This Fathers Day I wanted to bake something special for Mando. His most favorite dessert in the whole world is carrot cake so I decided to do carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing. I was apprehensive at first because I've never made carrot cake and had no idea what was in it, so I hopped online and started searching for the perfect recipe. There are so many variations out there and it was hard for me to find one that didn't contain pineapple or coconut (yuck!). I finally stumbled upon this one from Gimme Some Oven and decided to give it a try. I made quite a few adaptations to it and came up with what I believe to be the perfect carrot cake recipe! They are chock full of yummy spices and come out moist and delicious. The cream cheese frosting adds the perfect amount of sweetness on top!
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. nutmeg
- ½ tsp. ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3-4 medium sized carrots, grated
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 chopped walnuts
- 12 oz. cream cheese
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt and whisk together.
Using a cheese grater shred the carrots until you have about 3 cups. This step can be a pain so if you have a food processor, USE IT! Once they're all grated, add them to the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl combine the sugars and eggs and mix with an electric mixer until creamy. Slowly add the oil and continue mixing until batter is light in color and thoroughly combined. Add this to the large mixing bowl and stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain. Then, using a wooden spoon, mix in the raisins and chopped walnuts.
Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake liners until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting beat the cream cheese and butter in a medium mixing bowl on medium speed until smooth or 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until totally incorporated and beat until smooth. Pour the icing into an icing bag or ziplock with the tip cut off. When your cupcakes are completely cool, frost as desired and enjoy! XOXO
NOTE: I baked these on a hot day and my frosting started melting and became runny and unattractive. I suggest popping your frosting in the freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes until it thickens before icing your cupcakes!