CARROT CUPCAKES with CARAMEL &/OR CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Carrot CupcakesCARROT CUPCAKES with CARAMEL CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Makes 24 cupcakes
CUPCAKES
4 cups shredded carrots (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
4 Large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 teaspoon maple extract

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  • In a medium mixing bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and walnuts.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the oil and sugar until well blended.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, blending to incorporate.
  • Add vanilla and maple extracts.
  • Gradually flour mixture until well blended and smooth.
  • Alternately fold in carrots and raisins.
  • Fill liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake 25 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack.

ICING
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound cream cheese, softened
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
1 teaspoon maple extract

  • In a small deep saucepan combine the sugar, lemon juice and water.
  • Bring to a simmer over a medium high heat without stirring until the edges begin to color, about 5 minutes.
  • Gently swirl the pan and continue to simmer until the color turns amber, about 2 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in heavy cream.
  • Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool.
  • In a medium mixing bowl beat together the butter and cream cheese.
  • Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and maple extracts until incorporated.
  • Blend in caramel mixture.
  • Ice cupcakes.***

***For a more decorative cupcake DO NOT blend in caramel mixture with cream cheese. Instead, thinly ice each cupcake and then pipe a ring around each cupcake top. Spoon some caramel mixture into each ring.

hubby approved 2Tasty Tuesday is hosted by Jen over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.
Tempt my Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa at Blessed with Grace.
Cooking Thursday is hosted by Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

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