My Search for the Best Carrot Cupcakes
I’m still on what seems to be a never ending quest for the best carrot cupcakes — a recipe so good I’ll stop looking for others. Those recipes are hard to find for avid recipe collectors, but every so often I do stumble upon the “perfect” recipe and stop looking. Just not often.
My Ideal Carrot Cupcake)
For the “best carrot cupcakes” the qualities would be sweet, but not cloying so; dense rather that light, and stuffed with lots of nuts, pineapples and maybe even a golden raisin or two.
To start, I’ll tell you a little about this weekend’s cupcakes which were made with one of the most ubiquitous carrot cake recipes out there. You may recognize it as the one that calls for 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 2 cups of sugar, and the 1 1/2 cups of oil that people just love to cut in half or replace with applesauce. The only place where I could find reviewers who mostly stuck to the recipe was King Arthur’s site. King Arthur’s recipe uses the same proportions as this one, though they use granulated sugar in place of brown and throw in other spices.
So here’s the recipe as I made it. I used a mixture of melted butter and oil for the fat, kept the spice to just one (cinnamon), and added pineapples and finely chopped nuts, which are definitely a prerequisite to my ultimate carrot cupcake. These cupcakes are quite good, though a little oily. I wouldn’t make them for myself on a regular basis, but for a special occasion or an event where you’re competing with bakery cupcakes and need to go all out, the 1 1/2 cups of fat comes in handy. This recipe is also super easy because you just stir everything together in a bowl.
So are they the best carrot cupcakes? Well, they are very good! You’ll have to try them and let me know.
Basic Carrot Cupcakes
- 2 cups 9 oz all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 3 cups grated and finely chopped carrots
- 1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts finely chopped
- 1 8 oz can crushed pineapple drained dry
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the oil and melted butter and stir until mixed, then add the flour mixture and stir until mixed. Stir in the carrots, nuts and pineapple.
- Line about 32 cupcake cups with liners Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes, or until they are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool on a rack and frost with your favorite cream cheese icing