Archive for the 'Cupcakes' Category

Carrot Cake, A Reprise: Carrot Almond Flour Muffins

Thus follows the second installment of my carrot cake muffin experience this spring. I thought it wasn’t quite as good as the carrot cake banana muffins, but you can do so many great substitutions in this recipe. It can easily be gluten-free or vegan if you have any dietary restrictions.
And let’s be honest with one another: cream cheese frosting is like the WD-40 of the baking world. It makes anything work.
Carrot banana on the right, carrot almond on the left.
Also pictured: a dairy free cinnamon walnut crumble muffin with delightful berry filling. We were having a little birthday brunner gathering on the patio (this is, brunch dinner). It might also have been called a brunchluck (brunch potluck), because other people brought delicious food items.
Brunching like bosses,
Healthy Carrot Muffins with a GF Option
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
1 egg
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup plain almond milk, unsweetened
1/2 heaping cup (packed) grated carrot
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons almond meal
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp flour (sub in more almond meal if you want this to be GF)
1/8 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375. Prepare muffin tin with liners or lightly grease them.
Whisk together egg, mashed banana, maple syrup in a medium bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the almond milk, followed by the grated carrots, followed by the oats, almond meal and flour.
Divide evenly among 6 muffin tins, filling them all the way up to the top, and top with chopped pecans.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let set in the pan for 15 minutes. Then flip on their sides still in the pan to let cool completely.

Pipe Dream #331: To Trickle Down Truth – Carrot Cake Banana Muffins with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting


The only other carrot cake recipe on my blog is this one, and it is so good that I thought I would never need another. It is also so huge that after that cake, I didn’t make carrot cake for four years until now.


This spring, I was having a massive craving for carrot cake. Like big time real deal. And I tried to like, not make it, which resulted in me trying every which way to deal with this craving. It led to some highly dissatisfying experiences including:

  • Vegan carrot cake from Whole Foods (like, why even. the frosting was probably silken tofu. i’m shuddering remembering this.)
  • Carrot cake protein powder pancakes (i scraped these into the sink, they were so bad.)
  • Eating plain carrots (this was fine, but it didn’t make me want to shout or anything.)

Eventually, I was able to pull from my “bucket of spiritual truths that trickle down into everyday things” and realized that no carrot cake substitute will fill the hole that I feel for carrot cake, and all your striving to fill that carrot-cake shaped hole with other things is going to be ineffective, dissatisfying and likely damaging.


And it was a good place to process to, because then I just made the carrot cake and stopped wandering into grocery stores buying horrific cake slices, and now I’m good for a few more  years. And here’s what I made.

There are actually carrot cake muffin recipes pictured above, so dial in for a second go later. The one at the bottom of this post is the better of the two. It’s carrot banana cake, so it’s a little bit low fat and a lot bit moist.


Plus, I topped them with this cream cheese silk. It’s like that boiled flour frosting that is so incredible, except I swapped in cream cheese for the butter. It’s a ridiculously creamy, not too sweet version of cream cheese frosting, and I know you’ll love it. A great option if you don’t have powdered sugar lying around.


Best of everything,


Carrot Cake Banana Muffins with Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting

Muffins adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Frosting is an LH Original

For the muffins:

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
1/8 cup quick oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup shredded carrots
3 tablespoons almond milk
2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray six muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or line with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, quick oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed banana, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined.

Add in the olive oil and almond milk, then fold in carrots. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the pecans.

Divide into the six muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Don’t overbake. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for a few mintues before removing from tin to cool fully.

For the frosting:

12 oz full-fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer, still whisking, and boil until the mixture thickens dramatically. Boil for a minute or so, then remove from the heat. Scrape the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on high speed until cool. You can also put it in the fridge for a while to facilitate cooling. Stil mixing on high speed, drop in the softened cream cheese, about an ounce at a time, and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Spread or pipe onto cooled muffins.

Pipe Dream #309: To Hit the Spot – Cookie Dough Cupcakes


It’s January. Welcome to it. :]

I kept looking at these and saying in my head, “Like, cute, or whatever.” So I hope they are hitting your cuteness spot.


But I was ridiculously pleased that the top of this cupcake looked like a chocolate chip cookie. Because these are chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. I have seen dozens and myriads of cutesy cookie dough recipes for dips and cakes and miniature things over the years, but I never make them, because they all require mini chocolate chips, which I never buy because somehow when I think chocolate, I can only think MEGA. Do you get me?


Not only these really decent eggless vanilla cupcakes filled with an eggless cookie dough frosting that can be eaten with a spoon or scooped up at parties with graham crackers or pretzels, they are topped with an (eggless) brown sugar cookie dough frosting that rocked my world.


Each element essentially includes the same ingredients in different quantities. Even the frosting has flour in it, giving it an authentically doughy flavor. It ended up being a bit of a sugar overload, but that is easily compensated for by a large glass of milk in hand. I’ll post some health food later.


The cupcakes were dense and moist, but lacked a little bit of butter flavor that one looks for in a good cake. Maybe next time I’ll add a bit of butter extract (another extraneous thing I never buy because…just use butter). They are a good solution, however, when you’re out of butter and eggs and want to cupcakes. Or if you have allergy friends. Hey, let’s be allergy friends. It’s a new type of friend.

My roommate said, “I normally go for fruit desserts instead of something like this, but this just hits the spot right now.”




Cookie Dough Cupcakes

For the eggless cupcakes:

Adapted from design. bake. run.

Makes 6.

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake tin with six liners.

Combine milk and vinegar in a measuring glass and set aside for 5 minutes to curdle.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk, oil and vanilla. Whisk until fairly smooth. Divide batter among six lined baking cups (cups should be just under 2/3 of the way full). Bake for 16-19 minutes or until lightly golden, and tops spring back when pressed. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

For the eggless cookie dough filling:

Adapted from Amber’s Confections

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) softened butter
scant 1/4 cup sugar
scant 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk
scant teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Mix the butter and sugars as well as you can by hand until well-combined. Beat in the milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Stick the dough in the fridge to firm up while the cupcakes bake.

After cupcakes are cool, cut out the center of each and reserve the top of the cupcake. Fill each hole with the cookie dough filling and replace the reserved top. Frost with the below frosting.

For the frosting:

Adapted from Young Married Chic

6 tablespoons butter
scant 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
scant 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
scant tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat together the butter and brown sugar as well as you can by hand until creamy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

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