapes if you find the directions confusing – make smaller than listed in the video though, and dip the toothpick in cocoa before rolling over carrots. I hope you love these cupcakes as much and my family and I do! I’d live on them if I could.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

 Ingredients
    • 1 1/4 cups (178g) all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 cups (195g) finely shredded carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)
    • 2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup (78g) packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/4 cup (64g) unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
    • 3/4 cup (82g) chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
    • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, softened
    • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, softened
    • 3 1/2 cups (412g) powdered sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional carrots for decoration
  • 50g Marzipan (about 1/4 cup)
  • Orange gel food coloring
  • Cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
  • 12 small curly parsley stems

Directions

  • For the cupcakes:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg for 30 seconds, set aside. Shred carrots as directed in notes below, set aside.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar, then add eggs and using an electric hand mixer, blend mixture on low speed 30 seconds, until slightly pale. Mix in applesauce and vanilla extract. With mixer running on low speed, slowly pour in vegetable oil and mix until combined, then mix 20 seconds longer. Mix in half of the dry ingredients, then pour the shredded carrots into the bowl with the remaining flour mixture and toss in flour mixture to coat carrots (they’ll clump together a bit but that’s fine). Pour carrot mixture into the batter and blend until evenly combined.
  • Pour batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 19 – 21 minutes. Cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
  • For the frosting:
  • Using an electric mixer whip together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. If frosting is slightly runny freeze several minutes then mix again and repeat if needed. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting then immediately roll edges of frosting in chopped pecans.
  • For the decoration:
  • Tint marzipan with orange gel coloring and knead to evenly incorporate color. Separate small pieces at a time (I did 4g carrots) then roll into carrot shapes (roll a tapered log shape). Dip a toothpick lightly in cocoa powder, shaking of excess then gently roll carrot across toothpick (in random places) while slightly rotating to make slight indentations (to give it that natural look). Poke a small hole in the top of each carrot and insert parsley. Gently press carrots into frosting on tops of cupcakes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Allow to rest at room temperature until no longer cold before serving.
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