I’m excited to start out my recipe series with a great little find: Carrot Cake. But the problem is, I can’t have cake. I mean, I’m physically able to eat cake… I’m just mentally unable to STOP eating cake. Or I tell myself “just one piece” and the piece is almost 1/2 the cake.
So I went a safe route with cupcakes!
classic carrot cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
2 8 oz. cans crushed pineapple, drained and reserve 2 T. of juice
2 cups shredded carrots
chopped walnuts, optional
1. drain pineapple and reserve 2 T. of juice, set aside
2. sift together dry ingredients and set aside
3. mix eggs, sugars, oil, applesauce and 2 T. pineapple juice
4. add the dry ingredients, then fold in pineapple and carrots (and nuts, if using)
5. pour in prepared 9×13 or 2 round cake pans, bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes
favorite cream cheese frosting
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 T. butter, softened
2 T. + 1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 c. powdered sugar
1. beat together first 4 ingredients, then mix in powdered sugar
2. frost over cooled carrot cake
First things first…Let me tell you something about my kitchen. I lack many of the simple things most people assume that I would have. For example, potholders. So… my flour went unsifted. I was astounded that I actually had a grater. It was the poster child for a cheap, almost unuseable grater… but a grater nonetheless.
An hour and a half later, I had two cups of shredded carrots. For those of you curious about exactly how many carrots were two cups, it was not the two bags of large carrots that I had bought. It was actually three carrots. Yup. Three. And I think I ate a good portion of the third.
A note on making cupcakes: I had done some extensive Google searches to find out if there were any changes that are necessary to change a cake recipe (like the one above) into a cupcake recipe. For those curious, there aren’t any changes. You just put it in a different venue and it continues to shine.
Another note on making cupcakes (as found from several blogs and partially learned from experience): Pam is your friend. I sprayed it on the pan before I put the cups in to keep them from sticking, but I failed to spray them inside the cups before filling them. Friends, this is important. Your paper will stick to your cupcake making it completely fall apart when you go to eat it.
My first batch came out amazing. Filling the cups 3/4 of the way and baking for 15-18 minutes was the perfect combination. I pulled them and allowed them to cool as I baked the (almost full) second batch.
The frosting was a bit scary. The powdered sugar it calls for is a volumous amount and there really isn’t much liquid that goes into it. I looked into my bowl and thought “THAT can’t possibly be right.” Have faith… keep stirring. It turns out okay in the end.
The pineapple was something I didn’t expect from a carrot cake recipe. It actually really makes the cake taste good. It also add some natural sweetness which really aids in cutting down the sugar amounts. (Another thing I thought for SURE could not be right. Less than two cups of sugar for a cake?)
The above pictured cupcake was one of the last surviving. Let me tell you… they were *very* well loved. 🙂