doggie trail

Sweet Veggiecakes!

Well, not really veggiecakes, but sort of. Our shares from the farm have begun to challenge our creativity. We have been swimming in squashes for weeks now. We had a birthday party BBQ we were recently invited to, so I took this chance to bake up some sweets. I decided zucchini bread in the form of a cupcake.
We also wanted to make something for the baby shower and use up some of the excessive amounts of carrots.
So the recipe search begins. I saw that there were a lot of recipes adding a can of crushed pineapples or some applesauce fr the carrot cupcakes. I do not have these things handy, well, maybe I do, but I don’t want to use something from a can. The idea is using all this farm fresh produce. Ah ha! I have some apples from the farm I need to use up.
We decided the recipe would be zucchini and yellow squash. The carrot cupcakes would be carrot and apple. Oh and lets throw in some of these cranraisins and almonds! Ok, only half just in-case someone doesn’t want nuts. Each were a hit at the BBQ and baby shower, and I preferred the ones with the nuts.

Here is the Zucchini muffin recipe I most closely followed from Simply Recipes. I used butter, duh.

Zucchini Muffins Recipe

For those of you who prefer to use oil over butter, be my guest (use 1 cup vegetable oil instead of the butter) but I have to tell you, I’ve made these both ways, and the butter version just tastes better.

Ingredients

3 cups grated fresh zucchini
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
Pinch salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup walnuts (optional)
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)

Method

You don’t need a mixer for this recipe.

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the zucchini mixture and mix in. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Stir in walnuts, raisins or cranberries if using.

2 Coat each muffin cup in your muffin pan with a little butter or vegetable oil spray. Use a spoon to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, filling the cups up completely. Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a long toothpick or a thin bamboo skewer to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 20 minutes.

Note, if you are including walnuts and dried fruit, you will likely have more batter than is needed for 12 muffins. I got about 14 muffins from this batch, and that included filling the muffin cups up as far as they could possibly go (above the surface of the muffin tin).

Here is the carrot cupcake recipe I most closely followed from the Joy of Baking. I never got the chance to photograph the frosting. I did a few sprinkles of baby blue pearlescent shimmer dots (apparently only for show according to some people), then did some food coloring to make the orange carrot and a limey green topper to the carrots. It was cute. Sorry, not one picture for all the effort. You get to see them naked before frosting.

Carrot Cupcakes:

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 large eggs

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (240 ml) safflower, corn, or canola oil

2 cups (210 grams) finely grated raw carrots

1 cup grated apple (approximately 2 large)

1/2 cup (55 grams) pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup (100 grams) raisins or currants

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

3 cups (330 grams) confectioners’ (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Place paper liners in 20 muffin cups.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.

In another large bowl whisk the eggs, sugar, and oil until slightly thickened. Fold in the flour mixture until incorporated. With a large rubber spatula fold in the grated carrots, grated apple, chopped nuts, and raisins. Evenly divide the batter between the 20 muffin cups and bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Pipe or with a knife or small metal spatula spread the cream cheese frosting on top of each cupcake. Cover and refrigerate the cupcakes until serving time.

Frosting: In the bowl of your electric, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until very smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Makes 20 cupcakes.

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This entry was published on September 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm and is filed under baking, food. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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