For as long as I can remember, carrot cake has been one of my favorites cake flavors. Of course, paired with cream cheese frosting. When I was younger I would just buy the mix out of the box, and sometimes buy one from the bakery. For some reason the bakery carrot cake is always a much different texture than the boxed variety. And the frosting was always much sweeter, almost to the point where you couldn’t eat it unless you scraped most of it off! These are kind of in between, it’s a bit richer and more decadent than the boxed cake, but not as sweet and heavy as some of the bakery carrot cakes I’ve had. It’s a nice, happy medium.
Last year I made a carrot cake for Thanksgiving, and it was delicious. This year my husband requested a 7-Up Cake. I still wanted to make my carrot cake, so I decided to halve the recipe and make cupcakes*. I also had some maple extract I bought a few months ago, it was at a super clearance price at Target and I decided to pick it up. I bought it with the intention of making a maple cream cheese frosting someday for my carrot cake. It was a great idea, and they turned out wonderfully. I think I like them even more as a cupcake than a cake. I hope you love them as much as we did, they didn’t last long!
*If you do want to make a cake out of it, just double the recipe and don’t let the cream cheese frosting get as fluffy, you would want it a little thinner to spread over the top of the cake and between the layers.
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 3-4 tablespoons Brandy
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
- 1-1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- handful of crushed and whole almonds for garnish, if desired
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cold
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons maple extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
|While the carrots and raisins are soaking, it’s a good time to start preparing your batter.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Beat both eggs in a large bowl on medium until they are light and fluffy, as seen here.
|Gradually add the sugar in small increments while continuing to beat at medium speed.|
|Now add in the oil, still gradually, while beating on medium.|
|Vanilla extract, again beating on medium.|
|Once the batter is mixed sufficiently, fold in the crushed pineapple until just blended with the batter.|
|In a separate bowl, combing the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.|
|Once the dry ingredients are mixed sufficiently, slowly fold it into the wet batter.
Mix until just blended together.
|Now add in your measured chopped walnuts, and the carrots and raisins.
See how plump and juicy the raisins look?
|Pop the cupcakes in the preheated oven, and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Some ovens vary, so I’d stay on the low side to be safe and check every so often.|
|Refrigerate any leftover cupcakes, since it is a cream cheese frosting.
When you’re ready to eat more, just take them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before serving, and they will be perfect. Enjoy!