Carrot-Walnut Cupcakes

Total Time:
2 hr
Prep:
1 hr
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
50 min

Yield:
12
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (51/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 13/4 cups finely grated carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped candied ginger
  • For the candied carrots and walnuts:
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 12 walnuts
  • For the frosting:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 8 -ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Directions
  • Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, walnut oil and vanilla in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in the flour mixture, then fold in the grated carrots, chopped walnuts and candied ginger with a rubber spatula.

  • Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds of the way. Bake until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan; remove to a rack to cool completely.

  • Meanwhile, make the candied carrots and walnuts: Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Peel 12 long ribbons from the carrot using a vegetable peeler. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the carrot ribbons and cook until translucent, 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully remove with tongs and arrange each ribbon in a small bundle on the baking sheet. Add the walnuts to the saucepan and simmer until glossy, 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the baking sheet; let the candied carrots and walnuts cool.

  • Make the frosting: Beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar on low speed; increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, 3 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag with a large round tip; pipe onto the cupcakes. Top with the candied carrots and walnuts.

  • Photograph by Ryan Dausch


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