Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes Recipe

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes Recipe

Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes

The ultimate carrot cupcakes are not simply a carrot cake recipe poured into cupcake liners. It’s much more sensitive and complex than that for several reasons.

When you use a regular carrot cake recipe to bake cupcakes, the texture typically ends up being too dense for a cupcake.

Another problem is that cupcakes bake for a shorter period of time than a large cake, so that deep caramelization flavour is lost. Which is definitely not okay! That caramelised, slightly chewy top is the BEST part.

 

Flavour Comes First

When I speak of Carrot Cake, I’m NOT talking about those “carrot cakes” that are basically just a vanilla sponge with shredded carrot inside. That is not proper Carrot Cake. It is carrot flavoured Vanilla Cake. If it were a song, it would be “itsy bitsy spider”.

Proper Carrot Cake is much deeper and darker, with such a dynamic flavour and texture. If it were a song, it would be “O sole Mio”. EPIC. Unique. Gutsy. Excellence. (And yes, I’m listening to O sole mio as I write this post 🙂 There’s an AMAZING version where Pavarotti sings it with Bryan Adams – so stunning!)

This ultimate carrot cupcakes recipe is made with golden syrup, dark brown sugar and molasses, so it is absolutely brimming with caramel-ly depth!

The Texture

When I eat carrot cake as a slice of cake, the texture should absolutely be a bit denser than a sponge cake.

However, when I eat carrot cake in cupcake form it has to be just as moist and flavourful, BUT also LIGHT. Heavy cupcakes are just not pleasant…

So this recipe perfectly captures ALL the stunning texture of regular carrot cake, but also with a light, tender and super moist crumb – as a cupcake should be.

The way you prepare the carrots for your ultimate carrot cupcakes is key. Do not shred/grate them too finely. If you grate them too fine, they will just disappear into the batter and be less prominent in the final flavour experience.

Another reason to not grate the carrots too fine is because it leaves more surface area for the batter to react with the carrots. The batter contains sugar and salt which draws the moisture out of the carrots.

So IF you grate the carrots too fine, they react with the batter much faster, drawing moisture out of the carrots much faster and leaving you with a very runny batter in a matter of minutes.

This makes all your lovely raisins, pineapple etc. sink to the bottom when baking. So to avoid this, rather grate your carrots coarser.

 

As for all the extras beyond carrots, I like to use raisins, crushed pineapple plus toasted pecans.

I know that walnuts are more traditional in carrot cake, but the toasted pecans completely outshine walnuts in this instance.

 

These are seriously the ULTIMATE Carrot Cupcakes. Deep, gutsy, EPIC flavour, but with a light, moist and tender crumb. Topped with the best cream cheese frosting ever and toasted pecan nuts. SO YUM! #carrotcake #carrotcupcakes #carrotcakerecipe #bestcarrotcake

 

The Frosting

As you may know by now, I make no secret of my disdain for traditional buttercream and even cream cheese frosting as well, because they are TOO SWEET.

Frosting is supposed to CONTRIBUTE to the flavour experience, not just round off the visual presentation of cupcakes.

Philosophy of Yum Cream Cheese Frosting is balanced and DELICIOUS and it pairs perfectly with these ultimate carrot cupcakes 🙂

These are seriously the Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes. Deep, gutsy, EPIC flavour, but with a light, moist and tender crumb. Topped with the best cream cheese frosting ever and toasted pecan nuts. SO YUM!

So here we go – my recipe for the Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Ultimate Carrot Cupcakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 15
Ingredients
  • 230 g Flour
  • ¾ tsp Baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ Tbsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 130 g Eggs
  • ½ T Vanilla Extract
  • 65 g White Granulated Sugar
  • 100 g Demerara Sugar
  • 130 g Canola Oil
  • 70 g Golden Syrup
  • 15 g Molasses
  • 40 g raisins
  • 270 g grated Carrots
  • 100 g Crushed Pineapple, scooped with juice
  • 100 g Toasted Pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, place the eggs, oil, vanilla, white sugar, demerara sugar, golden syrup and molasses. Whisk together with a hand mixer on high speed for 90 seconds. It should be pale and almost doubled in volume.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into the wet ingredients using a large metal spoon.
  5. Add the grated carrot, raisins and crushed pineapple to the bowl and fold in. Be sure to mix everything together thoroughly as the fresh carrot can often hide together in little huddles in the batter.
  6. Proceed to fill the lined cupcake tins immediately. Do not let the batter stand. Divide the batter evenly between 15 lined cupcake tin holes. I like to first fill each liner halfway, stir the remaining batter again, and then fill the liners the rest of the way so that the first 5 cupcakes don't get all the extra bits and the last few cupcakes just get batter with no raisins, pineapple, etc.
  7. Bake at 180ᵒC/356°F for about 25 mins, rotating the tins halfway through baking. The cupcakes should be a deep golden brown. Also test the cupcakes with a toothpick – if the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.
  8. Leave to cool in the tins. Once completely cold, remove from tins.
  9. Make Philosophy of Yum Cream Cheese Frosting. Pipe onto cupcakes as desired and sprinkle the remainder of the chopped pecans generously on top. Enjoy!

