I've been pretending for several months now that my oven can bake layer cakes. Well, it can't. I've ruined/thrown away more cakes than I would like to admit. I'm convinced that I have the smallest, most irritating oven known to man, other than the 'Easy Bake Oven'. But some days it feels like I'm baking in that 'Easy Bake Oven', but mine just has a stove top attached to it as well. Maybe I exaggerate sometimes, but just a little. I promise.
My problem is that I can't bake both the cakes for the layer cake at the same time. Unfortunately, my oven isn't wide or long enough to do so. I also can't bake on separate racks because then one cake would be way too close to the top while the other cake would be way too close to the bottom and they wouldn't bake evenly. Waa-waa. Why don't I just bake one cake at a time you ask? Well, a lot of recipes that I have come across frown on doing that and I've found out first hand that it doesn't work the best either. The whole situation is just one giant UFFDA.
My dream of becoming a 'Layered Cake Master' will have to be put on hold until I have the luxury of a somewhat regular sized oven. Until then, I have turned to cupcakes. For some reason I have it in my head that cupcakes don't seem as fancy or special as a layer cake, but they will have to do for now. I'm going to try and be positive about my misfortune and hopefully come to the realization that cupcakes are special too. Right??? I'm warning you now, expect a lot of cupcake recipes in the coming months and if you have any suggestions let me know! I chose carrot cupcakes because I found some awesome, colored carrots, but you can use any carrots that make you happy. You could even buy a bag of already shredded carrots, which is what I wished I would have done about half way through shredding these. I just thought you should know that these cupcakes are really, really good. Also, I paired them with my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. Enjoy!
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Base of this recipe came from Smitten Kitchen
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots, I used colored carrots, you can use any.
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 24 cupcake molds with papers.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins.
Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling 3/4 of each.
Bake cupcakes 20-22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Let them cool in pans for a few minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before icing them.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy.