So, I was running some errands with my mom today, feeling pretty good about life, when I saw this:
Umm, I know I’ve been a little busy with finals and graduation, but…..SWEET. FANCY. MOSES. Somebody could have let me in on this a little earlier! I’m a bit fuzzy on the judgment day ground rules, but I’m guessing I broke a few of them in the course of my post-finals celebration week. Also, I’ve been known to use what I once heard a Sunday school teacher refer to as “worldly language,” and I really like Lady Gaga. So, I guess this might be goodbye.
If it is goodbye, I decided I would like to end on cupcakes. Always, always cupcakes. I wanted to bake them in my parents’ kitchen while watching Barefoot Contessa, and then frost them while singing along to my baking playlist. As luck would have it, some fantastic relatives gave me two new cookbooks for graduation, and one of them has a carrot cake recipe in it I was dying to try. Bonus: vegetables + no refined sugar in the recipe = me looking and feeling my very best as I march off to meet my cosmic fate. Here’s the cookbook:
It looks fabulous and I would probably highly recommend it after trying more recipes, but, alas, we may never know. Anyway, I gathered up my ingredients to start. Note: I hate to be bossy, but maple syrup is an important ingredient here and you need the real stuff (no Aunt Jemima/Mrs. Butterworth).
I filled the pans with cupcake liners, made the batter, spooned it in, and baked.
Let them cool completely. I thought this step was taking an eternity, which really illustrates how unprepared I am for this rapture business. Once they’re cool, you can mix up the frosting. In an effort to dazzle the henchmen of the apocalypse with my pastry skills, I piped the frosting onto the cupcakes using a large ziploc bag like so:
Finally, I sprinkled them with coarsely chopped walnuts and sat down to enjoy one while reflecting on these past 25 years. I’ve had a good run, I guess. The recipe is below. If I make it, dear readers, I’ll see you again soon. If not, I want to leave you with these final words of wisdom: It’s always better to under-bake than over-bake. Always.
Carrot Cupcakes (adapted from the Spring Carrot Teacakes in “Green Market Baking Book” by Laura Martin)
Makes about 20 cupcakes
- 4 eggs
- 1 c. maple syrup
- 1 c. oil (The original recipe calls for 1 1/4 c. light olive oil. I only had extra virgin, so I used 1/2 cup of that and 1/2 cup canola.)
- 1/2 c. Greek yogurt (The original recipe calls for sour cream here.)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 c. all-purpose flour (The original recipe calls for 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup spelt flour.)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 c. grated carrots (The original recipe calls for 3 cups, but I hate grating stuff.)
- 3/4 c. chopped nuts (I used walnuts.)
- 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk the eggs until frothy, and then add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk for another minute or so. Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl, pour in the egg mixture, and mix everything until just combined. Stir in the grated carrots and chopped nuts. Spoon the batter into muffin tins filled with cupcake liners, and bake at 325 for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center of one comes out clean. (I think I took mine out after 18 minutes.)
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely. For the frosting, mix the cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. If you want to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, spoon it into a large ziploc bag, work it down into one corner, cut a small hole in that corner with scissors, and squeeze the frosting out with one hand as you hold the cupcake with the other. Sprinkle the top of each cupcake with chopped walnuts or more grated carrots if you like.
Note: I ended up about 4 cupcakes short on frosting. But—if you frost with a knife instead of piping, I bet you’ll use a bit less on each cupcake and it would work out perfectly.