Last week I co-hosted a baby shower for one of my closest friends. When I was deciding which treats to make my first idea was baby (miniature) cupcakes. Since the co-host is vegan I chose to make only vegan desserts for the shower. I’ve had some really good luck with vegan desserts in the past and it’s a fun challenge to try and make a vegan dessert that tastes as delicious as one saturated with butter.
These beautiful little carrot cakes were a huge hit at the party and the consensus was that you’d never guess they were vegan.
As you can see my first attempt was not so successful. These were not only incredibly ugly, but they tasted very salty. This failure is 75% my fault since I overfilled the cupcake liners so they spread out over the top of the pan and were nearly impossible to remove. During this first attempt I got 24 miniature cupcakes, and when I remade them and filled the liners only 2/3 full I got 30. As for the salt – I’m hesitant to say that the recipe was wrong, because everything I’ve made from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World has been awesome, but there was a very large amount of baking soda for a less than a cup of flour.
When you’re adapting a recipe for full size cupcakes to miniature you don’t usually have to make any alterations other than shortening the baking time, but you will want to make sure any add-ins aren’t too large. This recipe calls for raisins and walnuts so I chopped the nuts very finely and went to the trouble of cutting all of the raisins in half. I also used the finest shredding size available on my box grater for the carrots. There is a great entry on Baking Bites about converting cupcake recipes.
Baby Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Yield: 12 cupcakes or 30 baby cupcakes
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup finely grated carrots
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts ( I used pecans)
1/4 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices) and mix until smooth. Fold in carrots , walnuts, and raisins.
3. Spray the cupcake liners with nonstick baking spray. Fill the liners two-thirds full (don’t overfill! See photos above). Bake for 26 to 28 minutes (for full size) or 20 minutes (for mini), until a toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean.
4. Once fully cooled, top generously with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
This is a double batch and I ended up with a little left over. I don’t think a single batch would have been enough though.
1/2 cup margarine, softened (not all margarine is vegan so if you’re making these for a vegan friend check the list of ingredients)
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring – optional
Cream together margarine and cream cheese until just combined. Use a handheld mixer to whip while adding the confectioners sugar in 1/2 cup batches. Mix until smooth and creamy, then mix in vanilla. Keep tightly covered and refrigerated until ready to use.
I used a pastry bag with a large star tip to pipe the frosting on. It makes the process of frosting the cupcake go very quickly.