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Easter carrot cupcakes

I don’t know what it is about Easter, but whenever I start thinking about Easter desserts, carrot cake is the first thing that springs to mind. I love carrot cake when done well, but I have unfortunately eaten enough bad carrot cake in my life that I always approach it warily. I’ve never made carrot cake myself before, fearing that I would get it wrong, but when I saw this recipe on my friend Jamielyn’s blog, I knew it had to be a keeper. These Easter carrot cupcakes turned out even better than I had hoped, and were delicious and decadent!

These cupcakes are moist and flavorful and perfectly sweetened, and the cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement. I love how cute they are with the toasted coconut and M&M’s eggs on top, too! They’re super delicious even without the decorations, but it’s always fun to add a fun little twist. I think this recipe would also work really well as a layer cake… maybe I’ll just have to make it again this Sunday!

Easter Carrot Cupcakes

for the cake:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups shredded carrots (3-4 medium carrots)

for the frosting:
1 cup coconut
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-2 teaspoons cream
candy eggs (I used M&M’s coconut eggs)

Preheat the oven to 350. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and allspice, and set aside. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, eggs, oil, sour cream, and vanilla until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the shredded carrots. Scoop into the paper liners, filling 2/3 full. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, toast the coconut by adding it to a skillet and heating over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Remove and let cool. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add a small amount of cream to the mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Pipe or spread onto the cooled cupcakes and top with toasted coconut and candy eggs. Enjoy!

adapted from I Heart Naptime

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