So I made a carrot cake for a friend’s birthday yesterday and it’s the best carrot cake we’ve ever eaten!
The recipe below is for cupcakes but I made it into a full cake (divided into two cake tins with frosting in between of course). I actually completely covered it with icing shortly after this photo to make it even more indulgent!
4 large eggs
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup apple sauce (I used unsweetened)
1 cup golden (light) brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp (1 Tbsp) ground cinnamon
3 tsp (1 Tbsp) vanilla extract
3 cups grated carrots (hand grated….trust me. Freshly hand-grated. Don’t buy the pre-shredded carrots)
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts (like I said above, I subbed in 1 cup of raisins…but no one would fault you (or me, in the future) for using 1/2 cup each of chopped walnuts and raisins)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line cupcake pan with liners.
Using an electric or stand mixer, mix the eggs, canola oil, applesauce, brown sugar, and sugar until smooth.
In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon until combined.
Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no clumps remain.
Stir in vanilla, carrots, pineapple, and chopped walnuts (or raisins, or both).
Pour batter into the pans, about 3/4 the way full (I’d do about 2/3 of the way full…I filled mine 3/4 of the way, and a few of them baked over).
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine took 18 minutes).
Allow to cool before frosting.
(The original recipe had a cream cheese icing recipe in it. However, I love my cream cheese icing, and chose to use it on these cupcakes. It went perfectly! See below for my recipe, or use the recipe from the original cupcakes by clicking the link above.)
Cream Cheese Icing
3 8-oz packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 stick butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups of powdered sugar
Vanilla, to taste
Blend cream cheese and butter.
Add vanilla to taste.
Add powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until desired sweetness and consistency (I usually end up with about 3 cups of powdered sugar).
I piped the icing onto the cooled cupcakes, and topped with a royal icing carrot.
If using nuts in the cupcakes, rimming the cupcake with chopped nuts would look nice, too (that’s what I do with my full-sized carrot cake).