Now that I have ventured into “celebrating Easter” through my blog, I am so impressed by all of the amazing decorating ideas that are out there for Easter desserts. I’m already inspired for next year. I wanted to make something easy and delicious that you can prepare ahead of time; one less thing to fuss about during your celebrations on Sunday. If I’m going to make a cake from scratch (that doesn’t happen too often), it’s probably going to be carrot cake. I love carrot cake. It’s super easy, is healthy because there are carrots in the recipe :), and is absolutely perfect with cream cheese frosting. Anything with cream cheese frosting is a natural choice for a lunch or brunch dessert, making it a versatile dessert for your Easter celebrations. Today I’ll tell you about two very easy decorating ideas, and next year we can move into something really crazy now that I’ve been doing my Easter research! My friend Rachel has been trying to convince me that I should start a You Tube channel with videos for helpful cooking hints. What do you think? Would you want to learn tips for decorating cupcakes or other helpful kitchen hints through videos? I think she’s starting to convince me 🙂 For now, I’ll do my best to explain.
What does your family do to celebrate Easter? Any unusual food traditions? Leave me some comments about your Easter plans! We will be driving from Florida to Rhode Island on Sunday, and I’d love to hear about the fun things everyone is doing!
Recipe Modified from Martha Stewart, see original here
Makes: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes Baking Time: 25 minutes
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
zest from one orange + 2 tbs orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup + 2 tbs flour
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup yellow raisins, rehydrated
6 oz reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 oz butter, room temperature
1/3 – 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional Decorating Ideas:
orange food coloring
green food coloring
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 package of jelly beans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 12 cupcakes liners with cooking spray and place them in a tin. Set aside.
- Use a stand mixer to whisk the sugar and oil together until combined. Add the orange zest and juice, vanilla, and the eggs, one at a time until everything is blended together.
- Add the carrots, walnuts, and raisins to the bowl. Whisk until combined.
- Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fill the cupcake liners each 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cupcakes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.
- While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting by whipping the cream cheese and butter together in a mixer until they turn light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar (carefully!) and the vanilla. Mix until combined.
- If you want to make carrots on the cupcakes, remove about 1/3 of the frosting and reserve it for later use.
- Frost the cupcakes with the white icing with a piping bag. I always think that less is more when it comes to frosting. I do a simple, one layer swirl. Put the icing in a large piping bag using a large, star tip. Start from the outside and pipe the frosting in a circle, moving in as you come back to where you’ve started. Finish in the center. Do this for each cupcake.
- Take the frosting that you’ve set aside and put 2/3 in one bowl, 1/3 in another. Color the 2/3 orange and the 1/3 green. Always start with just a little bit of food coloring! A lot goes a long way. Make sure that you stir the frosting very well so that you have an even color, nothing streaky.
- Put the orange icing in a small piping bag and use a small, circle tip. You are going to make the top of the carrot and work your way down to the tip. Start 1/3 of the way down the cupcake and make a carrot shape, squeezing more and letting go to create a natural tip. They won’t look like carrots, but I promise they do when you add the green at the top! Make the base of the carrots on each cupcake. Rinse out the piping bag, replace it with a very small tip, and fill with green icing. Pipe little stems onto each of the carrots.
- If you wish to achieve the second look, with the grass and eggs, use a drop of green icing to die the coconut. Lightly scatter the coconut around the cupcakes and place a few jelly beans on each.
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Other Delicious Cakes to Consider: