Friday, February 1, 2013

Food on Friday: Carrot cupcakes with maple-cream cheese frosting

Peter had his birthday this week and I, being the phenomenal girlfriend that I am, made these cupcakes for him.  I chose carrot because it is one of my favorite types of cake (and is really hard to find here in Germany) and made this particular recipe because of the maple frosting and great reviews.  Peter is obsessed with maple syrup and so I figured he would love these and he certainly did.  Even some of the guys at work thought they were fantastic!  

This is a really great carrot cake recipe.  These were incredibly moist and carroty, without being too sweet (I used less sugar than the original recipe called for) and I loved the fresh ginger in them.  The only problem I had with the frosting was that mine was a little too runny and didn't give me a pretty whipped finish on my cupcakes.  It tasted fantastic, though, and Peter said it was the best frosting I had ever made.  

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted slightly from Bon Appétit, September 1999 (via Epicurious)


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (I like the woodsy taste this gives baked good, but you can use all canola oil instead if you prefer)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated peeled carrots
  • 2/3 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup rasins or sultanas 
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger


  • 10 ounces cream cheese (such as Philadelphia), room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350°F. 

For a cake: 
Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour. 

For cupcakes: 
Place paper liners in a muffin tin.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and ginger. Divide batter between prepared pans.

Bake 40 minutes for two cakes and about 30-35 minutes for cupcakes, until tester inserted into center comes out clean.  (I kept a close eye on my cupcakes since the recipe was for cakes.) Cool in pans 15 minutes.  Ice. 

For the icing:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and beat at low speed until well blended. Beat in maple syrup. Chill until just firm enough to spread, 30 minutes.

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