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A little late for Easter, and a little early for Mother’s Day, but perfect for either holiday or anytime the craving for sweets with carrots and cream cheese hits. I made these for Easter as a last minute treat. Easter, Easter Bunny, carrots, carrot cake. It’s a logical thought process, if I do say so myself!

Carrot cupcakes are healthier than your standard cupcake… carrots make things healthy, right? The addition of oil instead of butter also helps them remain moist, even after being refrigerated with the cream cheese frosting.

These cupcakes are phenomenal. Everyone who tried them loved them, even people who aren’t big fans of carrot cake. Perfectly spiced, extremely moist without being soggy, and delicious cream cheese frosting. There may be an excess of frosting after frosting the cupcakes, but it should be the perfect amount for icing a cake and decorating. Besides, any extra can be saved for a later use… or eaten as a snack… your choice!

Carrot Cupcakes
Of course, anything that can be made into cupcakes can also be made into cakes. To make carrot cake, grease two 9-inch cake tins, split the batter evenly between the two tins, and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
¾ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup buttermilk
1½ cups white sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pound carrots, peeled
¾ cup crushed pineapple
1 cup raisins (optional)

Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with paper baking liners for 30 cupcakes. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and salt; set aside.

In a food processor fitted with the shredding disk, shred the carrots. You should have about 3 cups. Transfer the carrots to a medium bowl. Place the pineapples in a colander and press to release the majority of the juices. Add to the bowl with the carrots and add raisins, if using. Wipe the food processor bowl clean. Using the metal blade, blend the eggs and sugars until frothy. With the food processor running, add the oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract through the feed tube in a slow and steady stream until fully incorporated. Slowly add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Mix well then add the carrot mixture. Mix until well blended and no more flour is visible.

Scoop into the prepared cupcake tins, filling ¾ full of batter. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the tins for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

To make the frosting: Use the paddle attachment on a stand mixer and beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until soft and creamy. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, beating until the sugar is fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, beating for an additional minute. Frost cupcakes as desired; to thicken the frosting for more detailed decorations, place in the refrigerator until desired consistency is reached. Store iced cupcakes in the refrigerator.

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