My guy and I don’t do much (if anything) on Valentine’s Day – we’re more into the “making the most out of time together” throughout the year. The one tradition I have made the past 3 years (including this year) is baking something he loves. Last year, it was a play on these delicious cookies. This year, it was carrot cake. My guy has an old school palate and is in LOVE with carrot cake – we tend to try the dessert at restaurants if we notice there’s a carroty choice on the menu. I’ve never worked with veggies in my desserts so I thought it would be a fun experiment, while (hopefully) pleasing my guys taste buds.
I tested around the proportions of the standard carrot cake recipe and came up with the below list. I reallyyyyy loved this recipe – it was so moist and delicious right out of the oven and even the next day! Jason isn’t the best with “eating in moderation” so he gobbled up 4 of these just last night! Top it off with your favourite cream cheese icing batch and nom (my cream cheese frosting skills needs some work so no suggestions left on this post). As usual, there will be tips/tricks and substitution suggestions at the end!
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (175 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon or all spice
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) canola oil
2 cups (500 mL) carrots, grated – avoiding heavily packing the measuring cups, ends up being approx 2 large carrots
1/2 cup (125 mL) pecans, chopped – omit if you’re not a fan of the nutty texture/ you have an allergy
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (if you have an oven that tends to be on the hotter side, preheat to 325 degrees F). Prepare a cupcake pan with the cupcake lining of your choice or butter/flour the pans if you prefer not using linings.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and canola oil – mix just until the combination of ingredients are moistened (don’t over mix!)
- Add the carrots and pecans to the mixing bowl. Stir until incorporated.
- Portion out cake batter into the cupcake cups.
- Stick into the oven for 20-25 minutes, just until the center of the cakes look dry. I tend to use the ‘tooth pick” trick by inserting a tooth pick into the cakes – if it comes out clean (no moist, uncooked batter on the pick), it’s done!
- Cool for 30 minutes. Top with your fav cream cheese icing (I used this recipe – the frosting was softer than I preferred but did taste cream cheesy and delicious!)
Makes 12-15 cupcakes
- Want to be adventurous? Use this same cake base but add other veggies in place of carrots (example: zucchini).
- Want to beef up the fibre? Sub the all purpose flour for whole wheat. This may also make the cupcakes more dense/a bit drier.
- Not a fan of nuts? Replace with raisins or just omit! Like both nuts and raisins? Add 1/4 cups of both!
- Want to cut down on the fat? Sub the oil for an equivalent amount of apple sauce.
- Do you like your desserts less on the sweet side? Add 1/2 cup (125mL) sugar instead.