When the sweet, late-spring carrots start arriving at your local market, consider these delicious cupcakes. While any old carrot will do, try finding small, fresh bunches with their greens still attached for a flavorful, seasonal treat.
This recipe was inspired by an older Cook's Illustrated recipe for carrot cake that called for emulsifying the oil with sugar and egg to create a lighter crumb. This is a brilliant technique that I highly recommend.
Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated.
2.5 C flour
1.25 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1.25 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
0.5 tsp salt
1 lb carrots, peeled and finely shredded
1.5 C sugar
0.5 C packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1.5 C vegetable oil
8 oz cream cheese, softened
0.5 C maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350F and line two muffin tins with baking cups.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In a food processor, process the sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds. With machine running, add oil through feed tube in a steady stream. Process until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 seconds longer. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. Stir in carrots and the dry ingredients until incorporated.
Pour into the baking cups and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 18 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time. Remove the cupcakes from the pans and set aside to cool.
Mix the cream cheese and maple syrup together. Frost the cupcakes when they reach room temperature.
Makes 24 cupcakes