Yes, this is entirely free-handed using food color markers!
I had my *first* real order of cupcakes! I usually make them unsolicited for friends, family, and just for sweets and giggles :-P but when a friend asked me to make some for her boyfriend's birthday, I was thrilled. His favorite flavor cake is carrot. Also, he's a huge Seattle Sea Hawks fan. So the flavor was set, the decor ideas were running through my head and I was ready to bake!
Mike (birthday boy) doesn't like nuts and she (Jessica) preferred his cupcakes without raisins, since his liking for them was unknown. Sounds like he really likes his carrot cake to be uber carrot-y! So I searched for a recipe with a substantial amount of carrots as well as spices. I found the Carrot Cupcake recipe from AllRecipes.com and just removed the 1 cup of walnuts. I adapted the recipe for Orange Cream Cheese Frosting from the book Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery. The combination of both was fantastic! I will definitely be using this in the future! And I topped the cupcakes of delish off with decor made of homemade marshmallow fondant.
Makes about 18 cupcakes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/8 cups white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pur vanilla extract
2 cups shredded carrots [ I shredded about 1/4 extra a saved for the frosting]
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 18 muffin tine with cupcake liners.
2. Beat together the eggs, both white and brown sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the oil and vanilla. Fold in carrots and pineapple.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix flour mixture into the carrot mixture until evenly moist. Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts. Fill cupcakes liners using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop.
4. Bake 22-25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool completely on wire racks before topping with the icing and sprinkling with remaining walnuts.
The most timw consuming part? Shredding the carrots!!!
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough for 15-20 cupcakes
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
4 1/2 cups powedered sugar, sifted 9 Tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 Tbs) unsalted butter, room temperature
Greated zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1. Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer on medium speed, beating well until thouroughly combined and frosting is smooth and pale. This can take several minutes.
2. Frost cupcakes! Frosting can be stored in the refridgerator. Bring back to room temperature to use.
My favorite picture!
You can see both the orange zest and carrots infused in the frosting.
I kinda wanted to just eat them all. BUT they weren't for me!
The Carrot Cupcakes before they suited up in football gear...
For a true Seattle Seahawk Fan!
The 12th man: Not sure exactly the meaning, but its a 'Seahawk thing'
Tada! The cupcakes are complete!