Maple Carrot Cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 cups grated carrots
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, beat eggs, oil and syrup. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in carrots. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

For frosting, combine cream cheese, buffer, syrup and vanilla in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with nuts if desired.

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