Carrot Orange Cupcakes {mind-over-batter.com}

I woke up last Sunday morning with a start, having just dreamed in customary technicolor and realized, “Oh snap – The sun is setting two hours later today!!”

I wanted to go back to sleep, but for people who write about food, and struggle (struggle like a motherf*****) to capture food at its natural best, this tidbit of information is tantamount to discovering the fabled city of Shangri-La…

Or Xanadu…

Wait – Which is the city with the skates again?

Never mind…

Spring is almost here and you can smell the excitement intermingled with pollution in the air. The trees are blossoming, the weather is getting warmer, guys are gearing up to have some almost nekkid eye candy flaunting their ‘ish around.

It’s spring, baby…

The spring baby bumps have made their debut, providing further proof of what was goin’ down between the sheets during cold nights, and even colder winter mornings. Proof that love was in the air, or rocking the backseat of a Buick Skylark.

Oh, wait – it’s not 1973. I meant the back of the 2010 Hybrid…

What I’m talking about is winter love here. Betcha didn’t know about that; but winter love exists, folks.

Let a sista’ school you…Flow with me…

Winter love comes in forms that warm the belly, such as a hearty stew or a good chicken pot pie. In warm chocolate cakes, or nice warm sticky buns.

It comes in forms that warm your heart – Like snuggling with your honey and making each other warm with your na-tu-rale body heat; warming each other’s cold toes beneath the duvet – Then moving onto, um, other things beneath the duvet.

Oh snap – Is it getting hot in here?  Let’s talk cupcakes…

Carrot and orange cupcakes are “right before the curtain goes down and it all fades to black” winter love.

Carrot Orange Cupcakes {mind-over-batter.com}

I’m damn ready for spring, slowly relinquishing my winter Bruce Lee Kung-Fu grip. I’m moving away from the hearty comfort meals and onto lighter food fare.

It’s happening… To all of us… The collective unclenching of muscles, the sighs of relief; we survived another winter without slipping on a patch of ice. It’s the little things….

Now, before I embrace spring, Let me kick it to ya with a lil’ winter hearty,  a taste that exemplifies winter comfort. A sort of last hurrah… A carrot cupcake big enough for two.

Carrot Orange Cupcakes {mind-over-batter.com}

Carrots and a heavily spiced flour make the base for these delicacies.

Nuts for a bit ‘o crunch…

Carrot Orange Cupcakes {mind-over-batter.com}

Pineapples for moisture…

Carrot Orange Cupcakes {mind-over-batter.com}

Bringing up the rear, rounding out this robust cupcake is orange zest. A whole tablespoon of it. I think this will make you wanna smack yo’ mama. Don’t, though – Because yo’ mama may come at you with a hot skillet.

Carrot Orange Cupcakes {mind-over-batter.com}

Orange zest isn’t all, oh no – What’s really gonna blow your mind is the orange/vanilla cream cheese frosting that finishes the cupcakes off.

Do  you see the flecks of zest?

Carrot Orange Cupcakes {mind-over-batter.com}

Hot damn…Creamsicle winter love…

I may or may not have been tempted to suck the frosting out of the piping bag. I may or may not have actually done that… I also may or may not have hoarded some frosting for um, later… 15 minutes later…

Carrot Orange Cupcakes {mind-over-batter.com}

I’ve said too much.

Before you start bringing up your summer gear from storage, I’d like you to think about winter love and bake these cupcakes. Snuggle with your sweetie under your floral spring duvet, gaze into each other’s eyes, warm up each other’s toes. Take turns feeding each other KILLER carrot orange cupcakes from the same spoon.

Carrot Orange Cupcakes {mind-over-batter.com}

It’s sex-i-fed, winter love is…

Oh, um…

Yea…

If it, um – Goes any further than that, and you find yourself on the receiving end of a December baby… I WILL NOT be held accountable.

You’re going to blame it on the cupcakes, or that slammin’ frosting.

OK?

Cool beans…

Supremely moist carrot cupcakes with a hint of orange zest in both the cake and the frosting. A cupcake large enough to share! Or not. www.mind-over-batter.com
: Carrot Orange Cupcakes
For the cake
  • 2 1/3 cups sifted all purpose flour (sifted, then measured)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoons orange zest, or zest from one large orange
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 cups finely grated peeled carrots
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice, very well drained
For the frosting
  • 2 8-ounce packages Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, cold
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 large muffin tins and set aside.
  2. Combine 1/3 cup flour and walnuts in a food processor. Process until nuts are finely chopped. Whisk remaining 2 cups flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend.
  3. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat sugar, oil and orange zest in large bowl to blend. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and orange juice. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add in flour-spice mixture. Stir in nut mixture, then add the carrots and crushed pineapple.
  4. Divide batter among muffin liners filing them about ¾ of the way. Bake cupcakes for about 30-35 minutes, or until tester inserted into center of cakes comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tins for about 15 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin and allow to cool on baking racks completely. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
For frosting:
  1. In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium/high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the orange zest followed by the powdered sugar, about a cup at a time. Stop and scrape the mixer as needed. Add the orange juice and vanilla extract. Increase the speed to high and mix until fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the frosting for about 30 minutes. Oh, yea – Taste that bad boy before you cover… Just do it… For serious…
  2. Once frosting has chilled and cupcakes have cooled frost as desired.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 35 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

 

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