Cupcakes galore

I had this intense craving last year at my birthday for a carrot cake with endless amounts of cream cheese frosting decorated with chopped nuts and a bright orange carrot piped on top. But a few of my friends and my mother wanted the "wow factor". So after much consideration, I decided to make carrot cupcakes, which were offered to all under the pretense of a cupcake decorating competition. But throughout the competition, their eyes were feasting on this cuillère à sucre.

My mother, who was assigned judge by default, ended up declaring my friend Alby the winner as he'd been the most original cupcake decorator of us all. He had nibbled his way through his cupcake until it was shapped like a star! As for my chef d'oeuvre, it's the beach cupcake with the cute pink colored umbrella!

Now we all enjoyed these cupcakes so much that I had to find other occasions to make them again... and soon! So ofcourse, my sister who was all too intrigued after hearing their success story (she was too busy soaking in some sun in India) thought they would make perfect little bonbonnières for her best friend's baby shower!  

We had quite a production line going, with over 150 of them to make, my sister and I had our share of fun, not to mention our share of icing tasting, hihihi.

Ofcourse this phenomenon didn't just stop there, it made its guest appearance at a summer camp for some children of the community, and more recently (last sunday!) it was part of breakfast at a religious gathering with over 300 people... yup... a production line of over 300 cupcakes!

This was batch one of five

Now on a more serious note, I read recently of the anti-cupcake movement. Seriously tell me how one is to resist the look of those tiny miniature cupcakes, perfectly lined in a bright colorful liner, crowned with just the right amout of piped icing and sprinkled with little edible jewels?

I, for one, cannot.

Carrot cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the carrot cupcakes (makes over 48 mini cupcakes)
  • 2 cups all purpose white flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger, though I omit this because as much as I love ginger, just can't take it in baked goods
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated peeled carrots
  • 1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional), I'd say its mandatory!
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional), unless my niece (who is in India) were here, I'm never putting in raisins in these
  1. Don't forget to preheat the oven now (though because it takes me forever to do step 5, that's when I turn it on) to 350'F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients and set aside... 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk oil and sugar until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at time, using your whisk.
  4. Add the flour mixture, and and mix until just combined. Add in your nuts and raisins if using any (though really, tsk on you for using raisins *tsk tsk*)
  5. Divide batter in the supposedly prepared molds (aww did I forget to mention that earlier? Yeah you're supposed to line your mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners) about 2/3 to 3/4 full. 
  6. Bake for about roughly 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out smooth. To be on the safe side,  about 9 minutes into the baking time is a good time to start eyeing these beauties.
For the frosting:
  • 2 packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup... I go by eye here, and look away for a couple extra seconds while it pours, hihi
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  1. One bowl and one step recipe!!! Place all the ingredients in one large bowl and beat (I sincerely hope you have an electrical mixer of some kind here) for a good 8 minutes. Your frosting becomes all nice and white and fluffy and when you have fresh strawberries at arms length, its the perfect way to sample this masterpiece!
Note: I just baked some brownies... and even though they're chilling in the fridge, I can smell them all the way in my bedroom... I think I know what I'll be dreaming about tonight, hihihi! Worry not, I'll post about it soon... If I remember to take low quality pictures of course!

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