That was basically my reaction to baking for this holiday this year. I don’t celebrate Easter for the religious aspect, not at all. I celebrate the chocolate bunny aspect, the dying eggs aspect, and the beautiful spring flower aspect (lilies are my favorite flower). I celebrate spring, I guess you could say, more than “Easter.” Except I don’t like saying that because it makes people think of Wiccans and movies like The Craft or TV shows like Charmed & that just annoys me, because you can celebrate nature without being stereotyped (and I am far from being Wiccan, just for the record). As a matter of fact, more religions should be open to celebrating how beautiful nature is, regardless of your view on how it came to be. So yeah, I don’t celebrate Easter, perse. However, there are a plethora of adorable liners and cupcake supplies around this time of year with cute little bunnies and eggs printed on them, and since I am not against bunnies or eggs- actually I quite like them (and they don’t have a religious connotation), I use them. Another one of my absolute favorite things about this time of year are Cadbury Creme Eggs. I’m obsessed with them and that’s not an exaggeration.
That said… they don’t translate well to cupcake-baking. I’ve seen people try and bake cupcakes with the creme eggs in them; they just looked like a mess. I’ve thought about using the flavors: chocolate and creamy fondant; but that’s not really anything new. I scrapped that idea long ago. And I’ve already used Cadbury Mini-Eggs on cupcakes a few years back, so I didn’t want to repeat that. Last year I made a delicious chocolate cupcake with banana-flavored Italian meringue covered in a chocolate “shell”, so I didn’t want to do a marshmallow-coated frosting type deal, no matter how much that reminds me of Easter candy. I could’ve done a fruity cupcake like a lemon one, or a lime one or a creamsicle one (which I ended up doing as well, you’ll see it further down in this post). But I wanted to do something different. I was at a complete loss. So was anyone I asked for input (thanks, guys). So what’s a girl to do!?
I had no idea.
Seriously. Not a freakin’ clue. I was about to just forget about it and make something else, despite having 100 mini-cupcake liners, and 25 regular ones just sitting here waiting for me.
And then… it sorta dawned on me, randomly, while surfing the web, that I never made carrot cupcakes. DUH. Carrot cupcakes! For Easter! Bunnies eat carrots! I enjoy carrots, quite a lot. Carrot cake? Not really. But I figured, why not. I never made it before and this recipe is a Martha recipe that comes highly recommended so… here we are.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
- 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a standard 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, and eggs.
- Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut.
- Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
I omitted the coconut, I just didn’t think it was needed. If you don’t frost them, they’re basically muffins. I got 15, but that’s because I did a test run and the batter rose so much I only filled these halfway. And then they ended up not rising all that much at all… go figure. I’d guess somewhere in between 1/2 and 3/4 would be the right idea. I frosted them with cream cheese frosting (recipe here, sans lemon) and tinted it lavender (to match the liners). Another good option for frosting these are white chocolate buttercream (that you can find here) or plain vanilla buttercream. In case anyone is curious- I frosted ’em once, then frosted on top of that to give it a swirlier taller more flowery look.
These were okay. Not great, not bad, just okay. The flavor just wasn’t quite what I had expected, they were really really moist too and didn’t feel “done” even after they were. Combine that with the very watery batter, and with the rising problems… I’d give it a 5.5 or 6 out of 10. I think I’ll be on the lookout for a better carrot cupcake recipe. If you have a tried & true one, feel free to e·mail it to me! That said… everyone ELSE who ate them said they were terrific. Maybe I’m just a perfectionist. Or maybe Martha just sabotages every recipe she posts so that they never come out right. I know I’ve mentioned this theory before.
Both sets of liners as well as the bunny/egg toppers are by Wilton.
My second batch were really simple, they were orange creamsicle mini- cupcakes with marshmallow fluff frosting. I already have the recipes on here so if you click here you’ll be taken to the cupcake recipe, and if you click here you’ll be taken to the recipe for the marshmallow fluff frosting. However, I know most of you are probably lazy like me, so I’ll put the recipes here. You’re welcome.
I colored the cupcakes an orange-y color this time. I also halved both recipes, and I got 24 mini-cupcakes and more than enough frosting for them. Luckily, this frosting is delicious eaten right out of the bowl. I think marshmallow Fluff frosting is my favorite, I sort of forgot about it for awhile, but now I remember and boy, is it fucking delicious. Anyway here are the visuals…
Check out my new vintage Jadeite bunny bowl!
CREAMSICLE (ORANGE-VANILLA) CUPCAKES
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. orange extract
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and orange extract.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost.
First you get:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 (7½ ounce) jar Fluff, or similar marshmallow cream
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Then you’re gonna:
- Beat butter in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until creamy. Beat in marshmallow cream. Reduce speed to low, and beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Increase speed to high; beat until fluffy.
- Frost cooled cupcakes.
I’ll tell you this: these little creamsicle cupcakes with marshmallow frosting were WAY better than the carrot. But maybe that’s because I’m a bit biased. The danger in mini-cupcakes, however, is the fact that you pop ’em in your mouth and eat them like candy. So you probably end up eating twice as many as you would regular cupcakes. Oh well.
BEFORE YOU GO: PLEASE READ MY ENTRY FROM TUESDAY (click here, scroll down or click the previous entry title at the bottom of this page). It’s about Yoyo‘s donation pick for April, and it’s a very worthy cause, LBEH.org. Today, April 2nd, is the day she’ll be donating 100% of the proceeds from her store to that charity. So please read the entry for details and go to her webstore and BUY STUFF!
Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring to all.