Monday, August 31, 2009

Carrot Mint Cupcakes

Since I've missed several weeks of cupcake-making this summer, I've decided to extend my summer to the fall solstice. That means I have about three more cupcake recipes to share with you. I'm having a blast 'pushing the envelope' with these recipes and I hope that you are too. 

Today I decided to skip my traditional carrot cake recipe - with walnuts and crushed pineapple - (see the entry, in favor of a different flavor profile. The only problem with this blog entry is that I forgot to take photos throughout the process of making them, so you'll have to use your imagination a bit.

The addition of garden-picked mint adds a 'fresh' character to the sweetness of carrots, without overpowering them. And I bet that you'll love the delicate texture of these little cakes as much as you like the flavor combo. In fact, they're a favorite from the entire summer of baking. See if you can stop at just one!

Carrot Mint Cupcakes
Makes 14-16 cupcakes

1/2 cup oatmeal, ground in food processor
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
3/4 cups canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups carrots, grated in food processor
3 tablespoons fresh mint, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients, from oatmeal through salt. Add canola oil and eggs, stirring to incorporate. Fold in grated carrots and mint.

Place cupcake papers in pans. Fill individual cupcake papers 2/3s full. Bake 25 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from pan 5-10 minutes after removed from the oven. Take off baking papers when cupcakes are completely cooled.

VOE - If you see oil on the cupcake papers and the cupcakes are quite soft they're perfect.

Ice with:

1 1/2 tablespoons lowfat cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
(optional: milk to enhance creaminess, up to 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons carrots, grated
2 tablespoons mint, minced
additional carrot gratings for garnish

Cream together the cream cheese, butter and sugar. Stir in carrots and mint. Cool in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Top each cupcake with about 1 tablespoon of the icing.

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