I love carrot cake and whenever I go to a cupcakery, I always pick a carrot cake cupcake if available. And yes, I said cupcakery! There are several of them in DC and so far I have visited Georgetown Cupcake, Baked and Wired, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Red Velvet Cupcakery, and Cakelove. I still haven't tried the vegan cupcakes at Sticky Fingers, but I plan to in the near future! I have heard they are really good and because they are vegan, does that mean I can eat 2 cupcakes? :) Since I had extra shredded carrots from making Buddy's birthday cake this weekend, I thought I would try making my own carrot cake cupcakes. I even tried to make them more healthy by using agave instead of sugar and applesauce instead of oil. They turned out pretty good, but the cream cheese frosting really makes them extra delicious! I also tried to make the frosting more healthy by using neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese. I didn't even taste a difference. Enjoy these healthier cupcakes!
1 ½ cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2/3 cup agave (I used Wholesome Sweetener’s Organic Raw Blue Agave.)
½ cup applesauce
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups shredded carrots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, mix flower, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon with a whisk.
In another larger bowl, mix agave, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla. Slowly fold in dry ingredients with the whisk until fully mixed.
Next, using a spatula, fold in shredded carrots.
Divide batter evenly between 12 muffin cups.
Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces neufchatel cheese, at room temperature (You may use cream cheese.)
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
With an electric mixer, mix together cheese and butter until smooth. Using a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the vanilla extract. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Mix until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe with a star tip like what I did.
P.S. I stored these in the fridge, when ready to serve, just take them out about 30 minutes beforehand to let them get to room temperature.