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Monday 13 May 2013

Carrot cake cupcake recipe - with pineapple and coconut or walnuts!

Its Spring!! or at least I keep on telling myself that… the weather doesn’t seem to want to cooperate half the time, so I decided to make something Spring-y in the kitchen, or oven :P Felt like cupcakes, so as the Easter bunny was just by a few weeks back… its carrot cake, with pineapples for sweetness and icing to balance out the low fat healthy goodness. Mind you, if you’re allergic to nuts, swap out all nuts in recipe with shredded coconut… you’ll be getting a ridiculous amount of fibre, but as coconut naturally is high in fat.. well, at least recently folks have been getting on the coconut oil wagon, so guess its not that bad! :D

First up, gather up your ingredients, or at least most of them so they’re handy and within reach.

Yup – my carrots look funny. First, I was lazy, so I used baby carrots: no peeling! :D Then I tossed them into my food processor to “grate” them up. Not so much a grated texture, but a small itty bitty chopped up texture – it bakes out well, but you don’t get the long hand grated slender looking bits of carrot :P

I ran out of apple sauce, so I pureed ½ an apple with skin on to sub it out. If you’re wondering, the flecks of apple skin look just like carrot once it bakes, and you hide a bit more fiber into these babies! :)  I used the mini food processor attachment from my Cuisinart Smart Stick set.. love it!

After mixing everything all up, waiting impatiently while the cupcakes baked and scented my house with bakery sweetness, and testing doneness with a very high tech wooden toothpick... tah dah!

I had overfilled the muffin tins a fair bit – but my boyfriend like muffin tops, so if you’re obsessive compulsive about flat cupcake tops (which makes icing them a heck of a lot easier) – make sure you only fill them ¾ full.. and you’ll probably end up with far more than 18 cupcakes. Place on rack to cool... I have a bazillon cooling racks (big and small) and you can't have too many when baking!

Set up your frosting station while the suckers cool off – using a mini spatula to load up a small piping bag is a godsend.. don’t use a large spatula to load up a small piping bag.. our it’ll end up as an epic fail. I used Wilton's basic decorating set's little piping bag and tips to make it look like I know what I'm doing... :P

Pipe vanilla or cream cheese frosting on top…

Then top with nuts or shredded coconut and dig in!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Makes 18 cupcakes
2 eggs
1 1/8 cups white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup oil
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded or grated carrots
½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup chopped walnuts or unsweetened/sweetened shredded coconut

How to
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). add paper cupcake/muffin cups to the muffin pans.
2) In a large bowl, cream together eggs, sugars, oil and vanilla – it should look like a thick pale creamy goo, then mix in carrots and pineapple.
3) In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nuts/coconut (whatever you’re using). Dump flour mixture into carrot mixture and mix until everything is incorporated and you have a thick even batter.
4) Using a icecream scooper, or a tablespoon, fill the prepared muffin cups to about ¾ full. You can fill them all the way up if you don’t mind muffin tops.
5) Bake for 25 minutes in preheated 350F oven on top rack, then check with a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin: if it comes out comes out clean, its done! If not, back for a few more minutes.
6) Cool completely on wire racks before topping with icing (unless you want runny icing) and top with nuts or coconut (you can colour with a few drops of food colouring to jazz it up). Enjoy!

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