A root vegetable, carrots are a good and hearty storage crop that can often be found in farmers markets through the winter months. Good raw, in salads, soups, stews and more, carrots sweeten if left in the ground until after the first frost in the fall.
Carrots are also an important base ingredient in many cuisines including French mirepoix, Spanish Sofrito, German Suppengrün, Cajun Holy Trinity and Puerto Rican Recaíto. In each case, carrots are combined with other base ingredients to form an important cooking base for the cuisine.
But carrots aren’t just good for savory dishes. They are also delightful in sweet ones too. As a child, it was a special treat to get a slice of carrot cake at the department store my mother loved to shop in. It was like a sweet bribe for somewhat patiently waiting for her to finish shopping … hours later.
Carrots are delightful in muffins, breads and more.
And in these cupcakes too.
With an easy one-bowl preparation, it’s easy to clean up after making these carrot cupcakes. The trick to getting the most carrot-y flavor into them is to hand-grate the carrots. Though you can use store-shredded carrots in a pinch, fine shreds impart a better carrot flavor into their tender crumb.
And then they are topped with my favorite cream cheese frosting — a nice finish.
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
yields 10 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp kosher salt
1 large egg
½ cup milk
¼ cup canola oil
1 cup shredded carrots
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
4 oz package cream cheese, softened (from an 8 oz package)
¼ cup marshmallow fluff
½ cup confectioners sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 10 muffin cups with liners and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the egg, milk and oil to the bowl. Whisk vigorously for two minutes, until smooth. Stir in the carrots.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Once cooled, prepare the frosting.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all frosting ingredients and whip until combined and smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag and frost cupcakes.
This story was originally published in Bangor Metro’s March 2019 issue.