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Carrot Cake “Cupcakes” with Strawberry Cream Cheese “Frosting”

Posted Feb 12 2011 12:00am

With a blog titled “Loving Bytes,” you’d think I’d be full of ideas for Valentine’s Day.  As I am sure is true for many mothers, the task of helping my children complete their Valentine cards (over 60 cards between the 3 of them) has zapped my creative juices and left me with little time for extra kitchen projects.  If you can find the time, however, a baking or cooking project with the kids can be a great activity during these cold winter days.

My kids and I baked heart-shaped, carrot cake cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting this week and they were a hit.  These “cupcakes” are low in sugar compared to other cupcakes, are made with whole wheat flour and have added nutrients from carrots, cranberries and nuts.  So depending on how you choose to market them, they are certainly healthy enough to call muffins.   In fact, they are more healthy than most store-bought muffins.  Personally, I find that when I call them cupcakes and involve my children in the baking process, they easily pass as dessert.  I have an oddly inflated sense of accomplishment when I give my kids a dessert filled with nutrients.  It’s weird, I know.  I can’t help it.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray your liners or pans with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Shred the carrots using a cheese grater and set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.

Chop the dried cranberries and the walnuts and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and honey over low heat.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the eggs into the butter honey mixture.”

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.

Fold in the shredded the carrot, lemon zest, coconut, nuts and cranberries.

Pour the batter into the muffin tins and tap on counter to remove bubbles.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the “frosting” by combining pureed strawberries, light cream cheese and powdered sugar or honey.

My daughter wanted to add a red heart on top, so we used 100% fruit spread to make a little heart on top. If we had a fresh strawberry, we would have used that!

Enjoy!!

Carrot Cake “Cupcakes” or Muffins adapted from Carrot Cake with Apricot Glaze from Feeding the Whole Family: Cooking with Whole Foods

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp sea salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 cup butter or coconut oil

1 cup honey

4 eggs

2 cups grated carrot

2 TBS lemon zest

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries (preferably without added sugar)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray muffin tins or liners with cooking spray to prevent sticking.  In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt & spices and set aside. Grate carrot and set aside.  Zest lemon and set aside.

Melt the butter and honey over low heat.  Add eggs and whisk. Pour this mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well.

Fold in the shredded carrot, lemon zest, coconut, nuts and cranberries.  Pour into the cupcake tins and tap on counter to remove bubbles.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove and let cool.

Strawberry Cream Cheese “Frosting”

2 8 oz blocks of light cream cheese

2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries

4 TBS confectioners sugar

Puree strawberries in blender or food processor until smooth.  Add a very small amount of water if necessary.

Mix cream cheese with a whisk until smooth.  Slowly add strawberry puree to get the taste and texture you prefer.  Add confectioner’s sugar 1 TBS at a time until you get the desired sweetness.  Spread over cooled cupcakes/muffins.

For more great Valentine’s Recipe ideas, check out a few of my favorite blogs:

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