Yeah, I like to torture myself. I’m technically not allowed to bake, especially with sugar, due to my latest diagnosis of gestational diabetes. It was a definite bitch slap to me, as baking has comforted me through three degrees, one cross-country and one cross-world move, and 2/3s of this pregnancy.
But when my husband’s birthday rolled around, I knew I couldn’t not bake him a cake. A birthday without cake is sacrilegious in this household! So I rocked out his favorite recipe in mini cupcake form, carrot cake with pistachios and cream cheese frosting.
If and only if you’d like to see the best damn carrot cake recipe I have ever come across, if you think you can handle the awesomeness, then please. By all means–click on.
So this recipe is great for several reasons. First is the browned butter, which gives the batter a nutty flavor, then the combination of a ton of carrots, coconut and pistachios makes this an interesting and slightly crunchy cake.
But the whole process was a bit weird, more like a craft project rather than traditional baking, because I couldn’t taste anything. I had to rely on my husband to make sure things tasted right, and giving up control? Of anything? I’m not a fan.
Then the Martha Stewart in me took over and went craft-crazy on that cake. Can I just say what a fan I am of cakes that start with some form of melted butter? Anything that prevents me from using my giant stand mixer is ok by me!
Recipe: Leena’s Mini Pistachio Carrot Cupcakes
- 2/3 tsp Baking Soda
- 12.6 ounces carrots, peeled and shredded
- 4.45 ounces butter
- 1.11 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1.34 oz chopped pistachios
- .6 oz sweetened flaked coconut
- .57 oz minced ginger
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- brown butter then mix with sugar. Mix in eggs by hand.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- add carrots and ginger and mix until evenly distributed.
- add in coconuts and pistachios and mix in well.
- Measure out batter into prepared mini cupcake tins (either buttered, or filled with cupcake liner), filling them almost all the way full.
- Bake @ 350 F until toothpick inserted comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. If you bake the mini cupcakes this long and they are not browned on top and won’t pass the toothpick test, bake longer, starting with increments of 5 minutes. You are looking for doneness, not aiming to hit a time spent baking.
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Recipe: Cream Cheese frosting
Summary: Recipe by Garret McCord from Simply Recipes, http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/cream_cheese_frosting/
- 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 8 oz of room temp. cream cheese (1 package)
- 2 – 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a hand mixer, blend the butter and cream cheese together.
- Add in the vanilla, and slowly beat in 2-3 cups of powdered sugar. The number can vary based on how sweet you want the frosting to be.
- Use to ice the mini cupcakes, topping them with a bit of chopped pistachios for garnish.
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