Monday, March 5, 2012

Pretty Damn Amazing Carrot Cake Cupcakes

J loves carrot cake, and believe me, her standard is high. Last year I probably made 4 different recipes, and there was something that could have been improved on every one of them. Saturday, I decided to give it one more try. But because I am supposed to be loosing some weight, I made cup cakes. I thought it might be easier to control portion size with these.

I started with a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I wanted to be sure I had the chemistry part (baking soda, eggs, flour) right. Then I made my own edits. I cut the recipe in half (there are only 2 of us, after all!). I substituted a zuccini for some of the carrots. I think zuccini is the answer to almost everything. You can't taste it, but it makes food a lot juicier, and I mean that in a good way! I also used coconut oil for the fat. I like the Living Foods brand - it has a nice flavor and texture. You can order it here. I'm doing an experiment to see if using coconut oil has a positive effect on my bad cholesterol. More about that later. I reduced the sugar. I swapped out some of the flour and substituted almond meal. (By the way, the reviews I read of almond meal on steered me AWAY from Bob's Red Mill brand for almond flour.)

Next time I make these, I'll add more veggies and I think I'll grate an apple and reduce the sugar further. I'll use more almond flour and less wheat.

Beauteous Carrot Cupcakes - makes 12 cupcakes

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 cups white sugar
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated vegtables - I used 3 peeled carrots and one peeled zuccini
1/4 cup unsweetened grated coconut
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup raisins

1. In a medium size bowl, mix the flour, almond meal, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, ginger.
2. In a large microwavable bowl, melt the coconut oil. Mix in the sugar, and then one at a time, the eggs.
3. Grate the vegetables.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the oil/egg/sugar mixture and stir until well mixed. Stir in the veggies, walnuts, coconut, and raisins.
5. Scoop the mixture into baking cups in a cupcake pan. You can fill them up quite a bit because they don't rise a lot.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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