Feb 23, 2009

Super Moist Carrot Orange Cupcakes with Walnuts

If anything is worth perfecting, it is a classic like carrot cake. My idea of a carrot cake worth eating, is ultra moist, gently spiced, with a touch of citrus zest and generously loaded with shredded carrots and chopped nuts. The recipe I will be sharing belongs to the baking & cooking god...Ina Garten. The recipe I often turn to when I need to produce a sweet treat that will make a memorable impression.

make 22 cupcakes
2 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 extra-large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 cups grated carrots (less than 1 pound)
1 cup raisins

zest of one orange
1 cup chopped walnuts

For the frosting:
3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Beat the sugar, oil, and vanilla together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs, 1 at a time. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts to the remaining flour, mix well, and add to the batter. Mix until just combined.
Line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop the batter into 22 muffin cups until each is 3/4 full. (Depending on your oven please check these cupcakes because the cooking time listed on FoodNetwork worked for me but not for 1 reader.) I
would Bake at 350 degrees F and CHECK at 15-17 minutes, if done at that piont, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove & Cool on a rack.

To make Marzipan Carrots
1-7 oz box Marzipan
Red food coloring gel
Yellow food coloring gel
10 parsley sprigs
(Paste coloring is preferred over liquid, as it won't change the consistency of the marzipan, and the liquid may.)
A Sage Mommy Tip: To prevent marzipan from sticking, wear plastic gloves.

Make a well in the marzipan and add food coloring, about 2 parts yellow for every part red.

Knead in the coloring.

Make 30 balls (larger balls for larger carrots).

Roll each ball between fingers into a carrot shape.

With a toothpick make diagonal markings.

With toothpick make a slight indentation in top for stem.

Use parsley stems as carrot tops.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
When the cupcakes are cool, frost them generously and serve.



Erica said...

You're making my mouth water and my stomach is still so full from my ham test run! Looks so delicious.

Rosemary said...

Oh how delicious looking. Will try this recipe and maybe even the carrots.

Michelle said...

OMG they look amazing - I can almost taste them mmmmm I'm printing out the recipe right now :o) M x

sage mommy said...

Thanks peeps..they came out cute. Try the Marzipan carrots...so easy & so impressive;)

Erica said...

Thank you for putting this recipe back up with a few (nice) tips! I'm glad.

Sage Mommy said...

No problem. Someone had trouble with it. They are always my go-to recipe and I would hatefor them to get ruined;))