Carrot & Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Carrot and pumpkin spice flavored moist cupcakes topped with a rich cream cheese frosting


Yields: 12 cupcakes, Prep Time: 30 mins, Total Time: 40 mins


WHAT YOU NEED For The cupcakes: 

4 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1 cup pumpkin purée

1 cup all purpose flour

2 cups light brown sugar 

3 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup canola oil

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp salt 

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp ground allspice 

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla essence

WHAT YOU NEED FOR The CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

2 cups cream cheese, softened

10 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cup confectioners/powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla essesnce


WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl; flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

2. Add beaten eggs, melted butter, pumpkin purée, canola oil, vanilla essence, and mix well.

3. Using an electric beater on a medium speed, beat until you get a smooth batter.

4. Fold in the grated carrots and give it a good mix.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C. In two 6 x 2 cupcake tins add cupcake liners that have been lightly greased with butter on the sides.

6. Using a spoon, add the batter carefully making sure that you fill it up just up to the brim.

7. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

8. Let it cool for at least 10 minutes once it's out of the oven. 

9. For the cream cheese frosting, first mix in the cream cheese and butter. Using an electric beater on a medium speed beat well for about a minute. Stop and add the sugar and vanilla essence and mix well. Again, beat it for about 2 minutes or until well combined and smooth.

10. Add the frosting in an icing bag with a wide cross nozzle. Squeeze the end of the bag and in a circular motion moving inwards to form a small peak. 

11. Since I made these for Halloween 2015, I added some chocolate chips on the frosting to make it seem like eyes and mouth, giving it the appearance of a ghost. 


TIPS:

  • You can also bake a cake instead of cupcakes with the same quantity of ingredients.

  • Canola oil can be substituted with vegetable oil as well. You can also eliminate butter in the batter and add some more oil instead.

  • Add some chopped walnuts in the cake batter for that extra flavor.




Tres Leches Cupcakes


Soft and light sponge cupcakes soaked in three kinds of milk - evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream.


Yields: 12 servings, Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins


What you need For the Cupcakes:

4 eggs, yolks and whites separated

1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 cup whole milk

What you need For the TRES LECHES MIX :

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup condensed milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup whipped cream

What you need For the Topping:

4-5 strawberries, sliced

A dash of cinnamon powder

What to do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit (175 degrees celsius). Line cupcake tins with liners (I used 2 tins that had a capacity of 6 each).

2. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl and keep aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy (it's best to use an electric mixer but if you don't have one like me, you can do it by hand using a fork to beat the eggs. Make sure you beat it vigorously though. Trust me it's a great hand exercise too). Slowly add the sugar while continuing to beat the whites until it forms soft peaks (if you're doing it by hand then stop once the mixture turns thick and pearl white). Now add the yolks one at a time and continue to beat until it gets blended well into the mixture. Add the vanilla essence and mix well.

4. Slowly add the flour and baking powder mixture along with whole milk. Mix well and ensure that no lumps are formed. 

5. Using a spoon, fill the cupcake tins with this batter. Make sure that you only fill it halfway through (the cupcakes will rise and overflow if you fill the batter till the brim).

6. Place the tins in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. 

7. Take the tins out of the oven and let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes or so. 

8. To prepare the tres leches mix, combine evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream in a large bowl. In case you don't get evaporated milk anywhere, you can easily prepare it at home by boiling down 2 1/4 cups of whole milk to about a cup (Bring the milk to boil on a medium flame and then let it simmer on a low flame. Occasionally stir and scrape off the cream that forms on the surface. Do this till the milk comes down to 1 cup in measurement).

9. Using a fork, poke holes in the cupcakes. Additionally, create 2-3 small slits in the center of the cupcakes as well. Now, using a tablespoon, carefully add the tres leches mix to the cupcakes one at a time, especially making sure that the milk seeps in through the slits. Do this 3-4 times for all the cupcakes. Let it soak in the milk for 10 minutes or so. For best results, leave the cupcakes in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours. 

10. Add a second liner to the cupcakes in case it gets really messy with the milk mixture.

11. Finally, mix a bit of the tres leches mix with whipped cream and add a dollop of this on top of each cupcake. Garnish with sliced strawberries or any other fruit of your choice. You can also just dust some cinnamon powder over it.

12. Tadaaa. Your cupcakes are ready to be devoured.