Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

There have been some great food debates in our time. Chocolate chip cookies: chewy or crispy? Matzo balls: floaters or sinkers? Peanut butter: smooth or chunky? Brownies: Cakey or fudgey?

Wait. There's no debate on that last one. Fudgey. Definitely.

My friend Shannin loves a good carrot cake, so it seemed only natural to make carrot cake cupcakes for her birthday last week. So I grabbed my grater, a pound of carrots and got baking.

Every carrot cake I've ever had has had raisins in it, which I find really add something to the carrot cake. This recipe would still be great without raisins, but I thought I was being clever when I added golden raisins to give a slightly different twist to the recipe. Little did I know it would incite another debate...

Carrot cake: raisins or no raisins?

Several people I asked around here said no raisins, which I think is preposterous. So, friends, I turn to you: raisins or no raisins?

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Adapted from Flour

For the cake:
2 eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
3 tbsp lowfat buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting:
4 wedges plain Laughing Cow cheese
8 oz nonfat cream cheese
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 cups confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Place cupcake liners in muffin tin; set aside.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat eggs and brown sugar for 3-4 minutes on medium speed, until light in color and thick. In a separate bowl, combine the oil, yogurt, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add to the egg mixture slowly.

In a separate bowl, sift together all other dry ingredients. With a spatula, fold the dry mixture into the wet. Fold in carrots, raisins, and walnuts. Pour batter into muffin tin cups (I usually use a cookie scoop to do this to make it easier and make sure everything is the same size).

Bake the cupcakes for 50 minutes, until golden brown and the cake springs back when touched. Remove from oven, transfer cupcakes to cooling rack, and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting, whip the Laughing Cow cheese, cream cheese, and softened butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the powdered sugar on low speed, until frosting reaches desired consistency. Chill frosting for an hour to firm up enough to spread. Frost cooled cupcakes, and chill until ready to serve.

Makes approximately 18 cupcakes.

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