One of the benefits that comes along with learning to cook and/or bake is that you never have to buy presents for anyone ever again. Instead, you can just cook them their favorite meal or bake them their favorite treat. And usually, if the person is worth the sweat and toil, they will offer to share their present with you. This, my friends, is a true exemplification of the gift that keeps on giving.

It was my friend Anu’s birthday this past Saturday and when I asked her what she wanted she promptly responded, “Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.” A girl after my own heart. Can you see why we are such good friends?

As fun as carrot cake is to make, I decided to go with cupcakes instead. My roommates and I were hosting a room party the night of Anu’s birthday (actually we were the first stop on a room crawl – kind of like a pub crawl but with rooms in our apartment building) and it is much easier to serve cupcakes to large amounts of people than it is to serve cake. More of a self-contained chaos kind of deal.

So I spent Friday night grating 3 cups of carrots by hand and developing carpal tunnel syndrome and Saturday afternoon teaching myself how to pipe frosting out of a ziploc bag. In the end, though, it was all worth it because Anu almost fainted from happiness when she bit into the first one, proclaiming them the best carrot cupcakes she has ever eaten. I maintain that anything tastes good when you smother it with cream cheese frosting, but she’s right. The cupcakes were pretty damn good.

I am submitting these carrot-filled babies to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted this week by Prof. Kitty of The Cabinet of Prof. Kitty.
Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves 24, adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2 cups AP flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
4 large eggs
3 cups grated carrots
1 lb neufchatel or regular cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liners or grease the tins.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Whisk the sugar and oil and applesauce in a second bowl until well-blended. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Stir in the carrots.

3. Divide batter among cupcake molds. Bake for 14-18 minutes (longer for me – about 20-25 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely before icing.

4. In a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, and maple syrup. Chill for at least 20 minutes and then pipe or spread onto the cupcakes.

NOTE – I like my cream cheese frosting to have a little bit of tang to it, which is why there isn’t that much confectioner’s sugar in it. Some people like a sweeter frosting and I have seen recipes that call for a whole box of confectioner’s sugar. Add it based on your own taste.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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22 Responses to Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Mari says:

    Remind me to let you know when my bday rolls around next year =)….

    Cupcakes are a little piece of heaven and those look heavenly!

  2. Oh I can so understand your friend’s excitement. Carrot cake is the best, and those look amazing!

  3. Denise says:

    One of my favorite things to do is gift people with baked goods, they so appreciate it. Love the twist with the maple frosting

  4. Juliana says:

    Yummie, carrot cupcakes…they are my favorite! Love the idea of the maple cream cheese frosting. Nice pictures!

  5. These are wonderful! I love that you put maple syrup in!

  6. You had me at cream cheese…YUM!

  7. Reeni? says:

    I love the sound of the maple cream cheese frosting! Absolutely delicious with carrot cake! I would of been over the moon with happiness too!

  8. Jen says:

    How funny!! I just made a Carrot Cake today for this blog a friend of mine started up. I haven’t eaten it yet or posted about it yet. I will tomorrow.

    Maybe you should add this one there!

    I love CC with CC frosting!!!

  9. Pam says:

    What a good friend you are!

  10. rena says:

    Small world! These look delicious 🙂 Joanne, I left you a comment on htc for next steps. Welcome!

  11. Donna-FFW says:

    Oh these sound addicitve.

    I thought of you today.. I was at NYU medical center for 14 hours today.. my FIL had surgery. Is that where you are training? We had lunch at Benjamins, breakfast at the Barking Dog, drinks at hook and ladder.

  12. gaga says:

    * Drool * That maple cream cheese frosting sounds mouth watering!

  13. Jen says:

    rena, how cool?! 🙂

  14. Talita says:

    Looks sooo yummy, Joanne! I’d love to have one for this moment!

  15. Amy says:

    I love cupcakes (and muffins.) Fitting nicely in the palm of your hand, like your own little piece of heaven.

    And oh wow. Those are some serious carrot cupcakes. Not a hint of carrot, but CARROT. I love it. And you’re right, Joanne – any good friend would share these gems.

  16. Palidor says:

    LOL, I hope your hand has recovered! Maybe you need a food processor to help you out next time? 😉 And I totally agree about giving food as a present. In our material society, people don’t need more stuff. But everybody needs to eat and what better food to enjoy than food cooked from the heart? 🙂

  17. Love carrot cake – carrot cake cupcakes sound even better!

  18. Kristin says:

    OH! I said out loud when I saw the picture and the post title! YUM!!!!! My absolute favorite. They are so cute. Bite size, that would be VERY dangerous. I might have to make them on a party day (not room crawling here- well actually playing hide and seek some times we crawl from room to room but somehow I think that is a bit different from your party! LOL!)so I don’t eat them all.

  19. Kerstin says:

    Carrot cake is my absolute favorite and your cupcakes look so delicious! I love the maple syrup in the frosting too.

  20. Kim says:

    My birthday is actually right around the corner – I’ll take a dozen : ) You sold me on the maple cream cheese frosting. Anything with maple just makes me want to smack my lips in delight and squeal like a pig (ha-ha, it’s late and I’m too tired). They looks great, sounds like you all had a fun night.

  21. Elizabeth says:

    Oh yum! I always thought growing up that I hated carrot cake, but I tried it recently and don’t know what I was thinking. The maple frosting looks delicious. 🙂

  22. I am trying these tonight! I hope they are as good as you say… Will let u know!

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