Carrot-Walnut Cupcakes

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
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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

1 3/4 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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