To celebrate Dave's birthday this month, I thought it would be nice to bake him some cupcakes. He was craving carrot cupcakes and, after a long Intarweb search, I came across an old Cook's Illustrated carrot cake recipe that looked just about perfect -- I made a few minor adjustments to reduce the amount of oil and then I ran with it. Topped with maple cream cheese icing and Skor toffee bits, these treats were moist and carroty with a nice spicey undertone. The icing was a little runny, but I didn't hear any complaints from our pals as they licked it from their fingers and went back for seconds. In Dave's words: "Oh, man."
2.5 cups unbleached all-purpose four
1.25 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg (fresh ground/grated is best)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb. medium carrots, peeled and grated
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
3/4 cups vegetable oil
3/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 pkg (250g) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2.5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 pkg Chipits Skor tidbits, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers.
2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a food processor, process granulated and brown sugars with the eggs until frothy, about 20 seconds. Add applesauce and mix for an additional 5 seconds. With the machine running, add oil through the feedtube in a steady stream, and process until mixture is light in colour and well-emulsified. Scrape mixture into a large bowl, and stir in the carrots. Add the dry ingredients, and combine until no streaks of flour remain (do not overmix).
4. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full, and bake for about 20 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean). Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
5. Make icing: using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until blended. Beat in maple syrup and chill until icing firms slightly. If icing is still too runny, add more powdered sugar as necessary.
6. Frost the cupcakes and top with Skor bits. Finally, scarf.
makes about 16 cupcakes