These little confections could easily go by an alternate name of “everything but the kitchen sink” cupcakes. Charged with baking a sweet treat for Drew’s preschool, I stepped into my kitchen Sunday afternoon with an empty pantry, an absent husband and a sleeping toddler. There would be no trip to the grocery store for me. It was time to get creative and I was up for the challenge.
Yes, this cake calls for raisins. What you don’t know, is that I had no raisins on hand so I literally pillaged my husband’s bag of trail mix and single-handedly confiscated every last shriveled up fruit pellet I could find. I also wanted to use oatmeal. I almost went with good ol’ fashioned oats but then remembered the Trader Joe’s Apple Cinnamon flavored packets I bought for my supposed hot cereal loving five year old who took one bite and immediately proclaimed it unfit for morning time breakfast. There they sit so in they go.
In putting together these cupcakes, nothing was safe. Open box of coconut milk? In ya go. Leftover pineapple juice from the can of chunks my kids downed a few days ago? Why not. When all was said and done, I had done away with many a lingering food product and all I had to show for it was said Carrot Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes. I was a bit nervous to even try one out. I knew my kids had licked the frosting beaters without too much griping so the topper passed the test. But what about the cake? Suffice it to say, magic was created and my worries melted away with each glorious bite I took.
They were good. No, scratch that. They were delectable. Really delectable. Moist, flavorful, frosting filled bites that had me wanting to snag the last nibbles of my kid’s when they weren’t looking. Only I couldn’t. They had demolished their cakey treat even faster than I could. Nothing remained but a rogue grouping of crumbs spread serendipitously across the kitchen floor.
So I ask you, are you up for the challenge of cleaning out your pantry in the name of delectable dessert?
Begin by whipping an egg and some brown sugar together in a bowl until light and bubbly. Add in a little vanilla, pineapple juice, a handful of raisins (I soaked mine in the pineapple juice for about 5-10 minutes), olive oil and yogurt.
In a separate bowl, mix together a smattering of dry ingredients including the oatmeal packets if you have them. Note that you can also use regular oatmeal. Simply add an additional tsp of cinnamon to your dry mixture and up your salt deposit by another pinch.
Now you’ll combine the dry with the wet and mix until just combined. Add in the carrot and you’re ready to bake.
Place them in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Time for the topping and I have to say, this is some seriously addicting stuff. I’ve aptly named it the Mommie Cooks Triple Threat Frosting due to it’s three “C” nature. By three “C” I’m talking cream cheese, coconut and caramel.
I’m thinking if I didn’t have your attention before, I’ve officially got it now.
Melt a little butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan until combined.
Remove it from the heat and stir in a dribble of vanilla and a pour of coconut milk. Set it to the side to cool.
Back at the mixer, drop a block of cream cheese in and whip it up for a minute or so. A little at a time, pour the cooled caramel mixture into the cream cheese stirring to combine after each addition. If you have bits of cream cheese that won’t incorporate after all the liquid has been added and mixed, simply turn the whisk on high and give it a minute or so to meld it all together. Finally, you drop in a generous amount of coconut flakes. Here’s where we’re at.
The letter C never looked quite so good. Sesame Street would be proud.
For the final act, grab a tablespoon and scoop a heaping helping on top of each of the cupcakes. Garnish with a pecan if desired and dive head first into a true triple threat, kitchen sink delight.
Carrot Oatmeal Raisin Cupcakes
Yield: One Dozen Cupcakes
Total Time: 40 min
For the Cake:
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1/3 Cup Pineapple Juice
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
1/3 Cup Raisins
11/2 Cups Flour
2/3 Cup Oatmeal*
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt (1/8 tsp if you use flavored oatmeal)
1 Cup Shredded Carrot
For the Frosting:
6 Tbsp Butter
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Coconut Milk (Can sub regular milk)
1 tsp Vanilla
1/8 tsp Salt
8 Oz. Cream Cheese
1 Cup Shredded Coconut
12 Pecans for Garnish
*If using regular oatmeal, add an additional tsp of cinnamon to the dry mix.
Begin by adding the egg and brown sugar to a mixing bowl and spinning until light brown and bubbly.
If desired, soak the raisins in the pineapple juice for about 5-10 minutes to soften.
Add in the vanilla, pineapple juice, olive oil,yogurt and raisins to the wet mixture.
In a separate bowl combine the flour,oatmeal, baking powder and salt. (add cinnamon as well if using plain oatmeal)
Add dry to wet and mix until just combined.
Add in carrots.
Pour into prepared muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Let cool.
For the frosting, begin by melting the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan.
When melted, remove from heat and add in the vanilla, coconut milk and salt. Let cool.
In a mixing bowl, whip up one block of cream cheese.
Slowly add the cooled caramel mixture, a bit at a time, and spin to incorporate.
Once the caramel's all added, turn the speed to high and whip for about a minute until the frosting is smooth.
Dump in the coconut and stir.
Dollop a heaping tablespoon of the frosting onto each cooled cupcake and top with a pecan.