Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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I don’t know if it is the cream cheese frosting but these cupcakes are unquestionably a favorite in our house.  This retro spin on classic carrot cake uses pineapple and toasted coconut.  The pineapple keeps the cupcakes light and moist and the coconut pairs perfectly with the not-to-sweet cream cheese frosting.  If you are looking to use up the bag of carrots sitting in the back of your fridge I highly recommend this recipe.  It is easy to follow and it yields a large amount.

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I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.  Her original recipe is for a double-layer cake. This has been my go-to recipe for carrot cake and I have experimented making cupcakes and mini cupcakes.  You do not have to change the amount of any ingredient from the original recipe; just bear in mind that the yield will differ depending on the variation.

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Pineapple Carrot Cake Mini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

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Ingredients

Yields 3 dozen mini cupcakes

For the cupcakes

2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil

3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (divided)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 pound carrots, grated

1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

For the frosting

3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted

For garnish (optional)

1 cup of shredded, toasted coconut

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line mini muffin/cupcake tins with paper liners or if you are not using paper liners butter and flour them or use non-stick cooking spray.

For the cake

Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. You could also whisk this together by hand until the mixture turns light yellow. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour, then fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.

Divide the batter equally between mini muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting

Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined.  Or mix by hand until thoroughly combined (I recommend that if you are mixing by hand the ingredients be at room temperature). Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

When the cupcakes have cool completely frost generously with a butter knife. Then, while the frosting is still soft, finish with a sprinkle of toasted, shredded coconut.

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Enjoy!