Have you ever heard this saying that no matter how full you are after a supper, you will always want a desert? I am a dessert lover myself and chocolate is always the way to go for me. However, with the stepping up of the fall season it is safe to say that we can replace chocolate with something a bit healthier. Now imagine the richness and the soothing combination of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and brown sugar… All of them are mixed like a bouquet of perfection in those little autumn desserts – carrot cake cupcakes. They are tiny, however they give you everything you want and more! They are super moist, flavorful and let’s not forget the frosting!
Carrot cake cupcakes: Easy, finger-licking autumn recipe
Carrot cake first originated In England in World War II, when housewives used natural products like carrots to sweeten their delicacies. It is very easy to make, and it needs only a few ingredients. Today we are going to check out the easier version of a carrot cake – carrot cake cupcakes. Why is it easier and a better version? Because you do not have to bake an entire cake and have baking skills. All you are going to need are silicon or paper cupcake liners and you are ready to go. Let’s check the key ingredients of this scrumptiously delicious recipe:
• 1 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon of baking powder
• ½ tablespoon of baking soda
• ½ tablespoon of salt
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
• 1 cup (200g) brown sugar
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup (80g) unsweetened applesauce, sour cream, or plain yogurt, at room temperature
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 and 1/2 cups (200g) peeled and shredded carrots* (about 3 large carrots)
• optional add-in: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or raisins
1. The first thing you must do when baking is to preheat your oven. For the cupcakes, you need to preheat it to 350 °F (177 °C) and then line a 12-cup muffin cupcake liner.
2. The second step is to mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and all of your spices. Whisk together and then leave aside.
3. Now in a separate bowl mix the 2 large eggs, the oil, brown sugar, applesauce and the vanilla extract. Whisk, whisk, whisk! Once you get a smooth consistency, you can add in your chopped carrots.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ones. Whisk again, yes, it is like a workout. You have to get of course a smooth texture. Keep in mind that it should be a bit thick.
5. Grab a spoon or pour the batter directly into the liners. Each muffin cup should be about ¾ full, to avoid spilling.
6. Bake for 20-23 minutes. I would suggest using the good old trick with the toothpick.
7. The last step is very important! Allow the cupcakes to cool off before adding the frosting.
Ingredients for the frosting:
• 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
• 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
• 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
1. While you wait for the carrot cake cupcakes to be ready, you can start preparing the frosting. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat the butter and the cream cheese. It should be on a high speed, so you can get the creamiest texture.
2. Add sugar, vanilla and salt and beat on low speed for about 30 seconds. Then switch to high speed again and beat for 2 minutes.
3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.
4. You can use a piping bag for more precise decorations. You can even add a little sparkle by doing paper toppers.
Gluten-free recipe: healthier, but still delicious!
Whether you are from the people that are trying to avoid gluten, or you are just trying to have a healthier lifestyle in general, do not worry! You can still enjoy the delicious taste of this autumnal sweet temptation. You want to know the secret? That is what I am here for. The different thing here in this recipe that I am about to show you, is that you do not need coconut flower, potato starch or rice flour, as most of the recipes we see today. The secret ingredient is… almond meal! This is essentially almonds blended into a flour-like consistency. Let’s see how to make those soft, savory cupcakes!
• 1 cup almond meal
• 2 tablespoon granulated sweetener
• 1/2 cup chopped carrots
• 3/4 tablespoon of cinnamon
• 3/4 tablespoon of nutmeg
• 1 large egg or flax egg
• 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/4 tablespoon salt
• 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoon water
• 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil or additional water
• optional handful crushed walnuts or pecans
1. Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (177°C). You are going to need a cupcake liner.
2. We are going to start with the dry ingredients – the almond meal, sugar or sweetener, the spices, baking powder, salt, and the carrots. Whisk them all together.
3. Mix all your wet ingredients – the egg, vanilla extract, water and oil. Beat with a mixer until you get the smoothest consistency.
4. Fill up your cupcake paper cups and place them on the liner.
5. Bake 14 minutes for mini cupcake size. If you want a bigger size cupcake, bake for 18 minutes.
6. Let them cool for a bit.
Ingredients for a gluten-free frosting:
• 8 ounces (215 grams) vegan cream cheese
• 4 ounces (110 grams) butter or plant-based butter
• 2 cups of granulated sweetener or erythritol
• 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup of almond milk if you need to thin it out
Beat the cream cheese and the butter together. Add the sugar with the vanilla extract. If you think the consistency of the frosting is too thick, you can add 1/2 cup of almond milk, which is one of the best milk alternatives. You can use a piping bag or just a spatula. And voilà! You have yourself a delicious, creamy, rich and exquisite gluten-free dessert!
Can we enjoy carrot cupcakes while on a keto diet ?
If you are on a keto diet, or you are on a low-carbs diet, I have good news. All you need to do is use sweeteners and a flour suitable for you. You can still enjoy a delicate, piquant dessert, while being on your keto journey. In this super tender dessert, surprisingly, carrots are not the main issue when we speak about carbs. A hundred grams of row carrots only contain about 6.8 grams of net carbs, when for example the broccoli that many people use as a keto vegetable contains 4 grams of net carbs. Considering this, we are not talking about having carrots on a daily basis. Since being on such a diet limits yourself to intake about 25 grams of carbs per day, the recipe will add to 6.8 grams of carbs. However, let’s note that you are going to spread 100 grams of carrots into 12 carrot cake cupcakes. In that case, the issue with the regular recipe for the carrot cake cupcakes comes from the flour. This is why, I would suggest trying the second recipe with the star of the show-almond meal or almond flour. This recipe is keto friendly when it comes to the frosting as well. Cream cheese is a great dairy product for such instances. If you want to add toppings to make your cupcakes look extra delicious and appetizing, of course, I would recommend forgetting about the regular sprinkles and sugary decorations. A good idea is to add some chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, or macadamia. You can do something a bit more exotic and add shredded coconut. Do you enjoy the autumn spices as much as I do? Try sprinkling some cinnamon, nutmeg or unsweetened cocoa powder.
How to create cute looking carrot decoration for our cupcakes ?
Ready to roll up your sleeves and have some fun? Here are three different ways you can decorate your carrot cupcakes! You can use the good old piping bag, to squeeze out the frosting directly on the cupcake, or you can do it on a baking sheet, freeze the little carrot candy melts and put them later on. If you are a professional, or you just want to have some fun, try the third way, which is molding a marzipan and making it look like an adorable carrot. Those techniques you can use later on this year, if you want to create an edible Christmas wreath.