Caramel Carrot Cupcakes

Caramel Carrot Cupcakes

Can you believe I have never made cupcakes before? Muffins, yes. I have a sickening fear of making icings and fillings — that it would turn out ugly or runny. Truth be told, I squirted quite a bit of frosting on my face when I was getting hasty and tired on my feet! Also, this is my first time making caramel. I’m in the process of finding flavours I like, so that I can practise designing our cake. Back-up plan: cupcakes. So, I would gladly accept such gifts for any occasion: butter and lots of butter (or any baking/decorating supplies)! There are less than 30 days to my sugar paste classes at NAIT! (I’m excited!)

There are two edits that I did; I find that sifting your icing sugar for the frosting makes it easier to whisk. As well, sifting flour along with baking powder and soda is generally good practice. They are marked in bold on the instructions. In this recipe, I used lactose-free milk.

Yields: 32 cupcakes  Oven: 350F  Source: Betty Crocker’s “The Big Book of Cupcakes”

CUPCAKES

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (Note: I reduced salt because I used salted butter)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
8 oz crushed pineapple; well drained

CARAMEL FROSTING

1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups icing sugar (Note: I was able to reach frosting consistency at less than 4 cups)

  1. Easiest step: Place paper baking cup in each muffin cup in your tin.
  2. In medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
    In large bowl, beat 1 cup butter with electric mixer on medium speed 30 seconds.
    Gradually add granulated sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition and scraping bowl occasionally. Beat 2 minutes longer.
    Add eggs, 1 at a tie, beating well after each addition. Beat in 1 tsp vanilla
  3. On low speed, alternately add flour mixture, about 1/3 at a time, and 2/3 cup milk, about 1/2 cup at a time, beating just until blended.
    Stir in carrots, raisins and pineapple.

    Caramel Carot Cupcake Batter

    The pinnacle moment prior to folding in shredded carrots, raisins and sliced tiny chunks of pineapples. Good grief, shredding 3 cups of carrots (even with a mandolin) took me quite a while!

  4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. (Cool pan before reusing) [Helpful tip: I find that if you were to use an ice-cream scoop and fill about 2/3 full in the scoop, then level with a small spatula, you would get a pretty good room for the muffin to rise.]
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and toothpick inserted in centre of cupcake comes out clean.
    Cool 5 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks to cool. (My notes: Also, you could put in the fridge to cool on wire racks; be sure not to leave the cupcakes in the tin for too long to cool or they might collapse.)

    Caramel Carrot Cupcakes prior to frosting

    Caramel Carrot Cupcakes prior to frosting

  6. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, melt 1 cup butter over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup milk. Return to boiling; remove to heat. Stir in 2 tsp vanilla. Cool to lukewarm, about 30 minutes. Gradually stir in powdered sugar (icing sugar) with whisk. Frost each cupcake with about 2 tbsp frosting. Garnish with nuts.
    (Here, I used a piping bag; the recipe called for a Tip #6, but I only have a star tip.)

Same recipe yields 96 mini cupcakes. Only difference is that it takes 17 to 20 minutes to bake.

Total calories of 1 cupcake: 330. (But who’s counting when there are carrots? :))