mini carrot cupcakes

being in charge of the food for my mother and father in-law's 50th anniversary party gave me some challenges: 30+ people, the setting was outdoors at my sister-in-law's farm, so no electricity, it all needed to be pick-up food, and desserts are not my strong suite. 
     looking through my baking cabinet i got a clue for solving my dessert dilemma from a mini-muffin pan– pumpkin muffins seemed right since it's october. once i ran the idea past jim, he strongly suggested carrot cake instead- because it's his favorite. i liked this idea too because shredding carrots instead of roasting pumpkin would take less time. so i planned for mini-carrot cake cupcakes, half chocolate icing , half creme cheese. 
     i found the carrot cake recipe on, but changed it pretty drastically by using butter instead of oil, yogurt instead of milk, and eliminating the raisins. i had never used the pastry bag before but found it was not difficult after following this video here it is, then, and for variety i zested the cream cheese iced ones with orange peel.
ingredients (makes 48 mini cupcakes)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  1. beat sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, and yogurt together in the bowl of the kitchen aid, fitted with the paddle attachment until well combined.
  2. sift together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. add the flour mixture and carrots to the sugar mixture and mix until well combined and airy.
  3. butter the mini-muffin tins and spoon in about 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of batter. bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. cool completely to remove from the pan.
cream cheese icing
  • 1/2 package (4 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3-4 tbl. honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • about 1 cup of confectioners' sugar
  1. use a fork to beat cream cheese with the other ingredients until you have a smooth, spreadable icing.
for the chocolate icing i simply melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave. ice half the cupcakes with chocolate, and half with the cream cheese icing before decorating.

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