Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Carrot Cupcakes

Though he claims to have already checked his list twice, who’s to say a delicious cupcake that stands out from your neighbors’ cookies won’t change Santa’s mind and land you on his nice list? Never fear: These are terrifically moist and carroty cupcakes. It may even ensure your stocking will be coal-free on Christmas.

Carrot Cupcakes
Makes 14 cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups finely shredded carrots (from about 6 medium carrots)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups confectioner’s sugar (8 ounces)

For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350° and line 14 muffin cups with paper liners. Spray the liners with vegetable-oil spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer beat the eggs with the canola oil. Gradually beat in the sugar at medium-high speed and beat until thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula, and then fold in the carrots.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool slightly, and then transfer the cupcakes to the freezer to chill.

For the cream cheese frosting: In a bowl, using an electric mixer beat the butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and confectioners' sugar, and then beat at high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip with the Cream Cheese Frosting. Pipe the frosting onto the carrot cupcakes and serve. Alternatively, use a knife to spread the frosting on the cupcakes and serve.

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