Sunday, April 25, 2010

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

There was flour all over the kitchen after I made these scrummy treats from Joy the Baker - it was in my hair, on the floor, in the toaster and all over my face too. It's not that they're hard to make, I'm just a bit special sometimes - either way, they're completely worth the effort.

We've been stalking Joy's blog for some time now, one of us has been swooning over her creations for years.
I thought I would give these a go after one of us baked them and brought them into work a couple of weeks ago. I ate three cupcakes that day, today I ate another three. They're super easy and the girls I baked them for absolutely loved them. Check out Joy's here.
{ Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream }

Recipe from Joy the Baker adapted from Martha Stewart.

Makes around 28 cupcakes.

4 cups peeled and finely grated carrots
3 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1/3 cup buttermilk

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped, pod reserved for another use (or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, well drained

1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and finely chopped

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla seeds, and coconut, pineapple and nuts if desired. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.

Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until testers inserted into centers come out clean, 23 to 28 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks, 10 minutes. Turn out cupcakes onto wire racks, and let cool completely. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen for up to 2 months in airtight containers.

Frost cupcakes with dulce de leche or cream cheese frosting. Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature, and sprinkle with toasted coconut (press gently to adhere) before serving.

{ Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting }

From The Pastry Queen

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

3 tbl heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups powdered sugar

pinch of salt

3/4 cup prepared dulce de leche

Cream together softened butter and powdered sugar on low using an electric mixer. Add cream and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth and no lumps appear. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the prepared dulce de leche and beat to incorporate. Frost cooled cupcakes using a knife or a pastry bag and tip. Top with toasted coconut.

A friend also brought along a tasty pavlova inspired by Donna Hay's from last week's Master Chef challenge. Yum!

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