Served with a tall glass of cold milk, these cupcakes make the perfect ending to a casual meal or a special occasion. These are packed with bits of carrot, apple and raisins with just a hint of citrus, using much less oil than found in a traditional carrot cake. The true flavor indulgence is the frosting which uses creamy Mascarpone, the cheese found in tiramisu.
Makes 1 dozen
· 1/2 cup raisins
· 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
· 2 eggs
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
· 3/4 cup fat free milk
· 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
· 2 teaspoons cinnamon
· 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
· 1/4 teaspoon cloves
· 1 tablespoon baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1 cup shredded carrots
· 1 Granny Smith apple, shredded (about 1 cup)
· Zest of one orange
· 4 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 375°F. Soak raisins in orange juice and set aside. Grease muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups. In a large mixing bowl, use electric mixer to beat eggs and vanilla with brown sugar until glossy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in milk.
In separate bowl, stir together flour with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder and salt. Pour over wet ingredients and, using a rubber scraper, lightly fold until just combined. Fold in raisins with juice, carrots, apple and orange zest. Stir in melted butter.
Scoop into muffin cups - a 1/3-cup measuring cup makes a great ladle. Bake until center springs back and skewer comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Frost with mascarpone buttercream frosting (recipe follows).
Mascarpone Buttercream Frosting
A cross between traditional buttercream and cream cheese frostings, this cupcake topping with have your guests asking for your secret ingredient. Makes about 2 1/2 cups
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1 3/4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
Using a hand mixer, beat butter and cheese until light and creamy. Add sugar and continue beating until smooth. Make this frosting several days ahead and store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before frosting the cupcake.
Recipe created by Chef John Folse, Owner of John Folse & Company, Gonzales, Louisiana, http://dairyspot.com/kitchen/recipes/desserts/carrot-apple_cupcake.html.