Living, Learning & Loving La Vida Nueva

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Maple Carrot Cupcakes

I made this recipe for the first time not long after Jonathan and I were married.  My mom, oldest brother, youngest sister and dear friend all came to visit us while we were still living in Illinois.  They were our first house guests and we so enjoyed their stay!  Hope they did, too, despite the smoke filled apartment we lived in.  That's funny, we still live in a smoke filled apartment..... Ugh.  Anyways.....

(This photo was taken while Brad and Jono golfed, but you already know what they look like....)

 Needing something sweet to top off a delicious dinner, I found this recipe nestled in the back of the cookbook my grandmother gave me before our wedding.  It caught my eye because it sounded so fall-ish and I love fall.  Did you know that?  Speaking of that cookbook, Best of Country Cooking, it boasts a recipe from my lovely Grandmama and I want to give it a try.  The only reason I haven't already made it is because it makes a lot.  Since, in my house, there are only two of us "people food" eaters, as Caleb calls it (I guess Kyle doesn't count as a person yet in his mind), I tend to look for recipes which make four to six servings.  But, I've decided that I can make it for my whole family and certainly there are plenty of mouths to feed over there.  So, be on the look out for her famous lasagna.  Anyways, these cupcakes ought to go in the "must try" section of your recipe card box.  Jot it down and enjoy!

So, roll up your sleeves, open your kitchen window, light your favorite candle and get started.

Into my blue bowl go the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Give those a good whirl around and set them aside.

All the dry components, many thanks to my favorite store, Aldi.

The wet ingredients go into a separate bowl and get a good whisk.  Then, gently combine the powders and liquid together. 

Grating carrots is hard work.  A great arm workout, no doubt.  Well, right arm work out.  One of the many times I've wished I was ambidextrous.  After this bout with my wimpy flat grater, I will be investing in one of those nifty box graters.  While I have carrot pieces all over my kitchen, I still managed to grate three cups of those orange shreds.  Ouch.

Figuring I'd make some yummy baby food for my yummy baby, I bagged the carrot stubs because I didn't want to end up with stubs for fingers.

Fold the carrots into the batter and spoon into greased or paper lined tins.  I found these fabulously fall liners at Hobby Lobby the other day for cheap and have been so excited to use them.

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350* until a tooth pick (or match stick, as that's all I had) comes out clean.  Let them cool before icing.

Maple Carrot Cupcakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine first six ingredients.


4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 cups grated carrots (about 6 medium)

In another bowl, beat eggs, oil and syrup.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.  Fold in carrots.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire rack.  

Ice cooled cupcakes with frosting, sprinkle with nuts if desired (and who in their right mind doesn't desire?)

Yield: 1 1/2 - 2 dozen

"Icing, you say?"  Yes, icing.  And a wonderfully sweet, creamy, rich and thick icing at that.  This recipe makes a lot.  I ended up going back over nearly all the cupcakes with more icing so I could use it all up and not be forced to eat some off the spoon...... So, yeah, I just had a lick.  And Jonathan, too.  Of course, we couldn't leave Kyle out.

Wonderfully sweet, creamy, rich and thick icing:

8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
chopped nuts

See here they are softening in the sun on my window sill because I forgot to set them out ahead of time.

Beat until smooth.  After I buy a box grater, I'm going to save up for a hand-held mixer.  My upper arm has had way too much of a work out for one day.

Lather those babies up and sprinkle with chopped nuts.  My chopped nuts turned out being a botched batch of candied pecans I made the other day.  I have finally found a recipe which comes out great every time, but these weren't them - perfect for cupcake topping, though, as they were already toasted in butter and brown sugar.  No, this recipe is not low-cal.  No, I do not believe in doing anything low-cal.

Somewhere in there I whipped up this banana bread....... Give it a try, too, why don't ya?

Back to baby cuteness.....


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