The verdict on carrot cake in this family is still out. I love it, and so does at least one of my children. The rest of the family isn’t sold just yet on the idea of vegetables in their cake. Honestly, they don’t know what they’re missing!
This carrot cake is light and fluffy, but still moist. I also love that it’s not overly sweet. In fact, without the frosting, you could probably get away with calling it a muffin. And the nutty flavor of the browned butter frosting is the perfect accompaniment to the lightly spiced cake. This also makes a beautiful bundt cake–just add less powdered sugar to the frosting so you’ll have more of a glaze. The frosting isn’t stiff like a typical butter cream, but it will set up once you’ve frosted your cupcakes. I don’t know if it’s because the carrots fool me into thinking these are healthy, but I may have eaten two of them for breakfast.
Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
For the cupcakes2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 tablespoons hot water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
- 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
For the frosting1/2 cup butter
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and water. Beat until well mixed.
- Stir in baking soda, powder, salt and spices.
- Add flour and mix well.
- Stir in carrots, pecans, coconut and crushed pineapple.
- Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the butter foams and turns golden brown.
- Pour the browned butter into a mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Beat cream cheese and cooled butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in vanilla and salt.
- Add powdered sugar, a little bit at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency.
- *Note: because of the melted butter, this is a soft frosting. Great for spreading, but not for piping.