Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Very Best Moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”

― Dale Carnegie,   How to Win Friends and Influence People

I am very happy to share this recipe with you. I've been looking for a carrot cake cupcake recipe that I really like for a while now, and the search is finally over!

Whenever I have to use freshly ground nutmeg I grate it onto a piece of paper. That way it's easy to fold up the paper and pour it into my measuring spoon.

If you're going to do something, do it right. This is a sentiment my husband lives by. I admire this about him. He really takes the time to do things right. He's very handy and he does a lot of building around here. He rarely rushes through a job just to get it done. He's all about the details and the craftsmanship. He gives it his best. While I was making these cupcakes I was contemplating this.

Love is in the details. I mean this isn't something I do all the time in every area of my life, I am famous for having a tidy house and dirty closets. I mean who's got time to make sure the closets are clean too?  But I do pay attention to details when baking.

Take the time to soak the raisins

One of the details in this recipe is soaking the raisins. Soaking them makes them nice and plump and juicy. You could even soak them in something fun like bourbon! I soaked them in hot water, but that doesn't mean you have to.

And peel the carrots, it does make a difference.

Another detail in this recipe is peeling the carrots. Taking the time to peel carrots in almost any recipe that includes them is always a good idea in my mind. Carrots are a root vegetable which sits in dirt. Sometimes an unpeeled carrot tastes a little like the ground to me, so I always peel them to uncover their true flavor.

I grate the majority of the carrots (about 3/4 of them) on the small holes of the grater.

I grated these carrots mostly on fine holes of a grater, but I did grate some on a large grate. Just to have a little difference in texture here and there.

I grate the remaining carrots on larger holes. Just so you have a little pop of extra carrot here and there. It is best to use mostly the fine grate, since you do want the carrots to blend into the cake well.

These cupcakes are jammed packed with carrots. In fact I was concerned that it was going to be too many carrots, but all of those carrots work here. I think it works in the way that potatoes work in baked goods. My Moist Chocolate Farmhouse Cake has potatoes in it. And those potatoes take the place of extra flour and keep the baked goods light as well as adding moisture.

After adding the carrots - there is a lot of carrots in this recipe, but not to worry, the texture is amazing.

The flavor of these cupcakes is spot on, with a nice touch of spice. And the texture is just phenomenal. They are light and moist at the same time. With a bit of crunch added from the nuts and a little chew from the raisins.

My finished batter

I frosted these with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting. It's the first time I've made this frosting, and holy cow. Where have you been all of my life, frosting?  This stuff is incredible, with the warm tones of brown sugar, boosted with a bit of molasses in the tangy cream cheese is a perfect match for these cupcakes. I think I'm going to be using this frosting a lot in the future. How about some Moist Banana Cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting? Or how does this sound, Moist Apple Cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting? I know! Right!

Ready for the oven

Just thinking about doing things right and giving things my best has made me want to do it in more areas of my life. I mean if I'm taking the time to do something, I might as well be "all in!" You know? Watch out closets, I'm coming for you, and I'm armed with "my best."

The sky when the sun was going down

If you didn't already hear, I've started a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. I'm adding new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you!

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The Very Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

This recipe makes about 28 standard sized cupcakes


1 1/2 cups (223 g.) all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup (about 2 1/2 oz. or 71 g.) chopped walnuts - or pecans work well too - if you have nut allergies, go ahead and omit

1/2 cup (64 g. or about 2 1/4 oz.) raisins

1 1/2 cups (315 g.) granulated sugar

3/4 cup (177 ml.) vegetable oil

1/2 cup (118 ml.) sour cream or yogurt - it's best to use a yogurt that has some fat in it, try not to use a nonfat yogurt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 eggs

3/4 lb. about 3 cups loosely packed carrots, shredded


shredded carrots  - optional


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 4.

Soak the raisins by pouring hot water over them. Let them sit for about 10 minutes, until they are swollen. Drain them right before using.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients, the flour to the nuts, set aside.

In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, mix the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs on medium high for 3 minutes. The mixture will be nice and homogenized and creamy looking.  Add the sour cream (or yogurt) shredded carrots and the soaked raisins (drained) and mix well to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix for just about 1 minute on low, just enough to incorporate it all.

Divide the batter among cupcake lined muffin tins using an ice cream scoop (or a spoon works too)  filling to about 2/3rds to 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for about 19-22 minutes in the preheated oven. Mine took exactly 21 minutes. Make the frosting while your cupcakes are baking.

Let cupcakes cool before frosting.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

This makes enough frosting to generously pipe frosting onto 28 cupcakes. If you are spreading it on instead of piping, you'll probably have leftover frosting.

What? Cornstarch in frosting? The reason it is there is to give the frosting a little more body instead of adding more powdered sugar and making it even sweeter. Powdered sugar is just sugar with cornstarch added to it. So I've just added a little more.

The molasses is to bump up the flavor of the brown sugar. Brown sugar is just sugar with molasses added to it, so I'm just boosting that flavor up a little more. If you don't have molasses available where you live, just go ahead and leave it out. It doesn't need to be replaced with anything.


2 sticks (1 cup) (226 g.) butter - room temperature

2 - 8 oz. (227 grams) packages cream cheese

5 cups (625 g.) powdered sugar

3 Tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup (108 g.) brown sugar packed

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1-2 Tablespoons molasses

pinch of salt


Whisk the cornstarch into the powdered sugar, set aside. Beat together the cream cheese and the room temperature butter. Add everything else and beat well for about 2 minutes in a stand mixer. Pipe or spread the frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

The frosting does keep well in the fridge for a few days. Just bring to cool room temperature and beat before using. It also freezes well for a few months if you wrap it well in an airtight container. Again, just bring to room temperature first, then beat again before using.