Well, it’s just crazy out there. It has been snowing all day, and the wind has been blowing snow everywhere so that shoveling is futile. It was pretty clear from the time I got up that it would be a good day to do some baking.
I took a visiting speaker out for brunch yesterday, and saw a gorgeous carrot cake in the bakery case of the restaurant. I didn’t get to have a slice then, but have been having visions of carrot cake ever since.
I thought I would do carrot cupcakes and share some with friends (well, whenever we dig out). I realized I didn’t have all of the ingredients for my favorite carrot cake recipe, so would have to brave the elements.
I stepped outside into snow up to my knees! Luckily, it was the soft and fluffy stuff, easy to kick through (and sort of fun to kick around). I walked over to the grocery store and picked up a few items, including a can of crushed pineapple and some cream cheese.
The cupcakes baked up nicely, though I think I had the top rack ones in just a few minutes too long. I brushed the tops with simple syrup just to get a little extra moisture in those (dry cupcakes are the worst).
We had tickets to go see a dance/music performance this evening. I kept waiting for the notification that the performance would be cancelled, but as of 6 p.m. I still hadn’t gotten any notification. My husband wisely suggested that we take the bus instead of trying to drive. After waiting for the bus a while, I checked email and was relieved that the event had indeed been cancelled–about time!
So after trudging home from the bus stop, I made some frosting for a few of the cupcakes. The rest will wait until we dig out. It may take a while, but at least if we are snowed in there are plenty of carrot cupcakes to eat!
Makes a three-layer cake or around 30 cupcakes.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1-1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3/4 cups grated carrot
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 1/2-cups shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with parchment paper; lightly grease and flour. Alternatively, prepare cupcake pans.
Beat together sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add flour mixture. When this is beginning to come together, fold in carrots, pineapple, coconut, and nuts if desired. Blend until just combined–do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and remove from pans.
Frost with cream cheese frosting or whipped cream/cream cheese frosting.
Cream cheese frosting
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 – 2 cups confectioner’s sugar (I usually use just over 1 cup)
Blend butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in a food processor; add sugar until desired level of sweetness.
Whipped cream/cream cheese frosting
- 1-1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar (or less)
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Whip cream separately until stiff peaks form. Beat together cream cheese, vanilla, and desired amount of sugar until smooth. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream.