Ok, that might be a little bit of an over-statement. I know I could never entirely forget about Easter candy; however, if anything was going to come close to making me forget Easter candy, it would be these carrot cupcakes.
I spent Easter with Wes' family. I think it was my first Easter to ever be away from my parents, but with such a young puppy, it is nearly impossible to fly. And an 8 hour drive is just too much. I've done it twice this year, and just wasn't up for doing it again quite yet. Anyway, the weekend was a lot of fun. Lizzie went swimming for the first time, which was hilarious. She isn't a fan of the pool. On the drive back, I realized that I didn't leave their house from when I arrived at 4 on Friday until when I left at 7 on Sunday, except for an hour to go to church on Sunday. It was like a mini-vacation. All I had to do was bake, play pool volleyball (which is also hilarious when i'm forced to play in the "deep end"*) and be ready to eat several times throughout the day. Deal!
For our Easter dessert, I thought carrot cupcakes would be very appropriate. I've made this cake several times before and absolutely love it, but had not made it as cupcakes prior to this weekend. They turned out really yummy and pretty cute too, once they were iced. Anyway, the recipe is especially great because you can throw all your ingredients into one bowl and go from there. It is seriously the best carrot cake I have ever had, and I definitely recommend trying this recipe if you are a fan.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all of your ingredients and beat until it is well blended. If you are going to make a carrot cake, use three round pans (i typically use 8'' x 2''). If you are going to make cupcakes, use any size muffin tin you prefer. For Easter, we used large muffin tins and tiny muffin tins, in case some people wanted just a taste. Grease the pans or tins.
The large cupcakes took about 18 minutes to cook and the smaller cupcakes were about 12 minutes. The cakes are usually about 30 - 35 minutes. As usual, monitor the cake/cupcakes, and use a toothpick to determine if they are done.
Once the cakes are finished, let them cool. Depending on what you want your cupcakes to look like, you can carefully cut around the edges while they are still in the muffin pan to remove the cupcakes. This will create a really clean edge. If you don't mind a little bit of a ragged look, you can just remove them, as is. I left them as is which you can see in the pictures. If you are doing the three layer cake, ice each layer of the cake and stack, then ice the outside. I typically will flip the pans over and ice the "bottom" of the cake since it is so much neater.
For the cupcakes, we used a cream cheese frosting, which always seems to be the best with carrot cake. Let me know if you have tried other icings with it!
I used this cream cheese icing, but there are a ton out there, so do whatever sounds best to you!
Cream Cheese Icing 1 8-ounce cream cheese 1 stick butter 1 tsp vanilla powdered sugar - to taste, i used about half a bag
Combine cream cheese and butter, pour in vanilla and sugar and continue to blend. You can add pecans to the icing if you would like, but some people are picky about things in their icing. I prefer it, but was trying to cater to everyone.