I asked some of my family a few weeks ago what they wanted for Easter desserts and surprising to me a couple of them mentioned carrot cake. Now this may not be so surprising to many of you, but to me it was as I don’t ever remember this cake EVER being on our Easter buffet…EVER!!
And just to make things more fun, I have never even had a bite of carrot cake, so from the start this was going to be a super fun dessert to take on.
OK, now I know it is crazy that I am in my late 30’s (ok almost 40’s) and I have never had carrot cake. I can’t really explain why this has happened, but I will tell you that is now one of my most favorite cakes EVER! As I was researching recipes (some online and some in my trusty cookbooks from my grandmothers kitchens) I discovered there is quite a varitiey of carrot cake options. Some have pineapple, some don’t. Some have an extensive list of spices, some only have cinnamon. Some have a combo of nuts, while some only have 1 variety and then some that don’t have any nuts…and don’t even get me started on the icing. My head was spinning by the time it came time to start baking.
To make this carrot cake something special, and perfect for my family, I decided to go with walnuts, pumpkin pie spice and some lemon juice. The walnuts I think are a perfect fit for this super moist and flavorful cake, but pecans would also be great. I chose to use pumpkin pie spice just because I like hint of all the spices and not just cinnamon, and then the lemon juice. Why lemon juice you ask? For me it adds a bit of brightness to this super dense cake and I think it is a perfect little addition to this amazing cake.
For the icing I decided to go with a light cream cheese icing but with a little lemon twist to add a little bit of unexpected surprise to this very traditional pick. If you wanted you could also use a lemon buttercream, or go with just a traditional cream cheese…any one would be really great.
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OK…so you may be asking how did a request for carrot cake end up being cupcakes? Well it happened for 3 reasons…I LOVE cupcakes, my sis-in-law LOVES cupcakes & I knew my nephew would also love them so there you go cupcakes it had to be. If you wanted to make a cake, feel free to make two 8 inch round cakes, just increase the baking time by about 5 minutes and then layer…but just FYI the cupcakes are really cute!!
I am bringing an Easter tradition to our Easter table for the first time with a little update…and in a cute little cupcake…LOVE IT!!