Carrot Cupcakes

We've gotten TONS of wedding gifts recently.  I'm trying not to use any of the gifts until I write Thank You's, just as an incentive to get those done in a timely manner, but some gifts just can't wait.  Like the KitchenAid Stand Mixer from Reid's Mom.  It was so pretty, I had to use it right away.  This is what I whipped up with it.  These made the house smell so good, that Reid ate one before they were cool enough for frosting.  The cream cheese frosting is really great, too!  I cut back on the original recipe's butter a little and didn't even notice.  Reid and I ate about 4 ourselves for dessert, and I brought the rest to work where they were quickly annihilated.

Carrot Cupcakes


  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt or fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 6 medium sized carrots)

  • For the frosting:
  • 8 ounces bar cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch table salt or fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar


  1. To make the cupcakes: Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing once, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minute

    s. Let cool, then roughly chop.
  2. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, and egg; fold in the carrots and ½ cup of the pecans. Add the carrot mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined and evenly moistened (do not overmix).
  3. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake, rotating once, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth. Refrigerate the frosting until slightly stiffened, 20 to 30 minutes. Frost the cupcakes, dividing the frosting evenly, and top with the remaining ½ cup of pecans.
Carrot Cupcakes
Noms! I promise they don't look this red, I was playing with filters
Recipe adapted from Real Simple April issue 2013


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