Two Cupcakes: One Clever and One Tasty

by Cathy on February 16, 2011 · 1 comment

in Food

My daughter is being mentored by a wonderful graphic designer at a large company in Kansas City. On the side, this designer creates adorable bath fizzies. But these aren’t just any bath fizzies — they are shaped like cupcakes and come in “flavors” like raspberry truffle! Also, check out the designer’s adorable, truly inspired blog, Dirty Laundry. So cute!

And if you are looking for the tasty kind of cupcake, my daughters and I baked several batches for our three separate New Year’s Eve parties. They all turned out well but my favorites were these carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Here’s the recipe from one of my favorite cooking blogs, Gimme Some Oven:

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
(Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)


Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. (6-7 medium) carrots, peeled
  • 1½ cups (10.5 oz) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups canola, safflower or vegetable oil

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese (not softened)
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted


Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with 24 paper liners.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt; whisk together and set aside.

In a food processor fitted with a shredding disk, shred the carrots (you should have about 3 cups).  Add the carrots to the bowl with the dry ingredients and set aside.  Rinse out the bowl of the food processor and fit with the metal blade.  Process the sugars and eggs until frothy and thoroughly combined, about 20 seconds.  With the machine running, add the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube.  Continue to process until the mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 20 more seconds.  Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the carrots and dry ingredients until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.

Scoop evenly into the prepared cupcake liners, so that each is about 2/3 full.  Bake for about 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan at least 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.  Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.


{ 1 comment }

This is my first post because I thought of an important matter that I would like to discuss: who has the best cupcakes in the world. I am known as the “cupcake king” to my family and am ribbed for trying cupcakes whenever we visit new cities.

My wife also likes the interior decorating at Naticakes but let's stick to the issues, people! It's all about the taste!

I have recently tasted cupcakes from many of the states in the Midwest and Southeast. One of my favorites is Kansas City’s BabyCakes.  This place is known for a wonderful butter cream frosting, light cake and tasty varieties. Their red velvet cupcake and carrot cake are some of my favorites.

On our recent trip to Franklin, Tenn., I discovered my first true contender — Naticakes. Their cupcakes had some of the best frosting  I’ve ever tasted. It was very light and creamy. They also had a unique selection. The two we tasted were the devil’s food and the dulce de leche.  The latter had a caramel center that was a true delight.

If you are a cupcake company and would like to be considered for the throwdown, please send me your cupcakes and I will give careful consideration.

So who should win between the two cities? Are there other cupcake cities that should be considered?  Who truly has the best cupcake?



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