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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with a Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

If you read the blog, you know that I love to cook. 
 I post a few different recipes, but not a whole not of baking.  
Well... that is because I am a terrible baker.  
Precision and accuracy has never been my strong point.  

I forget to read through the directions, 
I don't have the right tools or ingredients, 
or I don't measure accurately enough.  
Lots of room to go wrong, and it usually does.

Well, you know what they say, 
Practice Makes Perfect
So Practice I Shall...

It was a friends birthday over the weekend, a 50th surprise party to be exact.  
I wanted something that screamed fall, and did some fall dessert research.  
I stumbled upon Smitten Kitchen blog and her recipe. 

I went with a Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. 

Cakes are hard to cut and messy so I decided to go with the cupcake form. 
I wanted to do everything by scratch, shred my own carrots, 
make my own frosting... the whole nine yards. 

I called over my friend Stacie for some baking assistance 
and we produced these beauties.

See my beautiful little cakes below :)

The cakes came out SO moist.  
I used the walnuts but no raisins (where do they hide raisins in the grocery store?)

I used some Halloween sprinkles (bats and pumpkins) to top off my cakes and made my own caramel candies to top the cupcakes.  

My only complaint was I used light maple syrup instead of the real kind.  Make sure you use the real syrup for your frosting!  


Smitten Kitchen 

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 24 cupcakes 

(or one two-layer cake, instructions at end)

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)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line 24 cupcake molds with papers, or butter and flour them.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium

 bowl to blend. 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.

To make a carrot layer cake: 

Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans instead 

of cupcake molds. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper. Butter 

and flour paper; tap out excess flour. Divide the batter between the 

prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a 

tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes.

Turn out onto racks. Peel off paper; cool cakes completely.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

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

In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the

 frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread 


The spazzy star decorations were created by putting the maple cream 

cheese frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and dolloping 

away. An extra layer of dollops were piped nearer to the center, to create a

domed effect.

To assemble a carrot layer cake, frost the top of one cake, place the other

 cake on top. Frost the sides and top, swirling decoratively. Refrigerate the 

cake for 30 minutes to set up frosting.

For the layer cake scenario, you will probably have a bit of leftover 

frosting, which you can tint and use for decorating, or save to smear on 

gingersnaps. What, you don’t do that too?

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