Friday, April 1, 2011

Here comes Peter Cottontail

If I were to pick one thing that I didn't love doing in the kitchen, it would be grating. I don't mind it at first, but the longer it goes on, the more tired my arms get and the more I hate it. Grating cheese doesn't usually take that long, but I've always avoided making homemade carrot cake, because it is arduous.

The other night, I got a craving though and decided to suck it up. It was a pain in the butt, but I made it through with a sense of baking accomplishment.

Instead of cake, I decided to go with mini-cupcakes, in an attempt to curb my terrible sense of portion control. These little guys came out super cute and colorful. However, their taste doesn't do their appearance justice.

They aren't bad, just much too savory to be slathered with cream cheese frosting. My recommendation - bake these, skip the frosting and call them carrot muffins. Minus the frosting they'd make a fantastic, healthful breakfast!

Carrot Mini-Cupcakes (Inspired by Martha Stewart)
Makes 33 Mini-Cupcakes
  • 6 carrots, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
  • 8 ounces bar cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar


Start by shredding your carrots using the finest grating surface on your box grater.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini cupcake tin with cooking spray or line with paper liners. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and eggs. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake until cake tester or toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.

Frost cupcakes, and garnish with shredded coconut.


  1. Yum!! I love carrot cake--these muffins are so cute :)

  2. The shredding blade on my food processor is a life-saver. I never liked doing things like this either until I got it. It makes short work of carrot and zucchini muffins as well as latkes!