Tropical Carrot Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Frosting

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Hey peeps!

Alright so here’s the scoop – It’s the first Wednesday that I’m back to work after a week long vacation with Cole touring around the beautiful state of Oregon. It was such an amazing vacation and let’s say that I am feeling a little less than enthused about the return to work. I need a little mid-week pick me up to get me through this week, so here’s my thought; I think we should just have a little discussion about cream cheese today.

I feel like this is a topic that we can all relate to; because A. cream cheese has a serious comfort factor when you are feeling a little bit blue; and B. I mean really – who out there doesn’t love cream cheese? Do you like cream cheese? I’m guessing so, since you have continued to read this post past the first paragraph – so let’s discuss this more…

I love cream cheese; and when I say I love cream cheese,  I mean I really, really love cream cheese –  as in basically I will eat just about anything that has a healthy amount of that creamy goodness slathered on top. That’s right… I said anyyyything… See? I told you I love the stuff. I think cream cheese is pretty much good on/with everything – do you agree? I feel like you can never go wrong by adding a little cream cheese to your life – it can do no wrong.

Are we still in agreement on this subject? I hoped so – I’m happy we share this cream cheese loving bond.  I was starting to think I was the only person in the world with such a fondness for cream cheese, what with all the sideways glances I have gotten in the past from people when they catch a glimpse of me enjoying some of my unique, (albeit slightly strange,) cream cheese pairings.

For instance; I like to eat cream cheese and jam sandwiches, (people are seriously weird-ed out by this); I also love to dunk my celery sticks in cream cheese as a little mid day snack, (I guess people are more familiar with the peanut butter/celery combo); Finally –  I eat bacon and cream cheese sandwiches (that’s right – these are my absolute fav cream cheese combo!) Yeah… I get a lot of discerning looks from people regarding the many ways I like to enjoy cream cheese. It’s okay, I’m used to it – it’s just one of those things that we cream cheese enthusiasts must endure.

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But for today, let’s just stick with a classic cream cheese combination that I think most everybody in the world shares a mutual love for – cream cheese frosting… basically case in point why I love cream cheese so much. Seriously need I say more than cream cheese frosting? Is there anything more divine than a dollop of cream cheese frosting on a cupcake… or really on top of anything…. or you know just all by itself on a spoon for that matter? I would be hard pressed to think of anything more addicting than cream cheese frosting – and this statement is coming from the girl who regularly divulges stories about her serious peanut butter addiction – so you know I’m serious.

When it comes to frosting a cake or cupcake, I personally think that cream cheese frosting is the ultimate –  agreed? It pairs so amazingly with pretty much any cake flavour, but when combined with a cake that has a little bit of spice like these Tropical Carrot Cupcakes……….. game over; You have officially reached a whole new level of to die for – am I right? So lets drown our workday sorrows in a batch of these beauties shall we?

This Carrot Cake recipe was given to me by my mum and it is my absolute favourite carrot cake recipe of all time. Now, I’m going to share a little family secret with you about these carrot cupcakes and what makes them just so darn irresistible…. even though it’s hard for me to let this secret go, I am going to do it because I love you all so, so much. 🙂

So what is this big secret? Well, instead of using grated carrots, my mum always taught me to cook the carrots first, and then mash them into a puree instead. Say whattt???? I know this may sound a little strange, being that probably every other recipe for carrot cake you have ever seen calls for you to simply use grated raw carrots – but I promise you, this technique is the ultimate in making the best damn Carrot Cake you have ever had. Not only does it make for a velvety smooth texture in the cupcake once its baked, but I find that it also adds some moisture to the cake, and bumps up the flavour of the carrot a notch.

There – I did it. I shared the secret to the most delicious Carrot Cake you will ever make in your life – but shhhh…. this is top secret so only share it with your most bestest, best friends ;p

So if like me you are in desperate need of a little mid week pick me up – look no further. Here is the recipe for these scrumptious Tropical Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I hope you enjoy!

But for today, let’s just stick with a classic cream cheese combination that I think most everybody in the world shares a mutual love for – cream cheese frosting… basically case in point why I love cream cheese so much. Seriously need I say more than cream cheese frosting? Is there anything more divine than a dollop of cream cheese frosting on a cupcake… or really on top of anything…. or you know just all by itself on a spoon for that matter? I would be hard pressed to think of anything more addicting than cream cheese frosting – and this statement is coming from the girl who regularly divulges stories about her serious peanut butter addiction – so you know I’m serious.

