Can you believe that Easter is this weekend? It has been such a long, wet winter for us in California – exactly what we desperately needed – we never thought Spring would arrive. Now it is time for Easter baskets, candy, visits from the bunny, family gatherings, and great food! Today’s Easter Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream are the perfect treat for this week’s Chocolate Monday!
If you are traveling to a holiday dinner, these cupcakes travel beautifully. I have a muffin tin with a lid that makes this super easy. I use it for storing the baked cupcakes even if I’m not transporting them. It has been one of my best investments and they aren’t expensive – win/win!
Carrot cake – the best way I know to get kids to eat their vegetables! Hidden under the guise of a sweet cake or cupcake, with hints of cinnamon, ginger, and spiked with bites of pineapple, there is no way a child can resist this serving of vegetables LOL. I slipped some mini white chocolate chips into the batter to make them even more fun!
This is one time when a food processor is worth its weight in gold. It will save you so much work and time for chopping the nuts and grating the carrots. If you don’t own one, maybe you can borrow one from a friend. I promise you will fall in love with it and put it on your wish list immediately!
I started by chopping the nuts then switched to the grating blade and prepped the carrots. A trick for the carrots is to cut them approximately the same length and stand them upright in the feeding tube. Then when you press down with the pusher, you will get small, evenly grated carrots with no long strings. Much less likely to arouse the suspicion of your little ones.
I love carrot cake, but The Artist isn’t usually fond of it. Primarily because he dislikes cream cheese frosting. I know, hard to imagine, but true. Today’s White Chocolate Buttercream is much more to his liking. You can control the sweetness with a higher butter to sugar ratio. These carrot cake cupcakes are lovely on their own, so if you are like The Artist, a light sprinkling of powdered sugar over the tops is perfect.
Piping frosting isn’t my strong suit, but having the right tips are the key. If you love the rose piping that is really popular these days, the large Wilton 2D tip is what you want. The tip is what creates the design and makes even beginners look like pros! I prefer disposable piping bags because they are so much easier that cleaning out cloth bags. I loved these adorable sugar carrot decorations. I got them from FondantFlowers on Etsy, a great resource for holiday specific decorations, generic designs, and they can even do custom orders!
Enjoy your holiday eats and maybe these Carrot Cake Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream will find their way onto your table! Happy Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
If you have older carrots that are starting to get tough, this is a great use for them. Their texture won’t be apparent in the cupcakes but their flavor and nutrition are the same as fresher carrots.
Using a gluten-free flour blend makes these easy to make safe for everyone in your family. If you don’t keep a blend on hand or are only baking GF occasionally, Bob’s Red Mill’s 1-to-1 Baking Flour is a great affordable option. Just be sure not to use any wooden or porous surfaces or utensils, which can harbor minute traces of gluten, endangering your family and guests.
Using dedicated gluten-free products (like spoons and cutting boards) is a good option if you are baking gluten-free often. Choosing stainless steel or silicone utensils, or brand new wooden utensils will help keep everyone safe.
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes
- 1-1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp (112.5g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (34g) firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups shredded carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)
- 1/2 cup crushed canned pineapple (most of an 8 oz can)
- 1/2 cup mini white chocolate chips
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped and divided
- White Chocolate Buttercream
- 2/3 cup; 4 oz; or about 120g chopped white chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but cool, cut into cubes
- 4 to 6 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- A few drops of flavoring, optional
- A little food coloring (preferably gel), if desired
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease muffin cups or line them with paper liners.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- In your stand mixer, beat together the eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in the oil and vanilla. Beat the flour mixture into the carrot mixture until evenly moist. Fold in the carrots, pineapple, and 1/2 cup of the walnuts. Divide evenly in the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely before topping with the icing.
- Buttercream Frosting: Melt the white chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring often to avoid scorching. When fully melted, remove from the heat and cool slightly so it won't melt the butter.
- Place the butter in the bowl of your standing mixer and beat until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the white chocolate, beating until fully incorporated. Add 4 cups of the sugar, the vanilla, and cream. Beat until thick, creamy, and fluffy. Add more sugar if needed for the right consistency. Add the flavoring and coloring if using.
- Transfer some of the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 2D tip (for roses) or tip of your choice, and pipe a dollop in the center then continue piping, circling the center in increasingly larger circles, until you have completely covered the top. There is a great video from Diane of Created by Diane here showing you how to pipe a rose frosting on cupcakes. If you want to learn four different techniques, watch this video from Cakes by Lynz.
- Sprinkle tops with the remaining finely chopped walnuts or decorate as desired.
- Yield: about 24 regular sized cupcakes
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