Do you love carrot cake? I do!
I rarely choose anything other than chocolate desserts, but when the option is carrot cake,
it's a close call. This is a tasty option--carrot cupcakes!
1 cup pecans
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large egg
3/4 lb. carrots, grated (about 2 cups)
8 ounce bar cream cheese, at room temperature
4 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature (1/2 stick)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
To make the cupcakes:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread chopped pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven, tossing once, until fragrant 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool.
Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, and egg; fold in the carrots and 1/2 cup of the pecans. Add the carrot mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just combined and evenly moistened (do not overmix).
Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake rotating once, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth. Place the icing in a quart-size freezer bag and refrigerate until slightly stiffened, 20 to 30 minutes. After it is chilled, clip a corner of the bag and frost the cupcakes. Top with remaining 1/2 cup pecans.