This nostalgic family recipe is carrot cake done right. The cupcakes have just the right spices and an irresistible cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup European-style unsalted butter (such as Plugra), softened
- 1 1/2 cups cream cheese, softened
- 5 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 tablespoon very high quality vanilla extract
- 1 small orange, juiced and zested
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- .5 teaspoon fine salt
- 3 organic brown eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups fine sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon very high quality vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pineapple, drained
- 1 1/4 cups shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus extra for garnish
Make the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth, and then add cream cheese. Be sure to scrape the bowl before adding the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Fully incorporate the powdered sugar before adding the liquids and the zest. Beat for three minutes until fluffy. Cover and refrigerate.
Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs while adding the oil, buttermilk, sugar and vanilla, one at a time. Mix until well incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture into the large bowl to combine. Stir in the pineapple, carrots, coconut, raisins, and walnuts. Scoop the batter into pre-lined cupcake pans, about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, rotating the pan after 10 minutes. Let the cupcakes completely cool before frosting them with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with additional chopped walnuts, if desired. Enjoy!