Cooking is my hobby. I am fairly competent in the kitchen, or at least I think so. However, when it came time to make these cupcakes, it was amature hour. My mind was clearly elsewhere. Where you ask? I have no idea. This was a disaster. It felt like the three stooges moved in. Despite my attempts to sabotage my own cupcakes, they turned out. Proof even a bad cook can make a good recipe. Think I am exaggerating? The following happened yesterday as I tried to make these:
1. The tiny carrots I had picked from my garden were in water. Said water was spilled all over my cookbook, counter and floor. Water was later found in the cupboards and drawers.
2. I tried to grate the aforementioned tiny carrots on my regular grater. I am sure if I had continued that course of action I would still be grating carrots. In the interest of time I did something I have never done before- I pulled out my Cuisinart and fitted it with the shredding disc. The tiny carrots didn’t want to grate. Well they did, but just not all the way. I then had to pick large carrot pieces out of the shredded carrot. Maddening.
3. I skipped a step in adding the ingredients. Who does this?!? After mixing the oil and sugar, I proceeded to add the flour mixture completely forgetting the eggs. Once all the flour was in the bowl I saw the egg carton. I debating trying to remove the flour but opted instead to turn on the mixer and quickly add all the eggs. To make up for the lumpy mess I scrapped down the bowl then turned the mixer on medium high and beat the living daylights out of it.
4. I forgot to preheat oven. Not the end of the world and, in my case, a blessing because when I went to turn the oven on I remembered to remove the pizza stones from last nights dinner. I was feeling smug. After scooping the batter into the muffin pans I popped them in the oven and started in on dishes. About 5 minutes later my oven beeped at me. It was to early for the timer so I stared blankly at the oven trying to figure out why it beeped. Oh. It was finally up to temp. Nearly 7 minutes into the baking time. Awesome.
5. They burnt. But out of the three pans only four cupcakes burnt. And it was only the bottom. What? There was no rhyme or reason to the ones that burnt too. My oven is always very very even.
6. I screwed up the frosting. I didn’t take time to read the recipe fully and after creaming the cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar I just dumped in the whipping cream. Uh… You are supposed to beat it separately and fold it in. So again, I turned the mixer on medium high and prayed. The frosting is actually quite good although a bit runny. I refrigerated the cupcakes overnight and they were delicious the next morning. I was looking for a new cream cheese frosting what I can pipe so this clearly wasn’t it.
But as you can see they are beautiful. Moist. Carroty. Here are the recipes as they were written- however you can make the above modifications and they will still turn out. I would recommend skipping the part where you spill water all over your kitchen.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes (makes 26 give or take)
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat in one egg at a time mixing well after each addition. Combine flour, soda, powder, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl Add to egg mixture and mix well. Add carrots and nuts and stir till combined. Pour into lined cupcake pan. Fill to 1/2 full. Alternatively pour in to a greased and floured 9×13 pan. Bake for 28-30 minutes for cupcakes, 45 minutes for a cake.
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
16oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, cold
Beat the cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream to nearly stiff peaks, then add the whipped cream into the cheese mixture and quickly and briefly beat to combine. Do not over beat.
Ps. Alternatively use this cream cheese frosting which is pipe-able. Also for some reason I feel the need to tell you that this carrot cake recipe has in fact won a ribbon at my local county fair and I will be entering it again this year. I have made it many times. I have no idea why I was such a screw up this time. In fact, the day went so poorly I completely abandoned all other cooking projects for the day. Some days are meant for cooking, others for beer. Yesterday was the latter.