A repeat customer requested carrot cake cupcakes for this weekend. I used to not like eating carrot cake at all, but I guess that’s because most of the carrot cakes I’ve had from stores or restaurants were too dry or too sweet or too SOMETHING. Since I started baking things from scratch, I’ve made carrot cake twice, and not to pat myself on the shoulder or anything, but carrot cake doesn’t taste gross anymore. =D
Carrot cake used to be pretty up there with red velvet in the “pain in the @ss to make” category because we didn’t have a legit food processor so it used to be pretty annoying to peel and hand grate all the carrots for this. We bought a “Ninja” chopper/snow maker/blender/etc and it’s not too bad. I still had a helper hand grate half the carrots though (thanks, baby!) and added a mix of secret ingredients that weren’t in the original recipe.
As I was spooning the mixture into the cupcake pans, the texture and color reminded me of vomit. See for yourself. Who knew it this would soon be something so delicious and appetizing! MMMMmmm… yummy…
Since I wasn’t sure how long it would take to bake these babies, I kept checking the first batch. I know, I know… constantly opening and closing the oven isn’t good and I did my best to only take quick peeks so the cakes would rise properly. I got lucky that I didn’t over or under bake the cupcakes and I got the timing down to a science. I was on a roll and made over 4 dozen cupcakes, but towards the end I got sloppy. I started getting careless and grazed the side of my arm on the open oven door and now have a lovely 2″ burn on my forearm. =(
While the cupcakes cooled, I made fresh cream cheese frosting. We had gone to Costco and got a three-pound block of Philly cream cheese and I went through a pound of butter no sweat (hellooooo, Paula Deen!). I guess I was so used to the scent of carrot and spices that I wasn’t affected by the inviting, perfect-for-fall odor of cake wafting through the house, but Vin was! He said the house smelled awwwwesome and kept asking if I had tried any yet. I saw him eyeballing the cupcakes and told him to go ahead and crack one open so I could check to make sure it cooked OK. He said they were perfectly moist and tasty! Yayyy!
A quick swirl of frosting and neatly placed mouse-brain sized pecan finishes the perfect carrot cake cupcake!