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While I was in Virginia on vacation, my aunt and I found the cutest cupcake decorating kits. I bought the Thanksgiving kit. I plan to make 12 cupcakes for my family and 12 to take to the in-law’s Thanksgiving. The cupcakes have to be just as wonderful as their decoration. This is the first of several cupcake recipes I will be trying in the coming months. I think this is going to be a fun/tasty experiment.

I took these with me to the in-laws this weekend; they were a hit. Next time I may add raisins. Or more walnuts. Or both. The best part- they just get moister by the day.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (from Simply Recipes)

The Cupcakes:

  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 pound of carrots, shredded (I used the pre-shredded kind and it worked just fine)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp of orange zest
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsps of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 2 tsps of ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

The Frosting:

  • 5 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the walnuts in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Place the carrots, buttermilk, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and orange zest together in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. In another bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture, being sure not to overmix. Fold in the toasted walnuts until evenly incorporated.

Scoop into cupcake papers about 3/4 full and bake for 19-21 minutes at 350 degrees (or until a toothpick comes clean), being sure to rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes of baking. Afterwards allow to cool for 5 minutes before taking the cupcakes out of the cupcake tin and allowing them to fully cool on a wire rack.

While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In a mixer bowl, combine frosting ingredients. Cream until well mixed. Spread on cooled cupcakes.