Elements of Food, Elements of Home, Favorite Things

Birthday Cupcakes for B

I have a very picky fiance when it comes to desserts…there are very few types of cake that he will happily eat…So every year for his birthday, I make carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, his one and only favorite. I have tried several recipes…and rarely do any of the match up to his beloved carrot cake from Isles Deli, but I have this thing about all things homemade, so I kept trying…and I found a recipe that is pretty close and they turned out pretty cute as well…oh and I did I mention he hates frosting? Except for this cream cheese frosting which is heaven… All I have to say is thank goodness for my Cuisinart food processor which made grating three cups of carrots a breeeeeeeze…..Recipe with my additional comments and photos below. Happy birthday B 🙂

Carrot Cake Cupcakes


  • 2.5 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups grated carrots…see tip below for quick grating
  • 1 cup raisins (regular or golden)
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

For the Cream Cheese Frosting…

  • 1 pound (2, 8 ounce) packages of cream cheese (room temp)
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (Please don’t use imitation…)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a standing mixer, combine sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla together using the paddle attachment of the mixer. Crack your eggs into a bowl (to ensure they are ok…no shells, etc) and then add them to the bowl while the mixer is running. In another bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed or “stir”, slowly add the dry ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts and mix until combined.

Tip for grating carrots: Use the grating attachment of your food processor…it makes a tedious task incredibly easy.

Prepare your muffin pans with foil liners. I like these because they are pretty 🙂 Fill each cup 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 and continue baking for 15 minutes. Use a toothpick or cake tester to make sure they are done…toothpick should come out clean.

When the cupcakes are cool, it’s time to frost. I like to frost the cupcakes Ashley style by using a pastry bag filled with frosting with a large circular piping tip. Start by squeezing down on the edge of the cupcake and swirl it a circular direction until the top is covered like a tent.


Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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