Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Carrot Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


Happy October!

Yay, October has arrived! This is my favorite time of year - leaves are changing, cheery orange pumpkins are everywhere, it's hoodie weather (well, not here - it's been in the 80's! in Minnesota!), and, at the very end of the month, is the frosting on October's cake - Halloween!

Anywho, I love pumpkin anything and have been pondering these cupcakes for a while. We got a bunch of carrots in our CSA box last week, too, so it seemed like this might be a good way to use some up!

I used the recipe from here, and modified it slightly:

I also made cupcakes instead of cake, so the baking time is much quicker! It makes about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon *note* you can use pumpkin pie spice, as the recipe suggests. I just never have any around
1 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove

3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 light brown sugar
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp orange zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 medium carrots, grated (about 1 cup) *note* the original recipe says "coarsely grated" but I would grate them pretty fine unless you want pumpkin cupcakes with just the occasional big chunk of carrot


1. Preheat oven to 350 (I preheated mine to 325 because it is always way hotter than it is supposed to be. You know your oven best, so if you have a decent oven and not a crappy rental kitchen oven then go for 350).
2. Make sure eggs and milk are at room temp. This makes a big difference in the end product. You can place the eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes and that should do the trick. For the milk, I used dehydrated powdered milk so just added warm (not hot!) water to it. For regular milk, you can microwave it a little bit to get it to lukewarm.
3. Place all dry ingredients (listed at the beginning, exclude the sugar) in a large mixing bowl and mix together with a whisk until well-combined.
4. In another mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. When well-combined, pour wet into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. That means that there aren't any pockets of dry ingredients (make sure to stir up the bottom) but it will still be a little lumpy. Don't overmix!
5. Fill cupcake liners a little more than half full and pop 'em in the oven. Bake about 12-15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (no goo and no crumbs).
6. Let cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Recipe
2 blocks of cream cheese (8 oz each) (I used Neufchatel because it's lower in fat but whatevs)
1 stick of butter
powdered sugar (start with a cup)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)

1. Soften butter and cream cheese in the microwave. Be careful not melt them, though!
2. Use paddle to mix in stand mixer or mix on low with hand mixer. This is not a "fluffy" frosting so you don't want to incorporate too much air.
3. Once butter/cream cheese mixture is lump-free, start adding the powdered sugar. Mix on low or you will have a cloud of sugar in your kitchen! Keep adding sugar until you reach a good balance of consistency/sweetness. The sugar helps make the frosting less gooey but it also (obviously) adds sweetness so you don't want to lose the tanginess of your cream cheese.
4. Add cinnamon and vanilla to taste and mix until incorporated.


Kim and Moira Fasser said...

Thank you for posting this recipe! My 11 yo daughter & I are going to make this for Thanksgiving tomorrow!
God bless!

Kim and Moira Fasser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim and Moira Fasser said...

Trying again! :?
We added 1 cup of shredded coconut, 1 cup raisins, & 3/4 cup Olive oil. They were yummy!
Thank you & God bless!