Carrot cake is like the dessert of April. There’s something so “springtime” about it. It’s also my stepdad’s favourite treat, and since he has an April birthday I got to whip up a batch on the weekend. I can’t take credit for the recipe (because why mess with a classic?) so I’m just going to share the one I always use from Cooking Classy. Follow the directions EXACTLY for the most delicious carrot cupcakes of life, and the perfect amount of sweetness with the cream cheese icing.
- 1 1/4 cups (178g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups (195g) finely shredded carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)
- 2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (78g) packed light-brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (64g) unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup (82g) chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, softened
- 3 1/2 cups (412g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- white fondant
- Orange and green food colouring
- Cocoa powder
- For the cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg for 30 seconds, set aside. Shred carrots, set aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar, then add eggs and using an electric hand mixer, blend mixture on low speed 30 seconds, until slightly pale. Mix in applesauce and vanilla extract. With mixer running on low speed, slowly pour in vegetable oil and mix until combined, then mix 20 seconds longer. Mix in half of the dry ingredients, then pour the shredded carrots into the bowl with the remaining flour mixture and toss in flour mixture to coat carrots (they’ll clump together a bit but that’s fine). Pour carrot mixture into the batter and blend until evenly combined.
- Pour batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 19 – 21 minutes. Cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
- For the frosting:
- Using an electric mixer whip together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. If frosting is slightly runny freeze several minutes then mix again and repeat if needed. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting then immediately roll edges of frosting in chopped pecans.
- Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
Today, I’m showing how you can make the perfect fondant topper to take your carrot cupcakes to the next level.
If you’ve ever worked with fondant before, this is going to be beyond easy. I’ve only done it a couple times, and even I figured it out. First, you want to warm up the fondant, so knead it and roll it between your hands. It’ll start to get more pliable, and you can “fold” in your colour. If you recently got a manicure (i.e. my situation) I suggest using gloves because they dye will destroy your hand. I’ve heard of people using their stand mixer with the hook attachment to fold in the colour, but that seemed like extra dishes so I don’t know. It’s pretty easy to just add dye and keep folding it over until it’s blended through. You’ll want to dye a ball orange (carrots) and green (carrot greenery).
Pull smaller balls of fondant and roll them into a long cylinder shape, putting more pressure on one end and pinching it off to form the cone shape. To make the greenery, I made three super small balls of fondant and rolled them into longer rolls, and pinched them together. Using a skewer, poke a hole in the top of the carrot shape and use water to “glue” the two pieces together.
Dip your skewer into the cocoa powder, and draw little indents into your carrot shape to make it look like it came straight from the garden. You can pop them in the fridge to harden a bit before you put them on your cupcakes – otherwise they may droop a bit.
And that’s it! Isn’t that ridiculously easy? Yet it’s the perfect touch for this spring classic.