Carrot cake is my most requested cupcake, and I’ve had fun experimenting with the classic ingredients (see Carrot Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cupcakes and Carrot and Crystallized Ginger Cupcakes). This time, however, I’m not messing with the original. These are straight up carrot with raisins. Add nuts, if you must.
Note: When I first started baking carrot cupcakes (pre-blog), I used Ina Garten’s Food Network recipe. The recipe below is loosely based on that recipe. Key differences are that I use butter instead of vegetable oil and cook a shorter time.
Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozen cupcakes
2 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound grated carrots
1 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350° F and line muffin pans with 24 paper liners.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, then mix in the eggs, one at a time.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add half of this flour mixture to the mixing bowl, reserving half, and mix completely.
Add the grated carrots and raisins to the remaining flour and mix well, then add to your batter in the mixture. Mix until just combined, do not over mix.
Fill cups with batter about 3/4 full. Bake at 400° F for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350° F and cook for about 20 minutes more. Cooking time varies, so start checking after 10-15 minutes. The cupcakes are ready when a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool 5 minutes in pans, then remove and cool completely on racks.
Variations: I've made these replacing the raisins with crystallized ginger or even chocolate chips. I've also used other fruits and vegetables such as zucchini or apple, reducing the amount of carrot. Lots of possibilities!