February 02, 2009

Hello Cupcake!

We’ve been eating so healthy since New Year’s Day but we needed a break from all the salads and grilled chicken so we decided to go all out for Super Bowl Sunday.

We made the usual (stuffed jalapenos, pigs in a blanket, Carolina pulled pork, Queso Dip, etc.) but the real stars of the evening were the Carrot Cake Cupcakes. Everyone was stuffed by half time but somehow we all had room to do some major damage to the 2 dozen cupcakes I baked.

Keep in mind that this is a very easy recipe to half if you're watching your calories and can’t commit to 24 cupcakes.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups finely shredded carrots (about 4 large carrots)
¼ cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3½ to 4½ cups powdered sugar

For the Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 12-cup cupcake pans (use cooking spray if you prefer).

In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon carrots, oil, and eggs) and beat with an electric mixer until all ingredients are combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s).

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Cover and store in refrigerator.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in enough of the remaining powdered sugar to reach desired spreading consistency.