Carrots Are Yucky

Really. They are. Would I lie to you? I love you all to death so I would never lie about something as important as the ickiness factor surrounding those orange…things.

I don’t like carrots (in case the above sentences didn’t clarify that). I will eat baby carrots if they are cooked almost to the point of mush and then covered in about 16 pounds of butter per carrot and salt. I will eat carrot cake. I mean c’mon, it has cream cheese frosting and is gooey and…well…it’s cake. I can forgive it for having carrots.

I’m also that person who, upon getting one of those bagged salad mixes, picks out every single carrot shred out of my bowl and throws it in my husbands serving. Raw carrots are even yuckier than cooked ones.

But… BUT I say! I like carrot cake. So when I saw a recipe for a quick bread that had a strong resemblance to carrot cake or would once I got through with it, I knew I had to make it. The original recipe is from Food And Wine. For the most part, I was true to the original but I seriously wanted it to be a bit more carrot cakeish but in quick bread form. That way if I wanted six slices for breakfast, I could honestly say that 1) I was NOT eating cake for breakfast and 2) it has carrots in it so it’s good for me. Right? So I added more spice to it, a TOUCH more oil (and I do mean just a little; just enough to increase the moistness w/out compromising the stability of the bread), raisins and the crowning touch of a cream cheese glaze.

This is good. Really good. I may or may not have eaten three slices already and scraped all the excess glaze out of the bowl with my tongue finger.

Don’t judge me.

Tender moist cake bread, stuffed full of raisins and sweet spices and a tangy sweet and creamy cream cheese glaze. And oh yeah, those orange things. What are they called again? Oh yeah… carrots.

Go buy some orange things and some cream cheese.

And you’re welcome. Continue reading

But…But…But…It Has CARROTS In It!

Admit it. You want this.

I have never been a fan of carrots. I actually go through salads and pick out all the little shreds of carrots. I do however like them heavily buttered but only baby carrots. So carrot cake was never a dessert on my radar. It was so far OFF of my radar that liver may actually have been in front of it by virtue of the fact that I had at least tried liver. But carrot cake? Nope. Wasn’t doing it. No way no how. No carrots for this woman.

I DO however love frosting. And Oranges. So when I was at the grocery store one day a few years backย  casually perusing drooling over the baked goods in their bakery department and trying to figure out why there was a check out boy with a mop & bucket in front of me as a voice said “CLEAN UP IN FRONT OF THE FAT LADY AT THE BAKERY…AGAIN!!!” ย  I saw a huge cake. It was decorated in this thick creamy white frosting and on the little sign that I still remember fondly (I took a photo of that sign and framed it. It hangs in a sacred spot in my home now; the bathroom) were printed the words, “Carrot Cake With Orange Frosting- More Money Than You Can Really Afford Per Slice But Buy It Anyway!” .Ok, it didn’t really say part of that but it may as well have. So I looked… glared at the kid with the bucket because he kept cutting off my view of the cake…and told myself that yes, it was carrot cake… i.e. a cake with the dreaded carrots in it but that if nothing else, I could always pay 3 gazillion dollars for a slice of this and just eat that heavenly looking frosting. So I bought it. I took it home. I ate all the frosting off the top. I drooled some more. Then I took a deep breath and took a bite of the cake part. It was the only way to get to the frosting packed between the layers. Then… I fell in love.

Kind of.

I still don’t like most carrot cake. I do though like carrot cake the way I make it now (and from that same store when I feel like blowing the rent money on cake). I like moist and tender cake chock full of pineapple and raisins and orange zest and spices and oh yeah, thoseย  carrot things too. And frosting that is buttery and cream cheesy (ahem; yes, this too is now a word) and also full of that lovely orange flavor I so drool over in store bakery sections.

If you like carrot cake, you should like this. It isn’t overly sweet (I actually think I will add a bit more sugar next time; maybe 1/2 cup. It’s more muffiny than I like.) and is nice and moist and the frosting I made to go with it is quite yummy if I do say so myself. The cake comes from (adapted slightly) The King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book (other than the orange zest and using both pineapple and raisins; they had it as a choice, silly people.) and the frosting comes from my warped brain. Enjoy!! You can also make this as a layer or sheet cake (that is what it is in the book) but I wanted cupcakes. It makes 33 cupcakes so it is perfect for a pot luck or church supper or for kids at school and this is actually semi nutritious (I know; scary huh?) cause of the fruits and carrots and whole wheat flour.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes With

An Orange Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 cups grated carrots (yes… THOSE)
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 1 can (8 ounces) well drained crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup raisins
  • FROSTING-
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4 cups (more or less as needed to get proper consistency) powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either grease and flour 2 9 inch cake pans or line 33 (can be done in batches) muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
  2. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the oil and beat until well blended. Add the vanilla then the sugars.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, mixing until it is smooth. Add in the carrots, nuts, pineapple and raisins. Mix well.
  4. Spoon batter into the prepared cupcake cups. Bake at 350 for about 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pans for 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling while you make the oh so delectable frosting ๐Ÿ˜€
  5. For Frosting- in a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese and butter until creamy and well combined. Add in the orange zest, extracts and orange juice. Beat well. Add in the powdered sugar and beat at low speed until combined (I always do this with the bowl set in the sink so that I don’t have sugar flying everywhere) then turn speed up to high and beat for five minutes. If frosting it too thick, add a touch of OJ to it. If too thin, add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time until you have the desired consistency.
  6. ย Spoon or pipe frosting onto cupcakes. Eat. Don’t share. Tell the kids that these are poison.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Since I still have no oven *sobs piteously and falls to the floor whining and kicking* I am posting a recipe that I have on food.com. The following is my link there if you’d like to see my page and my recipes:

Janet’s page on food.com

This is for red velvet cupcakes. I normally find the frosting on red velvet cake or cupcakes cloyingly sweet but not on these. These are the favorite of one of my daughters in law. If she and my son come to visit and I haven’t made these, there are violent threats and temper tantrums ๐Ÿ˜›

RED VELVET CUPCAKES

  1. 1 (18 ounce) box red velvet cake mix
  2. 1 4 ounce box instant chocolate pudding
  3. 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  4. 4 cups powdered sugar
  5. 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  7. 1 cup whipped cream (can use cool whip or homemade whipped cream. I tihnk we all know by now which I choose ๐Ÿ˜› )
  • Prepare cake mix as directed on box, adding in the box of chocolate pudding mix and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract.
  • Beat well for at least 2 minutes. Batter will be thick
  • Fill a touch over half full muffin tins that have been well greased or lined with muffin/cupcake liners; don’t fill too high as they rise considerably.
  • Cook according to directions on box of cake. When done, cool on wire rack.
  • While the cupcakes are cooking, make the frosting. Do your best to NOT follow my lead and eat half the frosting before the cupcakes are even cooled. Oh what the heck; go ahead. You can always make more ๐Ÿ˜€
  • Using a mixer, beat cream cheese, remaining tsp of vanilla and butter in large bowl until well blended; gradually beat in powdered sugar.
  • Beat in whipped topping (or whipped cream) and continue beating until frosting is thick and creamy looking, giving it enough time for the powdered sugar to break down and dissolve or you will have grainy frosting.
  • If too thick, add a little bit of milk or cream. Add just a bit at time. You can always add more but if you add too much, you end up with glaze not frosting and believe me, you don’t want to ruin this frosting.
  • When cupcakes are cool, spread or pipe the frosting on the cupcakes. Then do as I normally suggest; grab a few and go hide in the closet with a flashlight and a good book. Enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