There’s a very specific sort of kitchen math that runs through my brain every time I stare into my refrigerator and try to figure out what to make.
Six carrots + 8 radishes + 2 sticks of butter + half a pot of leftover chicken soup + 1/2 bundle wilting kale + block of cream cheese – one bagel’s worth of cream cheese + yesterday’s pudding experiment.
Unfortunately the hungrier I am when I approach the refrigerator, the more difficult it is the process this math.
If I made the radishes a snack. If I combine the wilted kale with the leftover chicken soup. If I pray that there’s oil enough, eggs enough, canned pineapple enough, sugar enough, and flour enough… maybe just maybe I can produce Carrot Cake Cupcakes from a good long stare in the fridge.
I wish for you the same success!
Shredded carrots by the heap-ful are mixed together with sugar, eggs, and vegetable oil.
No mixer, even!
Just a bowl, a whisk, and a dream.
Cinnamon, ginger, and ground cloves spice this batter. It’s simple!
Dried cranberries and crushed pineapple sweeten and moisten the batter.
Sorry I made you say ‘moisten’ in your brain. Nobody likes that.
Everytime I decide to make cupcakes I immediately try to talk myself out of it. All of this individual scooping and individual frosting just seems like an ordeal in the part of my baker’s brain that says ‘don’t work that hard, this could be a Bundt cake!’.
But I’m glad I turned this Carrot Cake batter intocupcakes. I took them to a backboard barbecue here in New Orleans in an effort to make new friends. People were like, ‘whoa these are really good!’ and I was like ‘DUH, I’m Joy the Baker, dummy!’. (But I only said that last part in my head, so….).
Calling someone a dummy while trying to make new friends is not suggested.
Cream Cheese Frosting with a dash of crushed pineapple. The pineapple in the frosting will mimic the pineapple in the cupcakes. It’s like matching your purse and your belt. You know.
Springtime friendship makers. Soft and sweet with really great frosting. They’re like little cupcake weapons… for friendship.
Try them. You’ll see.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
makes almost 3 dozen cupcakes
adapted from Martha Stewart
For the Cupcakes:
4 cups peeled and finely grated carrots
3 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1 cup walnuts or pecans, finely chopped (plus more for optional topping of the frosted cupcakes)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
For the Frosting:
8oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4-6 cups powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk
depending on desired consistency
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper liners and set aside. In a bowl, whisk together grated carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract, pineapple, dried cranberries, and nuts if desired.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Add the dry ingredients all at once to the wet ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine.
Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until testers inserted into centers come out clean, 20 to 23 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks, 10 minutes. Turn out cupcakes onto wire racks, and let cool completely. Unfrosted cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen for up to 2 months in airtight containers.
Make sure cupcakes are completely cool before frosting.
To make the frosting, in the bowl of a electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the cream cheese until soft and pliable. Add the softened butter and beat on low until well combined. Add the powdered sugar, pineapple, vanilla, and a dash of milk. Beat on medium low until mixture is combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add more milk to reach your desired consistency.
Generously spread frosting on each cooled cupcake. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cupcakes are best served within three days.
I make these all the time, and I’ve never received more compliments. These are out of control delicious. Thanks for the winning recipe!
Can these just be made as a regular cake? Like be put in a brownie pan (10×13), for example?
The recipe can make two round 8″ or 9″ pans.
Made these recently. So good and it makes a ton of them so I fed my family and the neighbors. Best pineapple cream cheese frosting. Make extra and eat it with a spoon!
I was looking for a recipe with carrots and pineapple and this definitely fit the bill. Moist and deliciously flavorful, my family loved them. It made too much frosting for my taste, but it is yummy!
made these yesterday and they are delicious. Love the pineapple in the frosting.
I have made this 3 times now and it is my favorite carrot cake recipe of all time. I find that I have enough batter left over to make a small cake, too!
Jayne @ Tenacious Tinkering
Hey Joy, did you grate your carrots by hand or with a food processor?
by hand on a box grater.
OMG best recipe EVER!! Carrot cake cupcakes are my favourite ones. I definitely must try this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing, Joy. Best wishes from Spain.
Hi Joy! I LOVE your blog. It’s my ultimate favorite! I was just wondering if you thought it would be alright to make these cupcakes on Friday evening, and the frosting on Saturday and have them made in advance for Sunday afternoon? Thanks!
I didn’t realise what my brain was doing when I stare into the fridge, but it’s totally fridge-maths! I didn’t realise other people did that too…..
Looks fabulous! How long would you bake it if you made it in a bundt pan?
I’d say about 45 minutes to an hour. I’d keep an eye on it after 45 minutes to make sure it doesn’t over bake!
I want to make these to bring into work this week, but I will be making them the night before. Do I need to worry about the pineapple ruining the frosting if I leave them overnight (in the fridge)?
Ahhh Joy. I’ve been looking for a carrot cake recipe this past few days. When I read your new blog post it hit a spot and I know, this is the one. Can’t wait to try this out!
These are such a lovely idea! I’d never have thought about adding pineapple; I tend to stick to the more traditional flavours.
Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures
If you made me these cupcakes, I would be your friend :)