Sunday, May 23, 2010

Barefoot Contessa's Carrot Cake Cupcakes

2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps ground cinnamon
2 tsps baking soda
1 1/2 tsps kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting:

3/4 lb cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 lb unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 lb confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Beat the sugar, oil, & vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Add the eggs, 1 at a time.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, & salt.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Add the grated carrots, raisins, & walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, & add to the batter.

Mix until just combined.

Line muffin pans with paper liners.

Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full.

Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350°F & cook for a further 35 minutes (**see note at bottom), until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool on a rack.

Frosting:

Cream the cream cheese, butter, & vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Add the sugar & beat until smooth.

When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously & serve.

**I don't need to cook these for the entire additional 35 minutes. After I lower the temperature to 350°F; I start checking the muffins at around 15 minutes. Just keep watching them until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes 22 cupcakes.

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