We're so removed from our food as a society that I actually find it to be a novelty when they sell carrots with leafy tops in the grocery store (Don't carrots grow in the ground in groups of twelve in plastic bags!?). Call me crazy, but they just look happier. Happy little carrots...
You know what would make you happier? A cupcake.
These cute carrot cake basket cupcakes can't help but make you smile. They are moist and comforting, with a hint of fall spice, and you can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
yields two dozen cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3 cups shredded carrots
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom in a large bowl. Beat in eggs and oil until incorporated.
Stir in shredded carrots with a spatula. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Fill with batter 2/3 full.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for an hour.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
16 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat ingredients for one minute. Spread a thin layer of frosting onto cupcakes. Pipe basket as shown below using Ateco tip #47.
Royal Icing Carrots
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
2 tablespoons water
Beat ingredients for three minutes. Separate batch in half. Use food coloring gel to color green and orange.
Line a baking tray with waxed paper. Pipe carrots onto waxed paper. Let dry (this process can be expediated by placing in the freezer for one hour). Place on top of cupcakes.