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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Whole Wheat Carrot Cupcakes

Happy Birthday Addie!  My little munchkin is not so little anymore and just celebrated her first birthday!  Like every parent of a one year old, I wondered what I should give her to celebrate this momentous occasion.  Cake is the obvious choice, but being that she hasn't had too many sweets yet, I was hesitant to overload her with a traditional cupcake or piece of birthday cake.  So I got an idea from a friend who was also celebrating her daughter's first birthday to make muffins and add frosting to cut back on the sugar (Thanks Colleen!).  She made banana muffins for her little one, I decided to go with carrot (and of course purchased those carrots from the farmer's market) and made a cream cheese frosting to top them off.  The muffins were made with whole wheat, apple sauce, and a bit of brown sugar, so by themselves are not all that sweet.  I took a cream cheese frosting recipe and added about half of the amount of sugar it called for and it was plenty sweet.  The finished product was a wholesome "cupcake" disguised as an indulgent sweet treat.  Try these muffins without the frosting for breakfast or a snack or add the frosting for a great dessert.

Whole Wheat Carrot Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites, beaten
1 cup finely grated carrots (about 3-4 medium carrots)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce (to make this from scratch, refer to the recipe for Addie's lentils and greens for roasting the apples and then just blend them in a blender or food processor)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease muffin pan or line with paper cupcake liners.

Peel and grate carrots. 

Add together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Combine carrots and applesauce in a separate bowl and add in beaten egg whites.  Once combined, add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until completely combined.  Pour batter into lined or greased muffin pan.  Bake for 25 minutes.
Now here comes the less healthy part, the frosting.  It's delicious, but a little goes a long way so use sparingly.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Using a mixer, combine butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add in vanilla, then in small amounts add in powdered sugar.  This is for two reasons.  One reason is to prevent a major sugar cloud from forming and the other is to allow you to taste for sweetness.  Taste the frosting after each addition of sugar to see if it's sweet enough and you may find you don't need to use the whole amount.  I cut back the sugar by half from other similar recipes and it tasted just fine.  Blend again with the mixer until smooth and you're done!  Pretty simple and very delicious!

Decorate and enjoy!

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