Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake is my absolute favorite cake!  Sadly, many carrot cakes are not that great and some are downright dreadful.  I have had bad carrot cake both from recipes, restaurants, bakeries, etc.  When I started baking in 2009, I was on a mission to find the perfect carrot cake.  The perfect blend of flavor, moisture, density and frosting.  After only a handful of tries I found it in Smitten Kitchen’s Carrot Cake with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting.  This is the perfect recipe.  I have made it in cake form, bread loaf form, large cupcakes, mini-cupcakes, etc.  The icing, oh the icing, it deserves many kind words.  I have discovered that the leftovers is awesome on my mother’s home made cinnamon rolls that she makes every Christmas morning.  If you have any left over, the frosting freezes wonderfully.

Speaking of Smitten Kitchen, have you seen Deb’s new cookbook?  It is beautifully written and the photographs that accompany the recipe are mouth watering.  Do yourself a favor and order a copy today.  I do not think you will be disappointed.  She will be speaking at the Philadelphia Library in December and I cannot wait.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting 

(from Smitten Kitchen)

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups canola oil

4 large eggs

3 cups grated peeled carrots

1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Line cupcake molds with papers, or butter and flour them.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them. Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of each.

Bake cupcakes 14 to 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing them.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly.

If piping, allow the icing to chill in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to stiffen up.

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