Wednesday, June 22, 2011

a perfect carrot cupcake

Just for me...I MEAN, you. :D

I've talked about carrot cake on here before, usually for birthday cakes. It is undoubtedly my family's favorite. I've been using the same recipe from an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (the first cookbook I ever got. My dad got it for me for Christmas one year) for years. Lately though, I've been playing with the recipe a little, just to see what I can get away with, basically. I can't ever leave well enough alone. For example:

- The original recipe calls for a cup of vegetable oil. I started substituting half of that with plain low-fat yogurt a couple years ago, and I've now stopped using vegetable oil and switched over to coconut oil (far healthier, and better for the environment to boot!),

- The original recipe calls for a teaspoon of cinnamon and no other spices. I now use a tablespoon of cinnamon (which might be partially because I'm using store-brand cheapo stuff and it's pretty weak), plus ground ginger, cloves, and nutmeg,

- The original recipe calls for a whopping 2 cups of sugar! I've been going more and more scant on the 2nd cup of sugar the last few times I've used the recipe and never had any trouble.

This time, I decided to really monkey around and cut half a cup of sugar out. Not only did it not even remotely effect the texture of the cake (as I feared it might), but it actually made the whole thing more balanced, taste-wise. It wasn't a super-sweet cake with super-sweet frosting anymore. It was a spicy cake with a little sweetness and a cloud of tangy-but-sweet cream cheese frosting on top.