Wednesday 2 October 2013

Carrot Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

Although this original recipe was designed for a 9x13 pan, I decided to make cupcakes so that I could take some for friends and colleagues at work (I know, I could also have just taken the carrot cake sliced up, but somehow it's easier when they are already in single servings).  One friend thanked me for the muffin, and another asked outright why I called them cupcakes, not muffins.  Muffins have gone crazy in the past decade or so and are nothing like the healthy versions they used to be - no kid likes a bran muffin, but who wouldn't love a Gooey Triple Chocolate Muffin?

Anyway, I definitely consider cupcakes to be a dessert - a mini cake, which is exactly what they were in this case; it's a Carrot Cake recipe that I made smaller versions out of (made 18 of them by the way).  I think the icing is probably a factor as well, but I've seen "muffins" with sugar glazes being sold as breakfast items.

Speaking of icing, they almost didn't have any this time around.  I created this recipe a few years ago, and have not made it too often since so I was carefully following the measurements.  I could not understand why the icing sugar was not dissolving into the creamed cheese/butter mixture until I decided to give it a quick taste.  Ewww ... the unmarked container which I thought was icing sugar turned out to be cornstarch!  So I had to wing it a bit as I didn't have enough ingredients to remake the proper recipe.  But the recipe listed here is the original.

The recipe calls for a combination of grated, fresh carrot and pureed, cooked carrot. I don't recall why I designed the recipe this way, but it is a good way to use up leftover carrots from dinner, especially if you made the ginger-orange carrots that I've posted previously; the flavours would work perfectly
 with the recipe!

Carrot Cake
3/4 cup veg. oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup pureed cooked carrot
1 1/2 cup grated fresh carrot
1 cup finely diced pineapple (fresh or canned)
1 cup walnut pieces
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt

Mix oil, sour cream and the brown and white sugar (you can also use all brown sugar).  Beat in eggs and add vanilla.  Stir in the carrots, pineapple and walnut pieces.

Combine all dry ingredients together, and stir into the wet mixture - do not over stir, just enough to moisten all of the dry ingredients.

Pour into a pan or into individual cupcake wrappers in a muffin tin.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Cool completely before icing.

6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp orange juice
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Cream together cream cheese, butter and icing sugar.  Add in orange juice and lemon juice and beat just until combined.

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