Birthday (Carrot) Cake

It’s ChopChop’s 5th birthday, and we’re celebrating with some birthday cake.  We know a cake that’s delicious and good for you-carrot cake! These Carrot Cupcakes use carrots for a natural sweetener so you can use less sugar.  We also have a recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting which makes the perfect cupcake topping. (It also tastes great on zucchini bread or banana bread.)

Both recipes are below. In honor of our 5th birthday, here are 5 carrot fun facts that you can share with your family while you are making these cupcakes!

1. Carrots have been used to sweeten cakes since medieval times when pure sugar was too expensive.

2. The first carrots came in red, black, yellow, white and purple. They weren’t orange! You can still find several of these varieties today! Especially at farmer’s markets.

3 The color of carrots is affected by temperature, season when grown, soil content, water and amount of daylight

4. The carrot is a member of the parsley family. 

5. The heaviest carrot ever measured was 18 pounds.

Carrot Cupcakes

HANDS-ON TIME: 20 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES

MAKES: 12 SERVINGS

KITCHEN GEAR: 

Measuring spoon
Mixer or large bowl
2 ounce scoop or tablespoon
Small bowl
Table knife
Measuring cups
Box grater
Cupcake liners
12-cup muffin tin

INGREDIENTS

1⁄2 cup canola oil

3⁄4 cups sugar, honey, agave or maple syrup

2   large eggs

1⁄2 pound pound carrots, scrubbed and grated*

1⁄2 cup cup chopped lightly toasted pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your kitchen gear and ingredients and put them on a clean counter.

1.     With the help of your adult, turn the oven on and set it to 350 degrees.

2.     Put cupcake liners in 12 cupcake or muffin tins.

3.     Put the oil, sugar and eggs in a large bowl or in a stand mixer with paddles attached.

4.     Beat the mixture until everything is evenly blended.

5.     Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined.

6.     Using the scoop, fill each of the prepared muffin tins 2/3 of the way to the top.

7.     With the help of your adult, put the muffin tins in the oven and bake 22–25 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned and rounded. (When they’re done, a toothpick should come out clean.)

8.     Let sit until cool (10–15 minutes). Then remove the cupcakes from the tins.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

HANDS-ON TIME: 5 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME: 5 MINUTES

MAKES: 8 SERVINGS

KITCHEN GEAR: 

Small bowl
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Large spoon
Table knife

INGREDIENTS

3⁄4 cups cream cheese (at room temperature)

1⁄4 cup plain or Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons real maple syrup

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put everything in the bowl and mix until smooth.
  2.  When the cake is completely cool, use the knife to swirl the frosting over the top. Serve right away, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day. 

NOTES

Fancy That! Add 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest to the frosting.