Sunday, January 22, 2012

Cardamom-scented Carrot Cupcake with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a cardamom scented carrot cake with citrus cream cheese frosting and candied carrots.  It’s the result of my love for cardamom, candied ginger and Dorie Greenspan’s Bill’s Big Carrot Cake.  Dorie’s recipe is perfect as it is; it embodies everything I love about carrot cake – dense and moist with a light crumb, sweet, fragrant with cinnamon and chock-full of raisins, nuts, coconuts and carrots in every bite.  But there are multiple truths, and the classic pairing of carrots, cardamom and ginger in this cake brought the party in my mouth up a notch.  The citrus cream cheese frosting complements the cake beautifully.  And the candied carrots, they are just so darn cute!
For the cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour

1 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

2 t ground cardamom
1 T minced candied ginger
¾ t salt

1 ½ cups grated carrots (about 5 carrots)
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

½ cup shredded coconut (sweetened)
1 cups sugar
½ cup olive oil
2 large eggs
¼ cup raisins (dark or golden), soaked in 2 T rum + 2 T water overnight

For the frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 stick ( 8 T) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 lb or 3¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 T fresh orange juice
zest of 1 orange

Getting ready
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line your muffin pans with cupcake liners.

To make the cupcakes
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins (drained). Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the cup 2/3 full with batter.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the tins and cool to room temperature on a cooling rack.  Makes about 24 cupcakes.

To make the frosting
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Beat in the orange juice and zest.  Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth.  (Good read:  Cream Cheese Frosting 101 by Joy the Baker.)


  1. I love coming to this blog. There is always new information on wines and brings together people who love all types of wine together to discuss

  2. Replies
    1. Do you have any recipes for someone who can't have soy? I recently had cancer and it was Estrogen and Progesten + which means it feeds off of those hormones so soy is out.

    2. Hi Julia,

      Most of the recipes in this blog are soy free. In case you bump into one, you can always substitute it with almond milk; I would think they have the same alkali level.

      Thank you and more power to you!