Bear Makes Brunch: Carrot Cupcakes

Carrot-top of the morning to all you Brunch with Bearees and hoppy Easter Sunday! In honor of the holidays and the return of spring, we decided it was time for a seasonal treat: carrots! Well, carrot cake.

Spring is the season of abundance, and it turns out a bag of whole carrots goes for a pittance. After a morning of peeling, chopping, slicing, and shredding, we still had several carrots left over, so with a little sugar, spice, and two shakes of a bunny tail, we turned them into dessert!

This recipe for carrot cake comes from a small-batch recipe, which originally was only for four cupcakes. It was a little difficult for us to measure out half an egg, so we doubled the recipe and now it makes about nine normal cupcakes, or six very large cupcakes, depending on how you fill the pans. The recipe itself is naturally allergy-friendly, calling for oil rather than butter, and no milk at all. The carrots themselves add enough liquid, and the simplicity of the recipe makes it easy for a quick Easter treat.

The ingredients are listed as follows:

½ cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup flavorless oil
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2/ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup carrots, grated
½ cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and then get to mixing! The first step is to mix the oil, sugar, and egg. Although we originally measured the sugar and poured in the oil, we might suggest folding the sugar into the oil to make it a smoother mixture.

The egg will make the mixture easier to stir, as the combination of oil and sugar can be rather viscous and syrupy. Once combined, the mixture will look smooth and shiny.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, a little at a time. In the interest of efficiency, we added the dry ingredients into the mixture separately. For those of you who are more experienced bakers, you may prefer to sift the dry ingredients together in a another bowl before folding the dry ingredients into the batter. Sifting the dry ingredients together removes clumps of flour and makes for a smoother cake.

Last, add in the carrots and golden raisins, which give the cupcakes both their color and their flavor. We thought the small amount of batter would not accommodate the full cup of carrots, but we kept stirring and we were mistaken!

The final batter will be a bright orange color, reminiscent of my high school’s soccer uniforms, and decidedly festive. Spoon the batter into cupcake papers, or pour the whole thing into a small cake pan if you prefer. We use colorful silicon molds here, but cute cupcake papers may serve your purpose better. We wanted giant cupcakes so we filled our molds almost to the top!

The cupcakes should bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how poofy they are. These ones took quite a bit of time to bake all the way through, so check with a toothpick or a knife until it comes through the center clean. They will be slightly rough-looking but should have a uniformly golden sheen.

We whipped up an easy buttercream frosting, with a dollop of melted margarine and a lot of confectioners’ sugar, until it was soft and creamy. A little soymilk and vanilla extract made it smooth and easy to spread.

Let the cupcakes cool for at least 15 minutes outside of the pan before attempting to frost them, lest the frosting melt down the sides in an unsightly fashion.

Some crushed walnuts made a cute garnish and voila! Simple, elegant, and delicious!

The springtime is always a fun time for the Brunch with Bear team, especially since it means the end of hibernation season for some of the furrier members.

Spring also means warmer weather and more opportunities to leave the apartment and see the world! Exciting things are in store this year for us, and we can’t wait to share them all with you!