Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
Sweet, full of flavor, and topped with the creamiest of cream cheese icings, these carrot cake cupcakes are amazing little treats that usher in “all things fall” with every bite.
I love this time of year. Autumn is my favorite. And while we’ve been having a lot of rain the past few days, we’ve also had some glorious days in the mid-70s and those cooler, crisp nights that force you to grab a sweatshirt while heading out the door. Ahhh…fall is the BEST!
Along with cooler temps, I always love the taste of fall–warm spices like cinnamon and molasses, hot drinks like apple cider and teas, and heartier meals like stews and soups. Maybe you don’t think of carrot cake as being “fall-like” but I do. Simply because it’s paired with those warm spices so familiar with this time of year. I wanted those flavors to really sing in these cupcakes so I added some blackstrap molasses to the batter. This really elevates the flavor of the cupcake while also adding some moisture as well. These cupcakes are moist–they have coconut oil and of course carrots to keep things from drying out. There’s nothing worse than biting into a dry cupcake. Yikes.
Another thing that bumps up the taste factor in these cupcakes is that I toasted the pecans. This just adds a more complex taste than simply throwing non-toasted nuts in the batter. These little things do make a difference. If you’re not a fan of pecans then simply omit them from the recipe.
There’s just something to the act of baking during fall too, isn’t there? When it’s cooler (or rainy!) outside, you just want to hunker down and make delicious treats. I do anyway. And while my boys are in school, I have the time and creative energy to attempt this. 🙂
I had a bunch of carrots on hand because I’ve been juicing carrots for my husband. So this was the perfect time for me to try making carrot cake. I can’t ever remember making carrot cake in the past–which blows my mind because it’s one of my favorite cakes to eat! It felt good to create something that is a favorite in our house.
Let’s take a second and talk about this icing. Yummmm. It’s a basic cream cheese icing but I did up the cream cheese and butter in it. The older I get, the less sweet I like my icings, so I increased the fat in this and kept the sugar to the normal 4 cup ratio. And I think it’s pretty perfect. There’s a splash of vanilla extract in there too. Super creamy and delicious!
So if you’re looking for a recipe that will warm your kitchen (and taste buds!) while bringing a smile to your face, this is the one.
Perfect any time of day, with a hot drink or tall glass of milk…you can’t go wrong with these carrot cake cupcakes! Enjoy!