Karen Demasco’s Carrot Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

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We could call this post willfully baking spring into existence…or the mantra that went through my head as I grated carrots, measured flour and sugar, and mixed this all together, was similar to the movie FIELD OF DREAMS, “if I bake it spring will come

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Boy do I want spring this year and boy couldn’t we all use a little more warmth, vibrant color, and hopeful days in our lives. I am finally home again after a marathon of work travel and although it is only 38 degrees outside the persistent nature of spring is starting ever so slightly to bud along the streets in Brooklyn. And with this season change and hoping that the spring will come even faster in the next few weeks I could think of nothing I wanted to bake and eat more then these delicate carrot cupcakes with mascarpone frosting.

After a long break away from my oven I baked and listened to Vivaldi’s Spring  and imagined myself in an episode of Chef’s Table, which by the way how excited am I for the new season that will spotlight bakers and dessert!

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I have made these sweet and ever slightly spiced carrot cupcakes for years every spring and each time I remind myself that I should share this recipe, and every year I never get around to it. I have always loved a good carrot cake but have felt picky about what I want in a carrot cake. As a child I loved the thick slab slices from Just Desserts drowned in cream cheese frosting but it always felt heavy handed (no as a child I didn’t think this I just thought I could never finish a piece of the overly rich, dense, thick cake as much as I loved it.) I also was never a fan of carrot cakes loaded with things like raisins and nuts, why take a way from the light moist cake and a simple slather of sweet cream cheese hinted with lemon. But then I found this recipe and it was everything I had always wanted – light, beautifully flavored of spring’s sweet carrots, hinted at spice, with a beautiful sweet tangy light as a feather frosting with sour cream and mascarpone.

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It may not feel like spring outside just yet but as I floated through the simple notes of Vivaldi and licked the frosting from the spoon and ate my cupcake I rather felt like a small piece of spring had landed with me.

Happy Spring and Spring Baking,

Ra

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Karen Demasco’s Carrot Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
1 pound carrots (about 4-5), peeled (I did not peel mine)
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk

Frosting:
1 cup mascarpone
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or I used ground vanilla
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line muffin tin with paper liners.
  • Grate the carrots, you will need a total of 2 1/2 cups.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, sour cream, and vanilla. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Fold the carrots into the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them about three-quarters full.
  • Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • To make the frosting, combine the mascarpone, cream, sour cream, sugar, salt, vanilla and lemon zest and beat on medium speed with an electric whisk or mixer until the mixture becomes thick, about 5 minutes.
  • Spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of the frosting over the top of each cupcake.
  • The cupcakes can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

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04 2018

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