 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on Facebook, twitter or Instagram @philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!

Chat soon

Aurelia 🙂

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)

The Most DELICIOUS, Ultimate Vanilla Frosting

The Most DELICIOUS, Ultimate Vanilla Frosting

The Most DELICIOUS, Ultimate Vanilla Frosting

This Ultimate Vanilla Frosting Recipe is THE MAIN reason my clients LOVE my cakes so much… It’s unique and FREAKIN’ DELICIOUS. I know buttercream is the “standard frosting” out there, but it does not deserve to be. Its overwhelming sweetness actually DETRACTS from the beautiful flavour of a GOOD cake.  I know there are some yummy buttercream recipes out there – like Magnolia Bakery’s famous frosting – but once you’ve tried this Philosophy of Yum frosting recipe, there will be a whole new standard of yum for you. So today I’m asking you to please be open-minded. low sugar frosting | low sugar frosting vanilla | most delicious frosting | alternative to buttercream frosting   This recipe is my Home Bakery’s SIGNATURE Frosting. It’s my GO-TO recipe I use every single day. I use this vanilla version or the chocolate frosting version on ALL my cakes & cupcakes. It goes with EVERY CAKE FLAVOUR known to man. And not only does it “go with it”, it elevates it to a whole new dimension of bliss! ALL my Home Bakery clients go gaga over this low sugar frosting, because it has so much flavour and it’s gloriously luxurious and smooth. Please note that Philosophy of Yum frosting has a higher water content than buttercream or ganache, so if you place a high sugar item on top of it, it will melt into this frosting. This means fondant and sugar candies. But chocolate is A-OK 🙂
For classic cakes, cupcakes, naked frosting, semi-naked frosting, layered cakes, covering cakes etc. this frosting is absolutely perfect! It’s an honest frosting and it is honestly ridiculously delicious!!

Ultimate Vanilla Frosting Development

I explain the whole journey in detail on my chocolate frosting post if you want to check it out. In a nutshell it goes like this: As a child I could not stand frosting. I always scraped it off the cake because it was just TOO sweet. My mother is a dietitian and developed a lower sugar frosting for her carrot cake recipe. Now that frosting was DELICIOUS! It was, however, a bit too runny to pipe. When the time came for me to start up my own Home Baking Business, I knew that I would need to come up with my own frosting recipe… And that the frosting would need to be SUPER YUM and lower in sugar so that it’s not too sweet. I made a drastic decision to omit butter altogether from my recipe! *GASP!!* Since you need to add HEAPS of icing sugar to butter to get it to the right consistency, it’s just so not worth it. I opted to use whipped cream instead because cream is just SO delicious! The whipped cream also makes the frosting so much lighter. Because cream cheese and cream are already quite soft, there’s no need to add kilos and kilos of sugar to achieve the right consistency. The result was just stunning… So smooth, so luxurious, SO YUMMY!! You'll never want to eat buttercream again. Ultimate Vanilla Frosting elevates cake to a whole new dimension of YUM! It goes with EVERY CAKE FLAVOUR known to man. #deliciousfrosting #creamcheesefrosting #lowsugarfrosting  

