Monday, June 20, 2011

Carrot Ginger Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

While I'm not sure I'm quite sold on the cupcake 'craze' right now (I'm much happier knowing pie is the next big thing) I can appreciate the many conveniences of mini cakes. Firstly, the higher frosting to cake ratio. No-brainer. Second, the portability. Third, the ability to eat 3 of them and pretend it is still a snack. 

I'm a huge fan of the blog, Sweetapolita, and all her incredible creations. When she posted about an orange, ginger carrot cake with white chocolate frosting, and declared it "the most delicious dessert I have ever eaten," I took notice. Then, when she blogged later on about turning some of her layer cake recipes in to cupcakes, I hatched a plan.
I went ahead and converted this one myself, switching out the white chocolate frosting for a cinnamon cream cheese one, and left most everything else about the same. There are so many flavors going on here - from the carrots to the orange zest and the crystallized ginger to the cinnamon in the frosting that it is basically a party in your mouth. Basically.  

So, assuming I can find it again in my kitchen, I have some leftover crystallized ginger. Any suggestions?

Tip of the Day: In any recipe that include citrus zest, I love to mix it with the sugar before using and let it sit for a few minutes. This allows the flavor of the citrus to really infuse the sugar. As always, I use my beloved microplane for all my zesting needs. 

Recipe: (adapted from Sweetapolita) - Makes 10 to 12 cupcakes

1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup sugar
5 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3.5 tablespoons milk
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
1 2/3 cups grated carrots
3 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

1/4 cup (½ stick) butter or margarine, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla

Mix the orange zest with the sugar and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes (this could be a good time to grate your carrots). Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the egg and mix to combine, then add the egg yolk and continue beating. Add in the vanilla and milk and beat to combine. 
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger and mix until just combined. 
Stir in the carrots and finely chopped ginger until evenly distributed. 
Divide the batter among paper-lined muffin cases and bake on 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes until test done. Let cool.
Beat together the butter and cream cheese, then add in the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Add more sugar if frosting is not stiff enough. Frost cupcakes.  


  1. Wonderful flavor in these beauties. Love what you did here.

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