Spring is almost here, and I'm really excited because there are lots of things I have planned for this month. We will be planting our herb garden, add some flowers to the front yard of our house, and work on our gardening skills. One of my favorite spring desserts is carrot cake. I love the flavors of carrot cake because it's so moist and fresh, it always brings a smile to my face! I knew I had to try this cupcake recipe from Williams-Sonoma because it was the perfect bite of sweetness that I was looking for. I would add some walnuts for more texture, but it truly was a sweet treat!
Carrot Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. maple syrup or honey *I used honey.
1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
7 Tbs. fresh orange juice, warmed
1 tsp. baking soda
For the mascarpone icing:
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
4 oz. cold mascarpone or low-fat cream cheese
Strips of dried mango for garnish (optional)
1.Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line 10 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, maple syrup and orange zest until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the carrot.
3. In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. In another small bowl, stir together the orange juice and baking soda.
4. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in two additions, alternating with the orange juice mixture in two additions until smooth. Do not overbeat or the cupcakes will be tough.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
6. Bake until the cupcakes are risen and lightly golden, about 20 minutes.
7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a baking sheet and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
8. To make the mascarpone icing, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest and mascarpone until blended. When the cupcakes are cool, frost them and garnish with strips of dried mango. Cupcakes may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Makes 10 cupcakes.
Adapted from New Healthy Kitchen Series, Desserts, by Annabel Langbein (Simon & Schuster, 2006).
**I'm sharing these cupcakes with a girlfriend, I can't leave these all at home to eat for Eric and me!!**