When it comes to frosting a cake or cupcake, I personally think that cream cheese frosting is the ultimate –  agreed? It pairs so amazingly with pretty much any cake flavour, but when combined with a cake that has a little bit of spice like these Tropical Carrot Cupcakes……….. game over; You have officially reached a whole new level of to die for – am I right? So lets drown our workday sorrows in a batch of these beauties shall we?

This Carrot Cake recipe was given to me by my mum and it is my absolute favourite carrot cake recipe of all time. Now, I’m going to share a little family secret with you about these carrot cupcakes and what makes them just so darn irresistible…. even though it’s hard for me to let this secret go, I am going to do it because I love you all so, so much. 🙂

So what is this big secret? Well, instead of using grated carrots, my mum always taught me to cook the carrots first, and then mash them into a puree instead. Say whattt???? I know this may sound a little strange, being that probably every other recipe for carrot cake you have ever seen calls for you to simply use grated raw carrots – but I promise you, this technique is the ultimate in making the best damn Carrot Cake you have ever had. Not only does it make for a velvety smooth texture in the cupcake once its baked, but I find that it also adds some moisture to the cake, and bumps up the flavour of the carrot a notch.

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There – I did it. I shared the secret to the most delicious Carrot Cake you will ever make in your life – but shhhh…. this is top secret so only share it with your most bestest, best friends ;p

So if like me you are in desperate need of a little mid week pick me up – look no further. Here is the recipe for these scrumptious Tropical Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I hope you enjoy!

Tropical Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes: 24 cupcakes

Things you need… 

Tropical Carrot Cupcakes
1 cup butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups cooked, mashed carrots
1 14oz can of crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped (optional)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powdr
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 pkg cream cheese, room temp
2/3 cup butter, room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
5-6 cups icing sugar

How to make… 

Tropical Carrot Cupcakes
First step in this recipe will be to cook your carrots until they are fork tender. Mash your carrots until they are almost the consistency of pumpkin puree. Mix the crushed pineapple into the carrots and set aside to cool slightly while you make your batter.

Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Mix in coconut and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping down the bowl occasionally to ensure everything is evenly mixed. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating until fluffy, and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix in vanilla until combined.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter and slowly mix your batter to just incorporate; Scrape down the sides of your bowl. Add 1/2 of the carrot/pineapple mixture and stir to combine. Continue to alternate with dry and wet additions two more times, being sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl after each addition and finishing with the dry ingredients. Beat your batter on low until there are no lumps, but be careful not to over-mix. Gently fold in chopped toasted pecans if you are using and stir to combine.

Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pans, filling each about 2/3 of the way up.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops spring back to your touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Icing
While your cupcakes are baking/cooling – prepare your icing. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whipping attachment to cream the butter and cream cheese together until completely combined and there are no lumps in the mixture. Scrape down the sides of your bowl every so often to make sure everything is incorporated – (the last thing you want is lumpy cream cheese frosting.)

Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Next add in the icing sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing on a low speed to combine after each addition. Once you have added 5 cups of the icing sugar increase the speed on your mixer and beat for 2-3 minutes until the icing becomes pale white and fluffy. If your icing is a bit too fluid you may need to add the additional cup of icing sugar.

Place the  icing the fridge until you are ready to use as this will help to keep the cream cheese icing in a nice state when you are ready to pipe your frosting.

To frost your cupcakes the way I have featured here, fit a piping bag with a 1/2 inch round icing tip and fill the bag 1/2 way with your icing. Try not to over fill your bag unless you are certain you will be working very quickly, because the heat of your hands can sometimes warm the cream cheese frosting too much and the icing may become difficult to work with.

Starting from the center of the cupcake begin piping the frosting in a circular motion to make the thick swirl on the top. To finish, dust the tops of your cupcakes with cinnamon to make them look extra pretty.

Serve right away, or place in the fridge to keep if you are planning on bringing them to an event- which I highly suggest you do because you will be the star of the show if you show up with these puppies to a party.

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Are you drooling yet?

This is my all-time favourite Carrot Cupcake recipe. This cake is the perfect combination of fluffy and moist and I just love the way the subtly sweet flavour of the carrot pairs so well with the sweet pineapple and coconut. The combination of spices in this recipe is just perfect, because it is not too overwhelming – plus that cinnamon with the cream cheese frosting….. honestly, need I go on?

This recipe makes beautiful puffy little cupcakes, but if for some reason you aren’t feeling the cupcake situation, this recipe also works amazingly if you make it in cake form too . Simply use 2 9×9 inch round cake pans as opposed to the cupcake pans and voila! You have yourself a super decadent 2 layer Carrot Cake.

All this talk of cream cheese frosting definitely has me feeling happy – what about you? I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do 🙂

Happy Baking!

KP xoxo 

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