Dad’s Favorite Cake–Carrot Cupcakes with my Famous Cream Cheese Icing

by Sarah on November 14, 2009

My dad’s favorite cake is carrot, so I decided to make these Maple-Sweetened Carrot Cupcakes–a recipe from good old Martha Stewart.  I liked the idea of the maple flavor in the cupcakes, but interestingly enough, they’re completely sweetened with syrup and molasses.  No sugar at all.

Grate about 2-3 carrots, so that you have 2 cups.
Whisk all the dry ingredients together.  Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, syrup, molasses, oil and vinegar.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet stuff.
Mix it up.  It’s a pretty stiff batter.
I know this looks like carrot salad gone wrong, but just trust me on this.  Mix the carrots into the batter.
And divide the batter evenly between the lined cupcake pans.  It makes exactly 24.  Fill them about halfway.  Bake at 375* for 18 minutes.
While the cupcakes are baking, you can candy the carrots.  Slice a slender carrot into thin slices.  Put about 1/2 cup good maple syrup into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Working in batches, cook the carrot slices until the edges begin to curl slightly, about 2 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, take the carrots out and set them on wax or parchment paper to cool.
18 minutes later…..test with a toothpick to make sure they’re done.  Let cool completely on a rack.
Ready to make icing?  This is my favorite, extra-special cream cheese frosting.
1 cup butter, unsalted and 2 blocks cream cheese in your mixer.
Mix completely.
Add 2 cups confectioner’s sugar.
Squeeze in half a lemon’s worth of juice.
Mix again and spoon into a large baggie.  Snip off a small corner.
Starting from the outside, begin to pipe the icing in a circle.
Go around until it finishes in the center.
Finish with a candied carrot.
Happy birthday, Father!

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Martha Stewart’s Maple-Sweetened Cupcakes


2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup oil
1 tsp apple-cider vinegar
5 large egg yolks
2 cups grated carrot

Preheat oven to 375*.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, soda, powder, salt and cinnamon.  In another bowl, whisk together syrup, molasses, oil, vinegar, and yolks until smooth.  Add to flour mixture, and whisk until combined.  Stir in carrots.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling about halfway.  Bake until dark golden brown and a toothpick comes clean, about 18 minutes.  Cool completely on racks.  Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at roo temperature or frozen up to one month.

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Undercover Cream Cheese Frosting


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp vanilla

In a mixer, thoroughly mix the butter and cream cheese.  Add sugar, lemon juice and vanilla.  Mix again.


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