#32 Carrot and Pineapple Cupcakes

I've been watching a lot of Cupcake Wars and I find it very inspiring. I do wish they would bring in more bakers that are from anywhere but California. Nothing against Cali I am from there myself, but I would like to see a wider selection of bakers. I would also like to see some southern bakers too. If they are anything like Paula, then you know it will be an amazing buttery goodness. So with my inspirations oozing, my original cupcake that was a winner from this show was the blue velvet with lots of black berries. Unfortunately black berries are not in season so this was put to the back burner for now. So carrot it is! I looked in my Martha Stewart book and I wasn't feeling the recipe so I decided on the one from the Food Network which also included pineapple, lots of ginger and Chinese 5 spice. I was a little hesitant about the 5 spice. I really thought it would be gross, but it actually reminds me of apple pie spice. MMMM! If your looking for a quick and simple recipe that will wow some folks then this is it. Now the frosting.... Its not just good it's amazing! I think Aidan would have licked the bowl if I let him! So grate up some carrots and grab a can of crushed pineapple because after you see the outcome you know your going to want one!!

Showing off a little Karate action here.

Carrot and Pineapple Cupcakes (Courtesy of Food Network)

The Goods
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
3 large eggs room temp.
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cup shredded carrots 
2 tablespoon Crystallized ginger finely chopped. Save some unchopped ginger for garnish too.

The How To
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and Chinese five-spice powder and set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, crushed pineapple, eggs, sugar, vanilla, chopped crystallized ginger and carrots.

This was the first time I used my food processor as a grater and it worked out well.

Fill the cups 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20mins. Rotate pan half way through baking time. I checked mine after 18mins with a toothpick and they were perfect. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10mins. Then remove from pan and let cool completely before frosting.

Look at the little shredds of carrots!! Yumm!!!

Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting
It's finger licking good!!!

The Goods
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste. ( I love using the paste, you can see the little specks of vanilla seeds)
2 teaspoon ground ginger 
3 cups powdered sugar

The How To
In a large bowl, add the cream, butter, vanilla, and ginger. Blend the ingredients starting out on slow speed working up to medium-high speed (you don't want the stuff flinging out of the bowl!!) for about 3mins or until creamy consistency is reached.

Slowly adding the powdered sugar one cup at a time.

Now taste your amazing creation and frost those cupcakes!!!! Don't forget the crystallized ginger this will seal the deal.

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