When I was in Chicago for business, we had a little reception. And let me tell you, one of the best things I ever had was one of the carrot cupcakes at this shindig. It was the icing. The cupcake itself was good and very moist but that icing was something else. Here’s Williams Sonoma’s version of a carrot cupcake from their blog. Mighty tasty.
Carrot Cupcakes with Mascarpone Icing (recipe slightly adapted from Williams Sonoma)
1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
7 Tbs. fresh orange juice, warmed
1 tsp. baking soda
For the mascarpone icing:
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
4 oz. cold mascarpone cheese
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin cups with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, maple syrup and orange zest until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the carrot.
In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. In another small bowl, stir together the orange juice and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in two additions, alternating with the orange juice mixture in two additions until smooth. Do not overbeat or the cupcakes will be tough.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the cupcakes are risen and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a baking sheet and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
To make the mascarpone icing, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and confectioners sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest and mascarpone until blended.
Adapted from New Healthy Kitchen Series, Desserts, by Annabel Langbein (Simon & Schuster, 2006).