Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot cupcakes seemed like a perfect match for my first Easter brunch. I chose this recipe after reading great reviews and seeing that the ingredients were healthy. I didn’t have to do my usual tweaking that I so often like to do  ;-). I only omitted the nuts due to some allergies in the family.

These cupcakes turned out moist and flavorful, tasting wonderful on their own. Let me tell you though the cream cheese frosting was a perfect match for the cupcake, giving it just a little something extra in each bite. These carrot cupcakes definitely helped in making my first brunch a success.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from this recipe

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (used whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (optional, I omitted)

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces 1/3 fat cream cheese (Neufchatel recommended)
3/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


Preheat oven to 350 degress. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Sift together first 6 ingredients. In a large bowl (I used my mixer) whisk the oil, brown sugar, and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla, and carrots. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the walnuts. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. With an electric mixer ( I used my kitchenaid again) beat the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and top with remaining walnuts. Store in refrigerator.

For the carrots: I used the pre-packaged shredded carrots and then put them in my mini food processor to chop them really fine.

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