Rainbow Carrot Cupcakes with Lemon Peel and Cream Cheese Frosting

Rainbow Carrot Cupcakes with Lemon Peel and Cream Cheese Frosting

from Angela at Aloha: Yinz Mangia (www.alohayinzmangia.com)

Rainbow Carrot Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes

1 pound of rainbow carrots (about 6 carrots)

1 cup of walnuts

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup of whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 sticks of room temperature butter (12 tablespoons)

1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

1/2 cup of light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of minced lemon peel

3 tablespoon of water 

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar

12 ounces of room temperature cream cheese

1 1/2 sticks of room temperature butter (12 tablespoons)

1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

A large pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 cupcake/muffins trays with paper liners.

Rehydrate the lemon peel by combining 3 tablespoons of water with 1 tablespoon of lemon peel, allowing them to stand for 15 minutes. 

Spread the walnuts across a baking pan and toast in the oven for 8 - 10 minutes, until they're lightly golden brown. Allow walnuts to cool before cutting them into 1/4 inch pieces.

Shred the carrots in a food processor.

Over a piece of parchment paper, sift the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the salt to the pile and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.

In a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together on low, gradually increasing the speed to medium. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, as needed. To this mixture alternate between adding the dry ingredients and eggs/vanilla, combining well after each addition. Add the lemon peel to the batter and incorporate on low speed.

Add the walnuts and carrots to the mixture last, using a spatula to combine. 

Evenly scoop the batter into the 24 cupcake wells and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of each comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

Remove any lumps from the powdered sugar using a whisk. (A sifter didn't allow my powdered sugar to pass through!) 

In a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese and butter together on medium until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and mix thoroughly. 

Using a piping bag, top the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!