First things first: Today's recipe is from The Cupcake Deck by Elionor Klivans. The Apple Streusel Cinnamon Swirls from two weeks ago are from the same set. Actually, the next 6 recipes I plan to play with come from The Cupcake Deck; it's such a fun collection! And whoever thought to put recipes on cute little cards instead of in big, cumbersome books gets a thumbs up from me!
Now a word regarding lemon/orange/lime zesters: They are fantastic. Everyone else has probably known this for years, but I just bought my first one in June; it leaves my poor cheese grater in the dust. Gone are the days of gnashing my teeth when I see a frosting recipe that calls for 2 tsp of zest!
Also, two quick notes about these cupcakes: Every other recipe I've made says to use either cupcake papers or to spray the muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. This recipe says to use papers coated in spray, and it's not kidding. I did as I was told, and it was still tough to peel the cupcakes out of the liners. Then, just like the Apple Struesel Cinnamon Swirls, these are much more muffin-esque in density, but this time we have... frosting! And lots of it! :)
CARROT, ORANGE & GOLDEN RAISIN CUPCAKES
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp grated orange zest (Get out that zester and go to town!)
1 cup finely grated carrots (Hooray for food processors!)
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about 2 ounces)
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 325. Line 12 muffin cups with liners & spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sift flour - cinnamon into a medium-sized bowl. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar on medium speed until smooth and thick, about 1 minute. Mix in the applesauce - orange zest on low speed. Mix in the flour mixture. Mix in the carrots, raisins & walnuts. Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 cup batter. Bake about 28 minutes, until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. Place muffin pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pan and cool completely on wire rack. For the frosting, beat the butter, cream cheese & vanilla in a large bowl on low speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar, mixing until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute more. Use a large spoon to fold in orange zest. Now, lick and the spoon and then frost away!
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