Happy Easter! Last year I made carrot curd filled vanilla cakes baked in eggshells. They were incredibly fun and adorable but I’m ridiculously busy right now… I needed something festive but less time-consuming. So I decided to go more traditional and make carrot cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting. Carrot cake is a classic Easter dessert, but for Tristan, it’s a birthday cake. His late mother got Tristan’s great grandmother’s recipe passed down to her. It’s honestly just too precious for me to share it here on the blog, and I’d like to keep it in the family. I’ve instead adapted the recipe and made them into cute carrot cupcakes, easy to share with guests on Easter!
I always debate how fine to grate carrots when making carrot cake. On the first try, I used the smallest holes on the grater and ended up with a sunken cake that was too moist and wrinkled on top. The carrots weren’t the only cause, but to be safe, I used the regular holes the second time around. The carrots are definitely noticeable which I don’t mind, but if you want carrot cupcakes where you can’t detect the carrots, grate them using the smallest holes. You could also use a food processor and you’d end up with finely chopped carrots much quicker.
I didn’t even take a photo of the first batch of carrot cupcakes because I was so bummed with how they turned out. They came out of the oven with a nice dome but sank within a couple of minutes. The second batch was definitely more to my liking. They were fluffy, not overly moist, and kept their dome nicely.
I topped the cupcakes with lemony cream cheese frosting using a deep closed star piping tip (Ateco 855). Because I didn’t have any plans to top these cupcakes with anything, I put little bursts of frosting on the cupcake to make them look like flowers. Being a variant of a spice cake, carrot cake tends to remind me of fall and winter. But since these are for Easter, I added lemon zest to the frosting to brighten the flavor. I think any citrus zest would pair perfectly with both the cream cheese frosting and cupcakes.
The original recipe didn’t have any dairy in the cake, but I really wanted to add some yogurt or sour cream to react with the baking soda. The result is soft and fluffy carrot cupcakes thanks to the greek yogurt. These cupcakes were made on Saturday morning and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. I just had one as a dessert (it’s Sunday night here in Japan) and they are still tender, fluffy, and moist! I might actually like it even better now than I did yesterday when it was just frosted. The flavors settle and mingle with each other. It’s the perfect dessert for an Easter gathering! Make it a day ahead and enjoy the extra time on Easter!
One year ago: Vegan banana cupcakes
I’m bringing these carrot cupcakes (a little late) to Angie’s! There’s a ton of exciting recipes, so come join the fiesta!