Carrot Cupcakes

My Dad is tough to shop for.  He's a simple guy, and he already has everything he needs.  I'm not the biggest fan of gift cards as presents as I like to find something special.  My Dad can always appreciate a good meal, and his favorite dessert is carrot cake.  Every time it's his birthday or a holiday, we know just what to get him.  This time, I wanted to make it fresh.

As fate would have it, one of my friends at work who graduated from culinary school and is one of my biggest cooking inspirations recently gave me his Advanced Baking & Pastry book from the California Culinary Academy.  I was beyond stoked to get my hands on these, as they are filled with some fantastic recipes that I know they are tested and reliable choices.  I tracked down the carrot cake recipe and immediately knew it was the one.

I used a weight to volume converter to figure out how many cups of flour and sugar to use, as in the  book it was published by weight.

First, I combined the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together in a large stand mixing bowl.


Next, I added in the Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract and mixed until it was combined.  I decided to use some Greek yogurt in the recipe to add to the cakes moistness, as adding yogurt has been suggested to me previously. Not only is Greek yogurt an upgrade in flavor from plain yogurt, it's very healthy.  I didn't want to just add a random amount of yogurt, so I opted to swap out the oil for it in the batter.  I referred to a link from Chobani that suggested using 3/4 cup of Greek yogurt in place of 1 cup of oil.  I added in some almond extract as well.


To finish off the mix, I added in the grated carrots, coconut flakes, and crushed pineapple.  I had initially considered doubling this recipe because the amount of dry ingredients seemed a bit on the small side, however I was so glad I hadn't when I saw the final product because I ended up with a fairly massive amount of batter!


I scooped the batter into a cupcake tray lined with papers.  I had about 30 cupcakes total.


I let them bake for about 40 minutes, cutting back the time a bit from the original recipe since cupcakes cook faster than a cake.



Then came the fun part, the cream cheese frosting.  I made a Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, and oh my it was good.


This was hands down the best carrot cake I've ever had.  It was perfectly moist, and though you could faintly detect the pineapple it was not at all overwhelming.  The coconut blended quite well, too, and with the homemade frosting the end result was a piece of heaven. My Dad was crazy about these cupcakes, and that was a good feeling to know I'd come up with the perfect Father's Day gift.  I brought some of these into work as well, and everyone that tried one raved about the cake and frosting.  These turned out to be quite a special recipe and I'm so glad I tried it.

Carrot Cupcakes Recipe

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tablespoon concentrated vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
4 eggs
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Instructions:

Combine flour, sugars, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts and mix. Stir in shredded coconut, grated carrots, and crushed pineapple. Scoop into cupcake papers and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.

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