Remember carrot cake? Years ago it would have been a staple recipe that we depended on for showers, birthday cakes and lunch box treats. It still is a great moist cake and perfect for this time of year when carrots are ready to be harvested from the garden. It was carrot cake that introduced me to cream cheese frosting and that pairing still remains a duo that doesn't disappoint.
Carrot cake freezes well. I made these cupcakes for Anneliese's blast from the past party! I made them a week ahead, decorated them and stored them frozen in containers, taking them out when we went to the party. They naturally thawed during the dinner and were perfect to serve by dessert time.
- 1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) packed finely grated carrots
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup unflavoured thick greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (drained)
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Line 2 1/2 dozen muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Grate carrots with a fine grater or use a food processor with a fine blade grater attachment. If possible, weigh the grated carrots for accuracy.
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- In another large bowl, combine eggs, yogurt, pineapple, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, white sugar, brown sugar, and carrots. Use a large spoon to beat together well.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat with a mixer until just combined.
- Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. A large spring loaded ice cream scoop works well for this.
- Bake one pan at a time for about 20 minutes. Test cupcakes with a toothpick.
- Allow cupcakes to cool while you prepare cream cheese frosting. Be sure cupcakes are completely cool before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting has a tendency to become too soft and even runny if beaten too long. In order to use it for decorating, I find it best to bind the icing sugar with the butter first, beating it until it is well combined and then adding in the softened cream cheese only at the end and beating it less than a minute and stopping as soon as no more lumps remain. It is important that the butter and the cream cheese are both room temperature. Making the frosting with this method, will keep it from becoming too soft. If necessary, refrigerate for awhile before attempting to decorate with it.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 1/2 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 250 grams (8 ounces) regular cream cheese, softened
- In a large bowl, combine butter with icing sugar and vanilla. Place plastic wrap over your bowl with the beaters tucked in the bowl. This will help the powdered sugar from dusting all over your kitchen. Beat until well combined.
- Add in softened cream cheese and beat only until combined.
To create sunflowers, I used a leaf tip, creating petals starting around the outer edge and working my way to the center. I then used little oreos (divided and cream filling removed) for the center.
Freeze in pans and then put into containers or refrigerate.