Carrot Ginger Cupcakes
(Martha Stewart Living Magazine, November 1999)
2/3 cup pecan halves
6 carrots, peeled
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking pan. Transfer to oven, and roast until toasted and brown, about 8 minutes. Give the pan a shake midway through roasting to make sure they roast evenly. Remove pan from oven and let stand until completely cool. Finely chop pecans and set aside. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Using the smallest holes of a box grater, grate carrots to yield 1 3/4 cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
Fill each cupcake to the top of the paper liner. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, rotating the pan halfway through, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
These cupcakes would not be complete without the perfect frosting, so here it is…
Orange Ginger Frosting
(Martha Stewart Living Magazine, April 1999)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 bars (8 oz each) cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
Pinch of salt
Place butter in bowl and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, and beat until well combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Add sugar, orange zest, ginger, and salt, and beat for 5 minutes.
Now, for the lowdown:
This is a Martha Stewart recipe. Need I say more? Meaning, it’s slightly more complicated than your average recipe. Nothing too difficult for the average person, just more time-consuming steps. Was I crazy to try it? I don’t think so. However, I can say that I have never, ever grated carrots using the smallest possible holes on my box grater. Fortunately I made it through that task (which took FOREVER) with all of my knuckles intact!
Toasting the pecans is another added step, but trust me, you will be so glad you did. The aroma that filled our house while they were toasting in the oven was unbelievable.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the fresh ginger. Yes, I like to keep ginger root on hand, but I did not anticipate having to use all of it to get 2 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger. But, at least it didn’t take as long as grating the carrots.
The frosting – simple and easy to make. The freshly grated orange zest makes it sublime.
My final verdict is that these cupcakes are absolutely, fantastically fabulous!!! They are everything you would want in a cupcake – moist, flavorful, and purely delicious. Worth every minute of the excessive carrot grating. Totally, totally worth it. Enjoy!
Until next time,