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Carrot Patch Cupcakes

Carrot Patch Cupcakes
This image courtesy of The Meal Makeover Moms

Carrot cake always sounds so “healthy,” but that’s not necessarily the case—especially when the cake is made with a stick of butter and there’s a thick layer of cream cheese frosting on top. For our carrot cake makeover, We control the portion size by making kid-friendly cupcakes, but we still keep a hefty helping of carotene-rich carrots. We also switch from butter to canola oil, use some whole wheat flour, and whip up a frosting with light cream cheese. The carrots blend into the batter if you grate them into miniscule bits using the smallest side of a box grater. Decorate each cupcake with a jelly bean, a raisin, or sprinkles, or just keep things plain and simple.

Makes12 servings

Cooking MethodBaking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe CourseDessert

Dietary ConsiderationHalal, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Vegetarian

Type of DishCake, Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups finely grated carrots (about 8 ounces)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces light cream cheese
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.

  2. Combine the sugar, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl and beat on medium speed until well blended, 2 minutes. Add the carrots and stir to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt. At low speed, gradually beat the flour mixture into the liquid mixture until just combined.

  4. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes and cool completely before frosting.

  5. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and sugar at low speed until blended. Raise the speed to medium once the sugar is incorporated and continue to beat until creamy. Spread the frosting over the cupcakes, and garnish as desired.

Mom's Feedback

"These actually got my 7-year old son to eat some vegetables. None of the kids noticed the carrots at all, and I might even add some shredded zucchini next time!" - Martha Anne, mother of Cara, age 3, Jordan, age 6 and Jake, age 7- Atlanta, GA

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Everyone in my family was RAVING about these when I made them for Easter this year! The shredding of the carrots takes a bit of time and patience, but other than that it's a pretty easy recipe that is well worth the time!

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