Sunday, April 8, 2012

Carrot Cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting

... and the most adorable candy melt carrot toppers ever!

This is another one of those Anna is crazy pants things.  I baked for no reason at all.  There are 14 cupcakes sitting on my counter right now.  Luckily I can think of a few takers, but there's always the chance that I will end up with a pile of liners in front of me and a face full of crumbs.

In case you're looking for a last minute Easter treat to whip up before tomorrow you should try these.  So easy!  You probably already have most of these things in your pantry already.  I did.

Why did I bake these?  Well, it's because I discovered that I do, in fact, like carrot cake.  Wait no, I LOVE carrot cake.  Where had it been all my life!  It's only be in the last year or so that I realized this, so any time I have gotten the chance to shove these down my throat, I have.

I'm actually a crazy picky eater.  Ridiculous.  My food habits get annoying, I know, my poor friends.  At least for savory foods.  But for the sweet?  Man, I love sweets... So I don't know why I had always avoided carrot cake.  Maybe the thought of carrots? But what a huge mistake that was.

(Funny story, I went to the "Exploratorium After Dark" in San Francisco last week with some friends and the theme was food.  A bunch of different exhibits like making ice cream with dry ice and cricket chip cookies.  In one exhibit you drank some liquid that would dull your ability to sense sweet.  I refused to try this because I do NOT want to mess with my taste buds.  What if I could never taste sweet again???  The horror.)

Anyways, the cupcake recipe I adapted from here.  Something else I found on pinterest!  It's becoming so handy.

I got up at 6:55AM to start grating carrots for these.  Worth it!

The left over carrots I ate while I cooked.  I felt like Bugs Bunny.

Carrot Cupcakes
Makes 12-15, Bake at 350* for about 15 minutes

1 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tspsalt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c canola oil
4 round pineapple slices
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temp
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (3 large ones)
1/2 cups walnuts  (1/4 c for batter, 1/4 c for garnish)

1. If using walnuts, lightly roast them on a baking tray for about 4-5 minutes. Cool, then process them finely.  I just chopped mine up small with a knife though.
2. Puree pineapple slices along with a bit of juice in a blender.
3. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger in bowl & set aside.
 until smooth and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk sugars, pineapple puree and oil until blended. Add in eggs, one at at time and whisk. Add in the flour mixture and stir until blended.
5. Stir in the vanilla, carrots and walnuts.
6. Scoop batter into cupcake liners and bake awesomeness.

These end up baking up really nicely.  This has been the first time that I have used oil instead of butter.  It scared me a little at first, but in the end it worked out fine.  Also note that you don't even need a mixer for this!  You stir by hand.  Kind of awesome.   The end result is one of those cupcakes that you can visually see that there are 568 ingredients in it.  I love that.

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz package cream cheese
1/2 a stick of non salted butter
3 tablespoons pineapple juice
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until soft in a mixer.
2. Add pineapple juice.
3. Slowly add in sugar.
4. Refrigerate for ten minutes if too soft, then frost cupcakes.

Now it's time to work on the toppings.

1/4 cup walnuts
Around 15 green candy melts
Around 30 orange candy melts

Easy peasy walnut sprinkling... I tried to make mine look like dirt on top!

Then, I made carrots out of orange and green candy melts that were used to stick on top of the cupcakes.  Like they were growing out of the cupcake and dirt. I just melted the chips in microwaveable proof bowls and then scooped it into zip log bags to pipe onto wax paper. I had a stencil I hand drew to help me along.

I ended up doing two sizes of the carrots, to see which were better.  In the end I liked them both and used both.

I mean after all in real carrot patches aren't the carrots in all sizes?  And my kitchen/my front yard is totally like the real thing...  Or at least I temporarily turned it into the real thing.  :)

You can kind of see the difference in sizes in this picture below.  Cute huh?

A few months ago, I was at the Daiso Japan store  (Japanese $1.50 store that sells All The Things you don't need but really so want) by my work and I found this cute little stand for a pot.  I thought it'd look awesome as a cupcake holder.  I was right.

And don't worry these are just as yummy as you would hope they would be.

Happy Easter!



  1. I love making toppers out of candy melts, your carrots turned out really cute! These cupcakes look great, pinning them now!

  2. NOMNOMNOM I WANT ALL YOUR CUPCAKES!!!!!! Bugs Bunny would be proud. :)

  3. New rule: you have to save me one of any cupcakes you make involving pineapple. Those look cute n tasty.