Carrot Muffin with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I celebrated my birthday last Monday and to make it extra special, instead of buying a cake I decided to bake some carrot muffins.

You know it sucks to bake your favorite muffin when you can't enjoy it because you're on a diet. Out of the 24 servings I made, I only ate one.  But at least, I got to share it with my family and my colleagues. Sorry dear friends, I'll just bake another batch for you. =)

This recipe requires strong muscles. For me, peeling and grating 3 large carrots by hand is more tiring than dancing. If you have a food processor, you're welcome to use it although I'm not sure if you can produce the same results cause I don't have one. (calling my sponsor...)

grated carrots

ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt

flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, ginger, baking soda

granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, canola oil

I have the habit of substituting dark brown sugar for half of the granulated sugar in the recipe as it gives additional moist and richer taste.

crush, crush, crush!

stir in the walnuts on the carrot cake mixture

ready for the oven!

Meanwhile... make the frosting

philly cheese oh yeah!

mix with butter, confectionery sugar and maple syrup

fluffy enough? chill!

Mmmmm... smells good!

let them cool for a while before frosting

spaghetti frosting? Oh forgive the first-timer.

ready-made carrot candies

If you, like my friend Jego, are not a fan of cream cheese, worry not cause these muffins are still good without the frosting on top.

Recipe adapted 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 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups sugar (I used 1 cup granulated + 1 cup dark brown)
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

For the frosting:

Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature (you can use a regular butter if you want an extra saltiness)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a medium bowl.

Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended.

Add eggs 1 at a time.

Add in the flour mixture and stir until well blended.

Stir in carrots followed by walnuts.

Line the muffin pans with 24 cups.

Fill each mold with 3/4 batter.

Bake for 14 to 18 minutes or until a tester/toothpick inserted comes out clean.

To make the frosting, beat all the ingredients using a mixer until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes.

Once the muffins are baked, let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Make sure they are cooled completely before icing them.

Using a piping bag with your preferred decorating tip, ice the muffins in a spiral motion starting from the outer edge. Add ready-made gumpaste carrots for added decoration.

Yield:  24 muffins


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