As Reading Week draws to a close, I figure I will guarantee you all one more recipe before school starts back up and I forget that I even have a blog. Oops, did I just say that? Thing is, I never really “forget”, it’s just that studying seems to take priority. Seriously I have probably baked more this past week than the entire semester combined. Luckily for me, all my midterms were before the break so I spent the entire week cooking and eating, trying out a bunch of new places around town. Market for lunch with Dad, Sidewalk Citizen with Mom – I definitely cannot complain about the culinary quality of the past few days.
These cupcakes were made last weekend after an amazing ski day at Sunshine. The day was spent in search of all the powder we could find and involved me pretending I knew what I was doing (hence hucking myself off of trees-that-sort-of-constituted-cliffs with reckless abandon). That’s a lie too, more like “self, should I be doing this? I’m kinda freaked out right now. What the heck, let’s do it!” *close eyes* *land in bomb hole* Cue sister laughing, pausing and then questioning nervously, “are you ok?”. Which I was but let’s just say my neck and back didn’t thank me the next morning. Seriously I have no idea how I used to do that week in and week out. How was I even able to move – at all?
And that’s why I cook! Much lighter impact on the joints. Until you gain 300 pounds and start having knee issues that is…
These cupcakes are packed fully of delicious tidbits. Enough so that you can almost convince yourself that they are healthy (when realistically you know that they are not). Now don’t manipulate what I’m trying to tell you here, I’m not endorsing the nutritional value of these cupcakes. However, I will definitely endorse the satisfaction-in-your-soul value. It’s very high, very high indeed.
I would suggest adding some cinnamon to the batter to give it that classic carrot cake taste. Unfortunately we ran out of cinnamon and I was unaware of this until I went looking for it and couldn’t find it. What can you do? Bake them without cinnamon, that’s what!
Coconut Carrot Cupcakes
Adapted from Deb’s Carrot Cake at Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup AP flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 lb. light cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. white sugar (or preferably icing sugar)
Heat your even to 350 F. Mix together all of the dry ingredients from the flour to the cranberries. Then add in your carrots and stir so that they are evenly coated with flour (you want to avoid any big clumps of carrot). Whisk together the eggs, oil and sugar and pour this into the flour/carrot mixture. Stir to combine, again ensuring that there aren’t any random clumps of one particular ingredient.
Portion into muffin tins (this makes 9-12 regular sized cupcakes) and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 F or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow them to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before removing the cupcakes and bringing them down to room temperature to ice.
For the icing it is as simple as beating together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. I used white sugar because I didn’t have any icing sugar on hand. Because of this I had to beat it just a little bit longer to ensure that all of the sugar granules dissolved.
Once the cupcakes cool, dollop some icing right in the middle and swirl it around to evenly coat the top. Garnish with extra coconut and pumpkin seeds. With the cream cheese icing I highly recommend refrigerating these if they aren’t going to be eaten immediately. The cake itself is pretty moist so don’t worry about it drying out. Enjoy!