These carrot cake cupcakes are not my recipe. The recipe is from Elana’s Pantry, otherwise known as The Queen of Grain-Free Baking. I don’t experiment a lot with my own baking. I favor baked goods made with high quality (read: expensive!) ingredients, and I don’t like to waste them.
Plus, Elana’s recipes are fail proof. I have never made a recipe off her site that I didn’t absolutely love.
The only way I changed her recipe here was to add 1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut. And, I didn’t use her suggested frosting.
I decided I wanted a frosting low in sugar, and that I wanted to add pineapple to the frosting, since the carrot cake recipe doesn’t have any in it. I am a “kitchen sink” type of carrot cake girl– bring on the raisins, walnuts, coconut, and pineapple. However, I know that grain free baked goods are a delicate balance of wet and dry ingredients, and Elana’s recipes have been tested to derive perfect proportions.
The first time I made this, I just “crushed” pineapple in my food processor, and added it to the cream cheese. It was good, but the frosting wasn’t very thick. I decided to partially oven-dry the pineapple on my next trial, and the result was better than expected. The pineapple became even sweeter, which meant needing less honey in the frosting.
Alex would like this carrot cake in the house at all times. I make 2 small cakes (divide the recipe into 2 smaller pans), and freeze one for when the first one runs out. I’ve made it at least 5 times since I first discovered the recipe last summer- when I made it for Jack’s birthday in Portland. The recipe for the frosting is enough to generously ice both cakes. I also freeze the leftover frosting, and it defrosts beautifully.
Carrot cake just screams spring, doesn’t it? Healthy Easter dessert?
Carrot Cake Cupcakes + Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting
- 12 oz reduced fat cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh pineapple (I've also used canned - just rinse well!)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon butter
- First, lightly crush the pineapple in a food processor (or just cut into small, thin pieces). Add the pineapple to a baking sheet, and bake at 275 degrees f for 45 minutes.
- Place room-temperature cream cheese, honey, and butter to food processor. Process until smooth and fluffy. Add pineapple, and pulse until mixed in well.
- Use as a frosting for carrot cake, cupcakes, or as a sweet topping for bagels or graham crackers.
Maybe I should recommend this recipe to Natawan– for her bakery. I imagine her fresh pineapple would blow away even the store bought pineapple I buy here in Malaysia!