Yesterday was apparently National Dessert Day. I can’t keep up with the endless list of national food holidays, but I definitely couldn’t let this one pass without celebrating! My favorite way to celebrate anything is with cupcakes, so I whipped up one of my favorites- carrot cake cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting.
While I love chocolate, I have always been a big fan of carrot cake. I have been craving it for awhile, so this was the perfect opportunity to make some! This is a Martha Stewart recipe that I have been using for years. There are many carrot cake recipes out there, but this one seems to always yield consistent results. The cake is perfectly moist due to the addition of buttermilk and the maple cream cheese frosting is one of my favorites. Are you sensing a trend? I tend to go crazy for anything maple!
I love making mini cupcakes because they make the perfect bite sized dessert when I want something sweet, but don’t want to indulge too much. These cupcakes are somewhat in between a mini and normal-sized cupcake and these liners from Sur La Table are awesome because you don’t even need a cupcake pan to use them! To make the swirl on top I used a pastry bag with the large round 1A tip from Wilton. You could decorate them with crushed nuts, coconut or sprinkles, but I chose to keep them plain and simple this time!
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 40 mini cupcakes (true mini ones, not the medium sized ones I made)
Carrot Cake Recipe
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting recipe
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pan with liners.
Beat sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add three-quarters of the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. Add carrots and raisins to remaining flour mixture; toss to combine. Stir into batter until well combined.
Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full and bake 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes or 18-22 minutes for regular cupcakes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
To make frosting: beat butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment until smooth. Add confectioner’s sugar, then maple syrup and vanilla. Continue beating until well combined and smooth. I added a little more confectioner’s sugar than the recipe called for, so that the frosting was thick enough to hold its shape when I piped it.
Frost the cupcakes and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!