Easter is TOMORROW! I know, I'm a slacker and definitely should have gotten you this recipe for Ginger Carrot Cupcakes sooner. *Insert quarantine-based excuse here.* Better late than never, right?
These Ginger Carrot Cupcakes are a twist on a classic! There's a reason that carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is a classic--it's absolutely delicious! Never able to leave well enough alone, I put a little twist on the recipe, making a ginger cream cheese frosting and sprinkling the tops with crystallized ginger. I gotta tell you: it's amazing! The spice of the ginger with the sweetness of the frosting and the earthy flavors of the cake are out. Of. This. World.
You know me and my undying love for vanilla bean paste! It's in the cupcake for an added punch of vanilla flavor. I opted for extract in the frosting just because I wanted to make sure the vanilla flavor didn't compete with the flavor of the ginger. If you're looking for some vanilla bean paste for yourself, you can find some [here]. If you prefer, you can substitute with an equal measure of vanilla extract.
You definitely want to use fresh ginger if possible, because it has a fresher flavor than ground ginger. The 2 tablespoons of grated ginger that I used didn't have an overwhelming ginger flavor, but was still plenty spicy. You can control the amount of flavor/spice by adding more or less ginger to your taste.
For an extra punch of spicy ginger flavor, I finely chopped some crystallized ginger and sprinkled it over the top of each cupcake. Those sweet, spicy gems made the cupcakes extra special for me. If you're looking to get some crystallized ginger for yourself, you can find it [here].
Happy Easter to all my friends who celebrate! Times are weird (she typed, knowing there were soooo many better adjectives than "weird" to describe the current situation), but there's still so much to celebrate! Make yourself some cupcakes and enjoy!
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Ginger Carrot Cupcakes
Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting:
- crystallized ginger, chopped (if desired; see note)
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add canola oil, milk, and vanilla bean paste (see note) and turn mixer on low. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time. Beat until incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Add grated carrots and stir until well combined. Distribute the batter evenly between the wells of the muffin pan. Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter. Mix until smooth.
- Add the grated ginger and vanilla extract and mix briefly to incorporate. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
- Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting. Top with crystallized ginger, if desired.Enjoy!