Welcome to …. CARROT WEEK!! Last week’s theme featured asparagus, so I thought I would continue on the spring produce path with Bugs Bunny’s ever-so-versatile favorite.
When pondering what I should do with carrots, it occurred to me that in all this time, I have yet to blog a recipe for any kind of carrot cake. I felt I should correct that.
Carrot cake comes in many, many forms (layer cake, sheet cake, bundt cake, cupcakes…) and there are about as many versions as there are bakers of carrot cakes. Some have raisins, some have pineapple, some have nuts, some do not, and the ones that do have nuts cannot agree on which type of nut should be in there. Should it be walnuts, or almonds, or pistachios, or hazelnuts, or pecans? Although come to think of it, I did not see any carrot cake recipes containing peanuts…
Anyways. I wanted to keep the carrot part rather pure, so I opted for no raisins or pineapple; and then I came across a recipe for boozy carrot cupcakes, and well, I looked no further. Nocello is walnut liqueur, and since walnuts and carrots are good friends, it’s a perfect addition. It’s also pretty good on the rocks. Just FYI.
You could certainly make this without the liqueur if you don’t want to buy a bottle, but it’s really, really good with the alcohol, and I’ve given you an idea of what to do with the rest of the bottle, so just sayin’… Enjoy this one, y’all!
Source: The Boozy Baker by Lucy Baker
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canola oil
¼ cup walnut liqueur, such as Nocello
3 large eggs
3 cups peeled and grated carrots, about 1 lb. whole carrots
¾ cup chopped walnuts
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tbs walnut liqueur
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners; or grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
Make the cupcakes: whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, canola oil, and walnut liqueur. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and whisk until mostly blended. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold the rest of the flour mixture in. now fold in the carrots and walnuts.
Using a greased ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tins with the batter, filling each tin about three-fourths full. Bake the cupcakes until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove them to a wire rack and let cool completely.
When the cupcakes have cooled, make the frosting. Place the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer about 2 minutes, until very fluffy. Add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar plus the salt and continue to beat until smooth. Taste, and add up to 1 cup more sugar as desired, being sure to beat until smooth. Add the walnut liqueur and beat until incorporated. Spread the frosting over the cooled cupcakes.