Carrots Equal Spring

This is gonna be dessert week. I’m in the mood for light sweet bites, so I’m going to share the things I’m in the mood to make and eat.
Today’s choice is Carrot Ginger Cupcakes. This recipe from Martha Stewart is one that I go to time and again. I use the cake recipe as is, except I always make mini cupcakes. I don’t remember when exactly I changed my method, it wasn’t when I first got the mini cupcake pan, but somewhere along the line I’ve gone completely mini to where an old school regular size cupcake seems enor ours to me. I love to just two-bite them or if nobody’s watching pop the whole thing in my mouth in one fell swoop.
So enough about size. I think the freshly grated ginger is the game changer for these. They are moist and the ginger updates them from the bland you may associate with carrot. Oh, and since I bake them elf size, I grate the carrots on the fine side.
Now for the frosting. Martha’s recipe is very good, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using it except that I found a better recipe, so wait for another day to use hers. Instead use this one that goes with Root Cake (which I don’t like the texture of, but the icing is KILLER.) A  combination of almond, vanilla, and wait for it…anise extracts sends the flavor profile over the top… can’t believe I’ve never seen this combo before. Kudos, Johnny Iuzzini, kudos! It happily makes a ton of icing which in my mind is always a good thing. In fact running out of icing is the ultimate faux pas that will make me utterly crazy. That said, you can easily halve or third the recipe if you want. Now, I do make a few adjustments here, which are: use almond extract because I’ve never seen bitter almond, microwave the finely grated carrot until tender because raw carrot shreds are gross in icing, and omit the carrot juice because that just makes it runny without lending any obvious flavor.
These are little spring delights that are difficult to stop eating. Do try them. I think they work well on Easter buffets, yet they turn out to work year round.

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