CARROT CUPCAKES WITH LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Photograph from Rip + Tan

Photograph from Rip + Tan

This past week, I was lucky enough to bake some sweet treats for Jenni Kayne’s Valentine’s Day Dinner. If you follow her blog, Rip + Tan,  like I do, you know she throws the best parties. Always gorgeous and effortlessly chic. I wanted to make sure that the desserts were delicious and beautiful, so that they would fit right into the party decor. She decided on a large heart shaped Meyer Lemon Yogurt Cake, Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies in the shape of small hearts, and mini cupcakes for the kids. Here is the recipe for the Carrot Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting I made for the party. These little bites are so addictive. The cakes are light and fluffy, and the rich cream cheese frosting offers a hint of lemon zest in each bite. Top them with colored sprinkles for any occasion or with edible flower petals like I did for the Valleybrink Road Pop Up a few weeks ago. Either way, they are scrumptious.

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CARROT CUPCAKES WITH LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Makes about 24 mini cupcakes (I cut the original recipe in half)

1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large organic eggs
1/8 cup organic whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)
1/2 cup  organic granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 1/2 cups finely shredded organic carrots (about 2-3 large carrots)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts

Heat oven to 350F. Line 12 cupcake cups with cupcake liners. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat eggs, milk, vanilla, and both sugars until smooth. Slowly beat in oil. Slowly add dry ingredients. Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Divide batter among lined cupcake cups.

Bake for 10 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tins and let cool at room temperature on a cooling rack. While they are cooling make the Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below).

LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick organic unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (no alcohol)

Zest from 2 lemons

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth. Add butter and mix until smooth. Turn speed down to low and mix in powdered sugar, then add vanilla and lemon zest. Once combined, scrape down sides. Beat on high for 30 seconds. Spread frosting on the cooled cupcakes. Top with your choice of colored sprinkles, toasted walnuts, or edible flower petals.

Enjoy!

(Adapted from Thomas Keller’s, ad hoc at home.)

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