Reasons to make Philosophy of Yum Vanilla Frosting

* It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness. * Philosophy of Yum Frosting contains a staggering 75% – 80% LESS SUGAR than any other frosting, but it’s completely sufficiently sweet enough.  * It is actually a whole lot quicker and easier to make than buttercream or traditional cream cheese frosting. * You don’t need a stand mixer to make this frosting! A simple electric hand mixer is ideal. * Because there is no butter in my ultimate vanilla frosting, it is also 55% lower in fat than any other conventional frosting. What a bargain!! * Extra perk: you can freeze this frosting! Say what?? Yes indeed. Let it thaw again in the fridge for about 2 hours and proceed to whip it GOOD. You are basically re-whipping the cream inside the frosting. After a minute or so it will be beautifully thick once more 🙂 Let’s get started! My instructions are going to be quite thorough so that there’s little room for error. I really want you to experience the awesomeness of this Ultimate Vanilla Frosting.
5.0 from 3 reviews
Ultimate Vanilla Frosting
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 80 g Whipping Cream (at least 33% fat), ICE COLD
  • 200 g Full Fat Cream Cheese (at least 25% fat), non-aerated, ICE COLD
  • 1,5 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 50 g Pure Icing/Powdered Sugar (no added corn starch)
  • 40 g White Chocolate (minimum 30% cocoa solids)
Instructions
  1. SUPER IMPORTANT: The recipe varies slightly depending on whether you're using the frosting for piping on cupcakes or to use in layer cakes. The default ingredients list and method steps are for piping frosting on cupcakes. Variations for layer cake frosting will be in brackets. For layer cakes, make this recipe for the 1st layer of cake and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The next morning, make 1.5 times of this recipe as if you're making it for cupcakes (super important!), to frost the second layer of cake and the sides. This frosting doesn't work for cakes taller than 2 layers, but they can be up to 5cm (2-inch) thick layers.
  2. First make your white chocolate ganache. Finely chop the white chocolate. Put it in a small bowl (or mug) with 15 g of the whipping cream. Melt it in the microwave in 2 x 30 second bursts. Stir it till smooth and put it in the fridge to cool down. If I'm in a rush I scrape it onto a plate and put in the freezer for 5 minutes. (*If making frosting for your 1st layer of cake, skip the ganache! Instead, stir ½ tsp agar-agar powder and 3 Tbsp water together in a small saucepan and set aside for 10 minutes. Once it's hydrated, boil the mixture for 2 minutes and set aside to cool slightly.)
  3. Whip the remaining COLD cream to soft peaks with an electric hand mixer in a medium mixing bowl. (*If making frosting for 1st layer of cake, whip all 80 g of cold cream to soft peaks.)
  4. Beat in COLD Cream Cheese till smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again till smooth and thickened. About 1 minute in total.
  5. Beat in Vanilla and icing sugar for 20 seconds (*if making frosting for a layer cake, beat in 20 g extra icing sugar). Leave frosting to stand in the fridge for 5 minutes so that sugar can melt into the cream cheese thoroughly.
  6. Get the frosting from the fridge. Beat it on max speed for 30 seconds - 1 minute (tilt your bowl and keep your beaters still in on the lowest side of the bowl while beating). The frosting might start off runny, but keep beating in one spot and it will start to thicken up. You're essentially re-whipping the cream inside the frosting. It should be quite thick after 1 minute. *NOTE: If the frosting isn't COLD, it won't whip up.
  7. Next scrape all the white chocolate ganache (it shouldn't be warmer than a cool room temperature when you add it in) into the frosting and beat it in on max speed immediately for 1 minute. The white chocolate will also help to thicken up the frosting even more. (*If making frosting for 1st cake layer, scrape your room temp, liquid agar-agar mixture into your frosting and beat it on max speed for 1 minute.)
  8. The frosting will be quite thick at this stage (depending on the cream cheese you used and how cold your ingredients were). If I’m using the frosting for layer cakes, I use it as it is. Frost the first layer of cake and let it chill in the fridge for AT LEAST 4 hours (I leave them in the fridge over night). Note that this is NOT a hard setting frosting. It will always still be wet to the touch, but it still holds.
  9. FOR LAYER CAKES: When the first layer of frosting has firmed up a bit, you can add 1 more cake layer on top. Not ideal for stacking more than 2 layers of cake!! Make 1.5 times this recipe and frost the top and sides of the cake. When you've frosted the outside of the cake, let it stand in the fridge for at least 2 more hours. After that the frosting is quite stable at room temp and won't melt - even on a hot day!
  10. If I’m piping the frosting onto cupcakes, I like to leave the frosting at room temperature for a few minutes to soften slightly before I transfer it to a piping bag. When you've frosted your cupcakes, let them stand at cool room temperature (or in the fridge) for about 30 minutes. After this the frosting is quite stable and won't melt - even on a hot day! I even tested this on a day that was 43 degrees C (109 degrees F).

Important Notes:

* THIS RECIPE ONLY WORKS WHEN THE INGREDIENTS ARE SUPER COLD. Both the cream and cream cheese should have been in the fridge, on the lowest shelf, overnight. Make sure your kitchen isn’t hot when you mix the frosting. * If you live in a super hot climate, you may need to take extra precautions. If your frosting isn’t whipping up, let it chill in your FREEZER for 15 minutes. Hold your mixing bowl at an angle and hold beaters in the lowest spot on top speed for 1-2 minutes (don’t move beaters around initially). Once the frosting gets really thick around the beaters, gradually start moving the beaters around in smaller circles to incorporate the runnier frosting with the thick frosting. Continue beating till you see the frosting is as thick as it’s possibly going to get. * Another precaution for super hot climates: Once you’ve piped the frosting onto cupcakes, let the frosted cupcakes chill in the fridge for at least 30 – 40 minutes so that the piped frosting chills and dries out a bit. After this, you can leave the cupcakes at room temperature and the frosting will keep its shape. * Super important note: do not use candy or fondant or sugar paste decorations on this frosting! The frosting has a high water content, so sugary decorations will simply melt and weep into the frosting! * A smaller, deeper mixing bowl makes this frosting much easier to whip up. * This recipe produces enough frosting for about 12 cupcakes. * If using in a layer cake: Allow the frosting on each layer to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before placing the next layer of cake on top. Do not stack more than 2 layers of cake on top of each other! * This is not a hard-setting frosting. It remains moist. I love this because it keeps my cakes moist as well, so you never need to do the simple syrup soaking again! * Because there’s cream & cream cheese in the frosting, encourage your clients eat their bakes within 2 days max. * This frosting needs to be prepared fresh right before you use it. You can’t make it in advance. But you CAN freeze the left overs for up to 1 month! When you want to use it; let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then whip it like crazy the next day till it thickens up again.   If you give this recipe a go, tag me on Facebook, twitter or Instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see! Chat soon! Aurelia 😊

Got a question? Something to add? Let’s chat in the comments section down below! (I respond to every single comment)