Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Even though I made these cupcakes for Easter Sunday, I still think they are worth sharing.  I couldn’t eat carrot cake all of the time, but in the springtime I really do love it.  I totally adore anything that has cream cheese icing on it, if we’re being honest.  The cake stays really moist and the icing is dense and creamy and yummy.  It’s a perfect combo.  I adapted Martha’s recipe for cake into these cupcakes, and I think they are definitely a keeper.
carrot cake cupcakes

for the cupcakes:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup water
1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
1 cup pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake tins with liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.

In a large bowl or using your standing mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.

Divide batter into cupcake tins. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

for the cream cheese icing:
1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Beat cream cheese, vanilla and cinnamon until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add butter, beating until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add sugar, beating until incorporated.

Top each cupcake with a generous amount of icing and serve immediately.  If you won’t be serving within 30 minutes, store prepared cupcakes in the fridge until ready to serve.  Bring to room temperature before eating.

makes: 2 dozen cupcakes (give or take)
time: 20 minutes prep + 20 minutes cooking + cooling and assembling time
from: Martha Stewart

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