Carrot Cupcakes Recipe:
1 cup (110 grams) pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (240 ml) safflower or canola oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (280 grams) finely grated raw carrots
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup (110 grams) confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut
Green food coloring (liquid or gel paste)
Carrot Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Place paper liners in 20 muffin cups.
Toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
In bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs until frothy (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and beat until the batter is thick and light colored (about 3-4 minutes). Add the oil in a steady stream and then beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots and chopped nuts. Evenly divide the batter between the 20 muffin cups and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. With a knife or small metal spatula spread cream cheese frosting on top of each cupcake. Garnish with the green colored coconut and Easter candy. Cover and refrigerate the cupcakes until serving time.
Frosting: In the bowl of your electric, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until very smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Garnish: Place the sweetened coconut in a plastic bag along with a few drops of green food coloring. Shake the bag until all the coconut has been colored with the dye.
Makes 20 cupcakes.