Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Carrot Cupcakes

It's not Owen's birthday, nor is it his half birthday (they both occur during school breaks) but today we took in cupcakes for Owen's "April Fool's--Not really my birthday--Day". We had a lot of discussion back and forth about what might be a good idea to take in for his special snack, and what was not.  Another idea he had that I was totally on board with was pancakes and syrup--I would totally have let him take in homemade pancakes for his birthday snack. 

In the end though, he went with one of my suggestions-- carrot cake cupcakes.  It is technically for the whole class' "morning snack", so I feel good about the veggie content of these treats.  I also thought they would be fun and celebrating spring, since we really didn't need "birthday cupcakes" since it is not actually Owen's birthday. 

The cupcakes are yummy and have frosting made from real butter and cream cheese, and as I piped the little carrots on top for decoration I thought, "Yep, that is quite enough artificial food coloring for one treat."  And as was noted in the comments of my other blog, yes--this non-birthday cupcake makes me a Birthday Scrooge. 

So if you are interested in being a birthday scrooge--or if you just want to enjoy a seasonal homemade treat, here is my recipe for Spring Carrot Cupcakes, adapted from Lion House Desserts:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 8oz can crushed pineapple (in juice), pressed dry in a strainer
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400*.  Prepare 12 muffin cups with grease or papers.  Combine sugar and oil in a medium mixing bowl.  Add eggs, mix well.  Add grated carrots and pineapple.  Set aside.  In a large bowl sift together flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon.  Make a well,.  Add wet mixture, and mix to combine.  Spoon into muffin cups, and bake for 20 minutes of until they test done. 

When cool frost with cream cheese frosting:  1 8-oz package of cream cheese, softened; 1/4 cup butter, softened; 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar.  Cream together in a mixer bowl.  If needed add a teaspoon of hot water at a time to get to spreading consistency.  (I didn't need water--I have a hot kitchen.)

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