Friday, June 6, 2014

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Before doing our current Detox, I was on a baking kick (probably part of the reason we decided to do the Detox....)  During this baking kick, I told a friend of mine I was going to make carrot cake cupcakes.  3 weeks later, I finally got around to making them and called her right away.  I tried a cupcake before taking them to her and was blown away by how good it was.  Dense, just sweet enough, and full of subtle flavors like cinnamon and cardamom.  The icing on the cake?  No added sugar in the cupcakes themselves.  You might even be able to get away with calling these carrot cake muffins!  But then of course you would need to leave off the frosting... which is kind of amazing. The frosting does have a small amount of maple syrup, but it's super rich from the cream cheese and not too sweet.  My friend LOVED these cupcakes, as did many other taste tasters.  One friend called them "friggin' awesome." Enough said!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

adapted from Paleo Newbie

8 soft medjool dates, pitted
1 c hot water (I microwave mine for 1:11)
1/4 c apple butter (or unsweetened applesauce)
1/3 c whole milk (or coconut milk)
3 large eggs, whisked
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c almond flour
3/4 c cashew meal (you could omit this and use all almond flour)
2 T coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 T cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c raisins
1 1/4 c grated carrot (I used shredded carrot and just chopped it up a little finer)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat your cup of water and place the dates in it for about 5 minutes.  Then place the softened dates in a food processor along with the apple butter. Process until it forms a thick paste.  Add the rest of the wet ingredients (milk through vanilla) to the food processor and process briefly until uniform.  

Stir the dry ingredients (except for the raisins and carrots) together, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until well mixed.  Next, fold in the carrots and raisins.

Place cupcake liners in muffin tins, then pour batter into tins about 2/3 full.  For me this made 18 cupcakes.  

Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake.  Let cool before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. full fat organic cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz. salted, grassfed butter (or unsalted butter + 1/4 tsp salt), room temperature
1/3 c maple syrup
1 T cinnamon

flaked unsweetened coconut

Whip cream cheese, butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon with handheld mixer until fluffy!  Frost cooled cupcakes with frosting.  Top the cupcakes with pecans or flaked, unsweetened coconut if you want!  You will have leftover frosting, so you can make a half batch if you want.  Or you could just eat the leftover frosting with a spoon.  Take your pick.

*If you don't have time to let the ingredients come to room temperature, microwave the butter until it is soft but not melted, and squeeze the cream cheese package between your hand until it is soft.  

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