Carrot Orange Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
I am a sucker for all things Williams-Sonoma and when they come out with their holiday line of goodies, I am even worse- Easter was no exception! We bought the Peter Rabbit cupcake liners and toppers knowing we would have fun making something, we just didn't know what quite yet!
Well, today we decided to take them out and get creative. After 4 hours in the kitchen from beginning until end, we finished our creation, and if I may say so- they were surprisingly moist and bursting with flavor!
The cupcake kit. All in all, they make your cupcakes cute. It helps that the boy's Easter dinnerware is the Pottery Barn kids Beatrix Potter line, so it will coordinate for Easter, perhaps that is why I was drawn to them.
There was quite a bit of prep involved, so we went ahead and got all our slicing, chopping and juicing done first.
The ingredients needed are as follows:
2/3 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp grated orange zest
2 c grated carrot
2 1/8 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 c fresh orange juice
2 tsp baking soda
We began by cutting 10 oranges in half and juicing them to get our 2 cups of fresh squeezed juice.
We placed each half of the orange upside down in the juicer and pressed down to extract the juice.
I love how determined Braydon was at trying to juice the oranges, he gave it quite the effort!
I was so tempted to drink the juice, it just looked so refreshing to me.
Next on our list of prepping was grating our orange to get orange zest.
One more thing to prep- the carrots! I used my processor instead of grating them since I was using baby carrots.
The boys got such a kick out of how fast the carrots diced up ...
... and of course we have to smell EVERYTHING, just like their Momma!
We set our prepped ingredients aside and got working on our batter. At this point, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and in a bowl beat together the butter, sugar, maple syrup and orange zest until it becomes pale and creamy.
Beat in your eggs one at a time and then stir in the carrot.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder and set aside. Take one more bowl and measure out your orange juice. I let Cole finish what remained, yummy!!
Place the bowl that has the orange juice in the microwave for about a minute to warm it and then add in the baking soda, stirring until it is all absorbed, it will bubble and foam a bit.
Now stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in two additions ...
... alternating with the orange juice mixture in two additions as well until it is smooth.
We are now ready to line our cupcake pans with our papers.
Cole was my big helper.
Now fill the muffin tins (24) about 3/4 full with your batter ...
and bake for 20 minutes.
Cole was waiting so patiently- he is such a cutie!
They will be done when they are golden and fluffy.
At this point, let them cool for a few moments and transfer to a cooling rack. Let the cupcakes sit for about an hour until they have fully cooled.
Poor Braydon broke down into tears by now and was in need of a nap- a perfect breaking point for us all.
After our hour of waiting, we started our frosting- a lemon cream cheese frosting. It was the first time I had used lemon in my cream cheese frosting and it was such a light, yet flavorful change.
The ingredients needed for our frosting are as follows:
1 1/2 sticks of butter
3 c powdered sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
8 ounces low-fat cream cheese
To get started, we grated a full lemon to use for our frosting and garnish. In a bowl we then beat together the butter and powdered sugar until it was fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest and the cream cheese. I found it easier to get a creamy texture by microwaving the bowl of ingredients at this point for about 20 seconds.
I began mixing again and achieved this texture- it was perfect!
Cole enjoyed the beaters, as every child should!
Now for frosting our cupcakes!
Hooray! We have reached our end- we topped each cupcake with our Beatrix Potter character ...
... and sprinkled the tops with a bit of lemon zest.
We packed them all up to store in the refrigerator, but not before we tried one! It was a LONG baking activity, but fun as always!!
If you aren't going to serve right away, store them in an air tight container.