Carrots? I don’t really have the fondest memories with carrots. They are not my favorite thing to eat. When I was younger I wondered what are carrots anyway? They are obviously not green so I never classified them as vegetables. I doubted that they’re fruits since they’re all that sweet or luscious. But since my parents always went on and on about how carrots are good for me, I always ended up eating them. Gosh, the ambiguity. And then there is carrot cake. Why would anyone put this funny tasting thing into a cake? Whatever carrot was, putting them in a cake was illogical.
But like every other things that change, so too my love for carrot cake. It all started when I first tasted my aunt’s carrot cake. It was a 3 layers cake smothered with tier of rich cream cheese frosting. I take back all the evil things I said about carrot cake. I love everything about my aunt’s cake, especially the wholesome texture. The cream cheese frosting? Genius. I can have this cake for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I keep telling myself that all that sugar is nothing compared to the ratio of carrots in cake. Since carrots are packed with lots of vitamins A, I guess I don’t have to feel guilty about helping myself to a second slice. But yeah I’m no longer five so who am I kidding.
This carrot cake that I’m about to share with you is adapted from Dorie’s Big Bill carrot cake.. This is seriously my favorite recipe EVER. It’s wholesome and not too sweet with a tinge of lemon, everything I love in a cake. Feel free to substitute different fruits or nuts to your liking but this variation so far is my favorite. I made 24 cupcakes with this recipe and it was gone by the next day.
Carrot cupcakes with tangy lemon cream cheese frosting
(Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Big Bill carrot cake.)
This cake is best enjoy the day it’s made and is good for any time of day.
Make 24 cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted with a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup moist, plump raisins
½ cup candied orange peel
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
Lemon cream cheese frosting
85g Unsalted butter
113g Cream cheese
1 1/2 cup Confectioner sugar, sifted
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 lemon zest
To make the cake
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with paper cups.
2. In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped walnuts, coconut, raisins, and candied orange peel.
3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
4. Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway thgough, and bake until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and unmold them.
5. The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.
To make the lemon cream cheese frosting
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy
2. Add in cream cheese and beat until well combine.
3. Beat in sugar, lemon juice and zest.4.Refridgerate cream cheese for 15-30 minutes. Now frost your cupcakes and enjoy!