Cupcake Series: Coconut Carrot Cupcakes

CarrotCupcake_cover

Hello friends!

It’s the Tuesday after Easter, which means that regardless of whether you are in the Easter-lasts-for-one-day-and-that’s-Sunday camp or the twice-the-Easter-is-twice-as-nice-so-let’s-celebrate-Monday camp, Easter has officially come and gone.

But you know what isn’t gone (yet)?

Mini Cadbury Eggs!

So clearly, it’s still an appropriate time of year to pick out the blue eggs and make little robin’s egg carrot cupcakes (and shamelessly munch on the pink and yellow and white ones as you bake…for science and biological accuracy, of course). And a good thing, too, since it took 3 whole tries of sad, mushy, way-too-watery almost-cupcakes (and the arm workouts grating carrots to boot!) and a complete recipe reboot to bring you today’s latest installment of the cupcake series.

CarrotCupcake_crumb

But that’s okay, because when life gives you mushy cupcake recipes that call for way too much liquid, throw in some rolled oats and make half baked carrot cupcake oatmeal cookies. They kind of taste like a cross between banana bread and a Clif bar, which sounds like a weird combination but is surprisingly addictive, especially if you add a white chocolate drizzle (mmm chocolate).

Waste not, want not, right?

CarrotCupcake_intermed1

At any rate, don’t worry – the final recipe is 100% snuggly bunny approved (granted, they’re porcelain snuggly bunny ring holders, but they still approve) and 100% delicious, so grate yourself some carrots and hop to it! Hope you enjoy!

Happy Tuesday,
Anne


Coconut Carrot Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Carrot Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
2 large eggs
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 tbs vegetable oil
6 tbs apple sauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of carrots, packed and finely grated
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (In case of allergy, feel free to omit!)

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 cup heavy cream
5 1/2 oz cream cheese, full fat or reduced fat
1 tbs coconut extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Toasted Coconut:
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

To Assemble:
1 package mini Cadbury chocolate eggs (you will need 36 eggs!)

Directions:

Carrot Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ºF.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. Beat together the oil, apple sauce, brown sugar, honey, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
  4. Fold the flour mixture, grated carrots, and chopped nuts into the liquid mixture until just mixed.
    Tip: It is super easy for these cupcakes to become too tough. Be sure to only mix JUST until no more dry clumps of flour remain.
  5. Fill your cupcake liners about 3/4 full with cupcake batter. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 º. Bake for another 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the middle of the cupcake comes out with only a few dry crumbs attached.
  6. Set aside to cool!

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In a stand mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks. At this stage, trails formed in the cream by the beaters or whisk just begin to stay in place, and when you lift the beaters out, a small peak forms that slowly collapses back over. Set the whipped cream aside.
  2. In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and coconut extract until no streaks of color remain and the cream cheese is fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure that everything is mixed well.
  3. Transfer the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture in 2 additions and mix on high until fully incorporated. Set aside for later!

Toasted Coconut:

  1. In a small tray (I used an 8″ x 8″ square cake pan), spread the shredded coconut in a thin, uniform layer.
  2. Bake at 350 ºF for 5-10 minutes, or until the coconut is a light golden brown.
  3. Remove about 3/4 of the toasted coconut, then spread out the remaining 1/4 in the pan and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the coconut is a dark brown color.
  4. Toss together both batches of coconut and set aside for decorating!

Assembly:

  1. Place a large dollop of frosting in the center of the cupcake with a small offset spatula and gently smooth out to form a thick, rounded dome about 3/4″ tall.
    CarrotCake_assembly1
  2. Poke the tip of the offset spatula straight down into the center of the dome and twirl around to hollow out a small cylinder.
    CarrotCake_assembly2
  3. Using a small spoon, sprinkle a thick layer of toasted coconut all over the surface of the cupcake, lifting and turning to coat the sides. After coating, invert the cupcake and gently tap the bottom to shake off any excess coconut.
    Tip: As you coat the sides, after adding on a spoonful of coconut, gently use your fingers to press down on the freshly added coconut before rotating the cupcake to make sure that the coconut sticks to the frosting before allowing the excess to fall off.
    CarrotCake_assembly3
  4. Arrange 3 of the mini Cadbury eggs inside the hollow of the frosting. Serve with whimsical bunnies and enjoy!

CarrotCupcake_final

 

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