Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Cream Frosting

It's funny how much we love cupcakes. I mean, we love cake, but cupcakes... hmmm nothing beats some cute cupcakes. And because there are usually at least 12 cupcakes you can kinda 'have your cake and eat it too' because you should have 11 leftover, right?! Well, you may not want 11 leftover all to yourself... You're gonna want to share these babies because they are just too good to keep all to yourself. Sharing some delicious [and healthy] treats is one of my most favorite things to do. And these will have you at hello... hello to the amazing smells from the oven and hello to the melt in your mouth deliciousness.
Well, this recipe was dreamed up the other day when I realized that I haven't had a good gluten-free, dairy-free carrot cake in a while and maybe I should try my hand at one just in time for Easter. My recipe of course will be a little different or 'special', but it still consists of all the main yummy ingredients.
Carrots. Coconut. And all the sweet and comforting spices you own. I decided against walnuts to keep things nut-free, but you could easily put some in if you desire. I also decided on a maple glaze-like frosting instead of a traditional mock-cream-cheese frosting. I also made these in dedication to have no refined sugar and more natural sweet goodness from dates, raisins and maple syrup. And heck, why not make them without eggs and make them vegan all the way. Pretty darn delicious if you ask me.
Carrot Cake Cupcake Recipe 
(gluten-free, nut-free and vegan)

Date Creme Mixture:
10 chopped dates (about a heaping 1/2 cup)
1 cup of non-dairy milk (So Delicious coconut is what I use)
1 TB of chia seed meal

Let the above ingredients soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. Then after soaking, blend in a magic bullet or high powered blender. Then add the pudding-like mixture to the rest of the batter. Ingredients listed below...

1 cup of freshly ground buckwheat flour (I grind my own flour from raw buckwheat groats in a high powered blender or magic bullet)
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup of Bob' Red Mill GF flour baking blend (or you can easily substitute millet or brown rice flour)
1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. ground ginger
1 ts. of ground cinnamon
1/2 ts. of ground cardamon
1/2 ts. of ground nutmeg
1/2 ts. of ground cloves
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar or sucanat
1 TB of chia seed meal
1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce or butter (or crushed pineapple is a nice sub here)
1 1/2 cups of packed shredded carrots
3 TB of grape seed oil or light olive oil
2 ts. of pure vanilla extract
1 TB of fresh squeezed organic orange juice
1 ts. of freshly grated organic orange zest
1/2 cup of raisins or currants
*date cream mixture* from above

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Start with the dry ingredients and whisk together well and then add the wet and the date cream mixture. Mix well and then scoop 1/3 cup measurements of the batter into muffin tins. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes and make sure the cakes are golden brown and not gooey with a toothpick. This recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes. Let the cupcakes cool on the counter or on a cooling rack for at least 1-2 hours before frosting so to make sure they will not melt the frosting right off the cupcake. While the cupcakes are cooling you can whip of the frosting below...
Maple Cream Frosting Recipe
3 TB of pure maple syrup
3 TB of tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
4 TB of room temperature organic coconut oil
1 ts. of pure vanilla extract
1 ts. -1 TB of coconut milk or non-dairy milk

Use a small bowl and put all of the above ingredients in it except for the milk. Then whip together with a rubber spatula and if you want to add a splash of milk to smooth it out or make it more to your consistency. Then take about a TB of the frosting and plop it on top of the completely cooled cupcakes. Then if you prefer you can top with some extra shredded carrot. I like to let people know what kind of flavors are involved under that frosting. Plus it's so bright and cheery. Or at least festive for spring :)

*If you want to frost these baby cakes with a white coconut cream frosting I would suggest this one from Elana's Pantry. It is not a traditional cream cheese frosting, but is nice creamy substitute if you are looking for something with a little more fluff.

*If you want to add nuts, I would add either walnuts or pecans and start with 1/3 cup of crushed nuts, and add up to 1/2 cup before it becomes too much.

*These cupcakes are super moist and super flavorful. I suggest to store them in an airtight container and leave them out of the fridge to keep the best texture, flavor and moisture. But if you are trying to get them to stay fresh for more than 2-3 days I would suggest trying to store in the fridge or maybe freezing them as well.

* I bet this recipe would make an amazing coffee or bundt cake as well. I would use a traditional bundt, two 8 inch pans or even a 9x13 pan. Just make sure you grease the pan(s) and and bake for between 35-50 minutes depending on the pan and your oven.

I wish you could smell these yummy cupcakes. They are absolutely heavenly. Not to mention, also super moist and chewy too. I love how carrots cook into a baked good. And the dates add a nice touch of sweetness so you do not need to add more than a 1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar. These are a perfect match for an Easter dinner dessert, or maybe even a lovely brunch too. 

Well, I had lots of fun in the kitchen making, baking and eating these. I hope you try these sweet cakes out and love them as much as I do!

Much love as always!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing! If it wasn't almost midnight I would be on my way to the store to pick up the ingredients.