Recipe: Carrot-Raisin Cupcakes (or Muffins, If You Like)

Do you ever get a craving you can’t shake?  I don’t mean a craving that last for a few hours, but I mean for days on end.

Usually, my cravings come and go.  I’ll want something for an afternoon and by the next morning, my mind (and belly) have moved on to something else.  I’m fairly fickle that way.  I want all sorts of things all the time and it can change from one minute to the next.  But, every so often, I get stuck on something and can’t let go of it.

Four on a plate - Close Up 2 - edited

Such was the case with carrot cake.  I’m not even sure what triggered this desire, but once it set in it wouldn’t be put off.  The first day, I simply wanted carrot cake.  It sounded good and it was on my mind. The second day, I REALLY wanted carrot cake.  I was disappointed I hadn’t had some the day before and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  By the third, fourth, and fifth days, I was consumed with an unquenchable desire to shove carrot cake in my face.  It kept running through my mind.  My stomach churned at the thought.  I fought hard to shake the impulse to schlep out to some mysterious all night bakery that didn’t exist and find a slice in the middle of the night.  It’s true.  Please try not to judge me.

Clearly, something had to be done.

So, baking happened.

raw 2 - edited

Instead of making a traditional cake, I decided to make cupcakes.  I appreciate cupcakes for their self-contained, individually portioned ease and neatness.  When there is a whole cake in front me, it’s too easy to just keep moving my knife to the right when I cut a slice, resulting in a portion that would feed a small family of four.  With a cupcake, though, knife creep is not an issue.

These are some of my favorite cupcakes I’ve made in long while.  Truly tasty and sweetened largely with the banana, raisins, spices, and carrot, with a small amount of brown sugar for richness.  You can eat them with the glaze, like I did, or leave it off and call them muffins.  Regardless of which way you go, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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Carrot-Raisin Cupcakes Four on a plate 3 - edited

Adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance

Makes 12 cupcakes

 

Ingredients:

For cupcakes

  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tspns baking powder
  • ½ tspn baking soda
  • ½ tspn cinnamon
  • ¼ tspn ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tspn finely ground sea salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tblspn coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium banana)
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups grated carrot (about 2 large carrots)

For glaze

  • 1 – 1 ½ cup vegan powdered sugar
  • 1 – 1 ½ tblspn unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ tspn vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
  2. Place raisins in a bowl of hot water and let soak while you prepare other ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and salt.
  4. Once whisked, add your liquid ingredients: almond milk, coconut oil, mashed banana, and vanilla extract.  Stir well to combine all ingredients.
  5. Drain raisins.  Add them, along with the grated carrot, to the bowl. Gently fold them into the batter so that they are well distributed.
  6. In ¼ cup batches, scoop batter into muffin tins.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let cool 5 minutes in tins, then remove and place on a wire rack with parchment paper underneath.
  7. To prepare the glaze, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon almond milk, and the vanilla extract in a medium bowl.  Beat together well.  Add in additional powdered sugar and milk if needed to achieve the desired consistency.  Note that the glaze will thicken after sitting for a few minutes.
  8. When the cupcakes are nearly cool, drizzle glaze over the top.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.