Spiced Parsnip Pecan Cupcakes

from Eggs on Sunday

Ingredients

For the cupcakes (Adapted from Bon Appetit, March 2006)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour [or, you can do as I did and substitute half whole wheat pastry flour]
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups (packed) shredded peeled parsnips
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped, plus 12 whole toasted pecans for topping the cupcakes
cinnamon, for dusting

For the cream cheese frosting (From Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.)
8 oz cream cheese (full fat), at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

Make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line a standard muffin pan with muffin cups.

Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through cloves) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, then pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Stir in the shredded parsnips and chopped pecans.

Fill each muffin cup with the batter and bake for 23-25 minutes, until the tops spring back when gently pressed (or a tester inserted into the middle of one comes out clean.) Cool the cupcakes 5 minutes in the pan, then remove them to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Make the frosting:
In the electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue beating until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice.

Frost the cupcakes however you like. Dust the tops with cinnamon, and top with a toasted pecan.

Makes 12.