Thursday, April 21, 2011

KITCHEN KREATION: Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I am so excited about this recipe! First of all, I have NEVER made a carrot cake before, much less made one from scratch, but I was feeling adventurous today and decided to not only make a carrot cake from scratch, BUT to turn them into inside-out cupcakes! Ha! Take that Betty Crocker! LOL
To quote Drake, "Oh you, fancy, huh?"
And my reply, "Oh yeah! Today I am!"
Does anyone else get excited about finding recipes that when you look at them you know it is pure gold???

Of course when looking for any kind of dessert recipe, I go to my girl Monique's blog, YesDivasCanCook, to find a staple recipe. She had a cool looking video and recipe for Moist Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting that really looked good, but I had something else in mind for these cupcakes. Originally, I came across this recipe for Cream Cheese Carrot Cake Muffins from King Arthur's Flour blog. I'm not even sure how in the world I happened to get to the blog much less, how I found the Carrot Cake Muffins recipe, but just click on the link above to get to their recipe.

What came out of this masterpiece was a beautiful blending of both recipes with a few of my own little add-ins (cuz that's how I do things over here in my kitchen).
Delicious, delicious, delicious!
I wanted to do something different for Easter this year and what better way than to have a new carrot cake recipe to experiment on the hubby and his work crew (AKA my test-kitchen lab rats). Please try this one, it was a little more work than my usual cupcakes, but I can imagine that this would be delicious if you just decided to make a cake with the recipe and use the cream cheese frosting to top it. You could also add crushed pineapple, raisins, or your favorite crushed nuts if you like. I might do that next time, for this first carrot cake recipe, I just decided to keep it simple with chopped carrots and cake. If you try it, let me know how it came out!

DISCLAIMER #1: Both blogs say to grate carrots by hand on a grater. Hmm, since I wasn't feeling that doggoned ambitious, I bought the shredded matchstick carrots and put them in my handy dandy chopper. A few pulses later, I had tiny minced pieces of carrot without the bruised and cut-up knuckles & finger tips. [Hehehe, I just love figuring out a good shortcut!]

So anyway, here is my adapted recipe from the two of their blogs. Hope you enjoy!

1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter, unsalted
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
2 cups flour (can use all-purpose flour if needed)
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup grated/chopped carrots
Non-stick cooking spray
Coarse white sparkling sugar crystals (optional)

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line a standard muffin pan with muffin liners. Spray the liners with non-stick cooking spray.
3. Use either a grater with peeled whole carrots or use a chopper to mince the shredded carrot
matchsticks to make approximately 2 cups of minced carrots. Set aside.
4. To make the filling: in a medium-sized bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until
5.To make the muffin batter: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, water, melted butter and oil.
7. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
8. Fold in the grated carrots, stirring to combine.
9. Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom.
10. Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling; a level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.
11. Cover with enough batter to fill the muffin cups quite full. The batter will come to within about 1/4" to 3/8" of the top of each muffin cup. But don't try to use all the batter; unless you have particularly deep cups, you'll have abut 1/3 cup batter left over. Bake it in a separate custard cup, if desired.
12. Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted into the cake part of one (not into the cream cheese filling) comes out clean, about 20 minutes. The tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch.
13. Remove the muffins from the oven, and as soon as you're able to handle them, transfer them to a rack. If you serve the muffins warm, the filling will be molten. If you wait for them to cool, it'll firm up.

DISCLAIMER #2: I had to use the top picture from the King Arthur's blog recipe because my cupcakes did not come out as pretty as his did. I'm not exactly sure what I did wrong, but for some reason I had a big air pocket between my top layer of batter and my filling once it baked up. I told the hubby that I was going to try again & maybe not beat the batter as much. I'm thinking that I may have introduced extra air into the recipe. We'll see and I'll let you all know how the 2nd batch comes out. Regardless, they tasted so good that the hubby and his crew all gave it two thumbs up. This is a great recipe.

Oh yeah, this tablespoon sized cookie dough dropper worked wonders! Get one if you try this recipe. It helps things go sooo much faster! Best thing ever! I think I'm going to get another one so that I can have one for my batter and one for the filling.


Cory said...

Kill me now!!! Girl that looks SOOOOO delicious. I have to make it. Thanx for the recipe.

KeshaB623 said...

Cory girl, it was soooo good. My hubby had to bring the extras to work so we wouldn't completely derail our diet by eating every last one of them. I think you'll like them.

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