Early Valentine’s Cupcakes

When I was younger, my mom would always tell me not to wish my life away.  Now that I’m no longer a carefree five year old, I know what she means.  Nevertheless, I still find myself wishing for moments to come sooner rather than later.  Thanksgiving and Christmas during my work busy season is a prime example.

Tonight, in true Katie avoidance form, I made carrot cake cupcakes and decorated my quality control cupcake with Valentine’s Day sprinkles.  I think I’m fast forwarding time so my last CPA exam will finally get here and I can finally finally FINALLY pass.  Until then, homework and cupcakes.

I adapted this recipe using my go to carrot cake recipe and some additions from Emeril Lagasse’s Carrot Cake Recipe.


  • 3 sticks, unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups grated carrots (painful when all you have is one of those stand up graters)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter with a stand mixer on medium.  Add the sugar, and beat. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the eggs, beating well after the addition of each. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Add the carrots and beat on medium speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Fold in the raisins and the nuts.  Scoop the batter into the muffin tins about 1/2 – 3/4 full depending on your oven.  I went for 3/4 and got minimal spillage (i.e. that nasty baked on stuff that pours out of the side of the cupcake liner).  Bake until set and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest until cooled.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly. Add the vanilla and maple syrup.

When the cupcakes are cool, pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using a Wilton 1M tip or simply cutting a corner of a Ziploc bag off.  Eat and enjoy.  Repeat is optional.

5 responses to “Early Valentine’s Cupcakes

  1. Aly January 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    adorable! and super yummy i bet! i will probably copy you the next time i want carrot cake cupcakes, yum!

  2. Lynn S January 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    YUM. These are beautiful! I love your cupcake photos. The sprinkles are so perfectly arranged–did you do that randomly or are you an obsessive individual-sprinkler? 🙂

    • ktfrek January 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      Thanks Lynn! For the most part, they were randomly sprinkled. Some of the hearts were moved around for the picture, but I didn’t whip out a pair of tweezers to individually place each one. 🙂

  3. Kat @ Cupcake Kat January 26, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    These are so pretty. I love the Valentine’s Day theme

  4. Jenn (Cookies Cupcakes Cardio) January 27, 2011 at 12:36 am

    They look beautiful! Love the sprinkles.

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