It must be love if it's...Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake.  I hear this and immediately a look of disgust washes over my face.  I think of a cake with chunks of things, crunching down on, wait, is that a nut?..., and that overly sweet, thick cream cheese frosting.  But people love, love this cake.  I know such a person.  My husband.  The poor guy always loses out when it's an option on the dessert tray.  Thankfully we built our relationship on chocolate, and therefore there is always another dessert we can agree on.  He's such a good sport.  And on top of that, he's a pretty awesome daddy to our boys.  So how does this lady show her man love and appreciation on "his" day?  Bake a carrot cake.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
adapted from Cupcake Project

-1/2 c. sugar
-3/4 tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, scant
-1 c. finely grated carrots-approx. 2 medium-lg carrots
-8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
-1 c. desiccated coconut*
-1/2 c. currants or raisins (raisins are larger)
-1/4 c. coconut oil (available at Kroger's in health food dept.)
-1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
-2 eggs
-1 c. flour

-  Preheat oven 350 F.  Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
-  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients minus oil, butter, eggs and flour
-  Add oil and butter and beat at a medium speed until combined
-  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
-  Stir in flour, 1/2 c. at a time, mixing until just combined
-  Divide evenly among cupcake liners.  I use a 1 3/4 oz cookie scoop.
-  Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
-  Let cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely before frosting.

*Go here to learn how to make desiccated coconut

Cream Cheese Brown Butter Frosting
by Me
1/4 c. unsalted butter
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. powdered sugar, sifted

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, brown your butter.  Stirring constantly, it will melt, foam, and start to turn golden and will have a nutty aroma.  Bits will be at the bottom of the pan.  Watch these.  They can go from dark brown (where you want them) to burnt in milliseconds.  Remove from heat.  Set aside and let cool.  Once your butter is cooled, in a large bowl at a medium speed, beat browned butter and cream cheese until combined and creamy.  Stir in vanilla and cinnamon.  Slowly mix in powdered sugar, then whip together at a medium-high speed.  Pipe or spread on cupcakes immediately.

1/3 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp. sea salt

In a small pan on stove, toast nuts over a medium heat, occasionally tossing.  You know they are toasting when they give off a nuttier aroma and start to look slightly glossy.  Once they reach this stage, sprinkle with sea salt.  Toss to coat.  Remove from heat.  Let cool before garnishing tops of cupcakes.

I asked the hub's to describe his feeling after first biting into the cupcake.  "Euphoric."  Okay, now, let's not go overboard!  I must say I had some divine inspirations while making this cupcake.  I've never used cardamom before, so I gave it the smell/taste test.  It smells like a cleaning product and is quite spicy. I think the Cupcake Project woman is very talented, but I was not about to make a frosting with 2 teaspoons of the stuff.  I thought about using cinnamon instead, but even as much as I love cinnamon I thought it would be a bit much.  And so I thought about other things I love.  I love butter.  I love to brown my butter.  Let's do that.  Put me on the train to Yummytown, because that is where I was headed!

Walnuts were not in this recipe.  Probably one of the main reasons I chose it apart from that it was labeled moist.  Yet, my husband loves them and if I was going to make carrot cake in the first place I really wanted to give him what he likes.  I thought the nuts showcased on the top of the cupcake would be nice.  That way, you know they're there and since they are toasted and salty they offer a nice contrast and texture to the sweet frosting and soft cake.

And so, my friends, if you're one of those people who enjoy carrot cake.  Make this.  They are surprisingly easy, and I guess, euphoric.

Hey hon, your crazy's showing.  It is just carrot cake.

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