Monday, March 25, 2013

Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Spring has sprung! Though it may not feel like spring in the northeast quite yet, Easter is just around the corner. Growing up, Easter was always one of my favorite holidays because it packed so many things I loved into one day... baking, brunch, pastels, creative egg-dying, warm weather (in theory), family time, and of course, all the Easter bunny's treats.

Well, it turns out that things don't change all that much as you grow up. I still love Easter for all of the same reasons and this year, I'm psyched to share an amazing Easter treat recipe that will put the perfect sweet finishing touch on your holiday meal.

This perfectly moist and fabulously flavorful traditional carrot cake recipe comes straight from the cupcake experts themselves: Katherine Kallinis and Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne, the Georgetown Cupcake sisters! And in an amazing turn of social media events, Katherine and Sophie tweeted their approval of my version of their recipe in response to a photo I posted on Instagram (see below)! If that's not reason enough for you to give these a try for your Easter get together, I don't know what is!

The tender cupcakes are packed with freshly grated carrot and tart apple. Topped with a cloud of thick, vanilla cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of your favorite springtime sprinkles, these treats are sure to give the Easter bunny a run for his money! ;) Enjoy!

Georgetown Cupcake's Carrot Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1⁄3 cup hot water
2 cups freshly grated carrots
1/2 cup freshly grated apple (approximately 1 medium-sized apple -- I used Macintosh, but you can use your favorite type)

Vanilla cream cheese frosting:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature


For the cupcakes:
1.) Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a standard cupcake pan with twelve paper baking cups, and a second pan with six baking cups.

2.) Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

3.) Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with a handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy. Stop to add the sugar; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

4.) Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

5.) Reduce the speed to low. At this stage, it's always important to mix as slowly and as little as necessary since you don't want to traumatize your batter.

6.) Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then gradually add one third of the hot water, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by one third of the hot water. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining hot water, and beat until just combined.

7.) Using a spatula, fold the grated carrots and apple unto the batter.

8.) Use a standard-size ice cream scoop to fill each baking cup with batter, so the wells are 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting: Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until well combined. Be sure to beat on high speed for at least 2 minutes at the end to ensure that the frosting is light and fluffy.

For the decoration: Line up cooled cupcakes on a sheet of wax paper. Transfer the vanilla cream cheese frosting into a plastic piping bag fitted with a large round metal tip (or piping tip of your choice). Apply a signature swirl (see below). 

The Georgetown Cupcake Signature Swirl: The frosting on Georgetown Cupcakes has a certain "style" to it — a perfect little cloud that reaches a pretty peak in the center. It's just the perfect amount of frosting — not too much, not too little — and it looks neat and sweet!

Transfer frosting into a plastic disposable piping bag, fitted with a large round metal tip. Be sure to whip up your frosting so it is light and airy. You don't need to twist the top of your bag — you can just hold it closed with one hand and use your other hand to hold the bag near the bottom and squeeze. Start in the center of the cupcake, applying pressure to the bottom of the bag, and guide the tip around the cupcake in a circular motion, then end in the center with a burst of pressure. Try to move quickly and confidently. If you go too slowly, the frosting may come out uneven. You can then add your decorations (sprinkles, etc., be creative!)

Makes 18-20 delicious cupcakes.


  1. hi,
    i enjoy your blog very much! i love it! i bake these carrot cupcakes last weekend and mine did not turn as brown as yours would you know why is that?


    1. Hi Anne,

      Thanks so much for reading! The variation in cupcake color could be attributed to a number of things including the type of butter, carrots, apples, flour, baking time, etc. Did you substitute or change anything? I hope you still enjoyed them! Keep in touch!


  2. hello,
    how many cupcakes do you get with these integrents? :)


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