RECIPE: Carrot Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

by Dana on April 30, 2012

On Saturday night our friends invited us over for a bbq at their ranch.  I forget sometimes that we live in the same city, since we’re in the cookie cutter suburbs.  But their 5 arces of farmland is every kid’s dream– goats, chickens, horses, a huge treehouse, trampoline, land to explore, and plenty of pigs to chase.  Yes, Lucy and Owen had a ball chasing those squealing pigs around the pen and I’m kicking myself for not snapping a photo.  It was hilarious.

So our contribution to the bbq was my anytime favorite: Carrot Cupcakes.I started with the same yummy Carrot Cake recipe and made a few modifications:
• I decreased the 1/2 cup of oil to 1/4 cup oil PLUS  1/4 cup smashed bananas.  And it turned out great.  I still loved the consistency, it was slightly more healthy,  and no one could even taste the banana.
• I decreased the amount of sugar from 2 cups to  1 3/4 cups and it still tasted wonderful.
• When you’re ready to bake, place about 1/3 of cup of batter in lined cupcake pans and bake at 350 for about 17-18 minutes (makes about 22-24 cupcakes)
• Double the Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
• Place the frosting in a piping bag or make your own by spooning frosting into a ziplock bag and cutting a small hole on the corner of the bag (do not seal the top of the ziplock bag).
• Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake.
• Then comes the added twist: CARAMEL!  Nothing fancy here…just drizzle each cupcake with a bit of cold pre-made caramel (I used Smuckers).
• refrigerate the cupcakes till ready to eat.
And, Yum.
They get a little messy but it sort of adds to the charm.

After burgers and hotdogs, we pulled a whole pile of cupcakes out of the fridge for the masses to enjoy.
Then it was time to take June for a ride.Cupcakes, horse rides, sunsets, and good conversation.
That’s my kind of an evening.

 

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tami B April 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Looks like a good time had! I happen to live out in the country on five acres – my grand kids love to explore it. I no longer have all the animals, though. Glad your family had fun!!!

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2 Jackie April 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Sounds like a fun weekend!

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3 Regina Cummings April 30, 2012 at 12:54 pm

What a fun evening! This is why I want some land and crazy farm animals. ;)

And I’m curious… why don’t you seal the top of the ziploc bag? Is that a secret tip I haven’t heard before??

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4 Dana April 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm

it’s easier to get the frosting to squeeze down to the hole at the bottom. Otherwise, the bag might pop and squeeze in the wrong direction. I’ve had that happen :)

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5 Jenny April 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm

That sounds like the perfect evening with friends! What fun! the kids look so big on those horses. :)

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6 delia April 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Oh my yum! Looks so good. You have some pretty awesome friends. That ranch looks like fun! I want to have chickens one day.

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7 julia April 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm

these look amazing! and what a great way to sneak in carrots (my kids are super picky)

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8 bdaiss April 30, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Oh stop it! Don’t you know I’ve sworn off sweets for the foreseeable future?!?! Gah! You’re going to be the death of me woman!

(Also – I want to make my 7 acres a ranch. Husband has said no way, absolutely not to chickens and pigs and horses. He’s so-so on goats. Heck, at least they’ll “mow” the grass.)

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9 Carol Barringer April 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

If you want something to keep the grass down, try sheep, with a portable electric fence. Otherwise, chickens are the lowest maintenance, plus they lay eggs (one almost daily per hen, fewer in winter). But all animals require some daily care. If you know other folks with animals, you can trade if you need time away.

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10 Melinda April 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Hello,
I follow your blog daily and enjoy your lovely children. The new baby seems to be fitting into life quite well. She’s beautiful, as are the other two. I want you to see the skirt I made from the tutorial featured not so long ago, and patterned after a skirt you bought. You made it up in pink Searsucker. My husband’s grand daughter and her mother came for a visit and I made a bunch of gathered skirts that Zoe enjoyed while she was here. I enjoyed adding fabric flowers from one tutorial from pinterest. The most fun was making this skirt. http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaccinenurse/?saved=1. She loved it and I am sorry I didn’t snap a pic of her wearing it. (she was a little under the weather while she was here) and.. I don’t want to be remembered all the time with the camera in front of my face! Anyway, thanks! Your skirt tut. helped me make an inroad with a child I had never met. Thanks!

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11 Diane April 30, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Yum!! These would be delicious with the sea salt caramel sauce from Trader Joe’s!! Love me some caramel!

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12 Suzanne April 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Those look sooooo tasty!!! I can’t wait to try them!

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13 Jean April 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Yummy and fun!!!

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14 Lis April 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Sounds like a great time! It’s still strange to write things like this about people I’ve never actually met, but Lucy looks so mature on that horse. Oh, and those cupcakes are definitely on my list now, thanks!

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15 Fabi May 1, 2012 at 12:19 am

Looks yum! love the pictures.

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16 Sarah K. May 1, 2012 at 1:14 am

Looks like a divine evening! I love that last picture of the flowers and the waning sunlight – beautiful colors. I can almost feel the warm air. Almost. Then I remember that it’s still winter coat weather here in Seattle. Soon enough…!

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17 iHeartQuilting May 1, 2012 at 10:40 am

Some of my fondest childhood memories took place on my aunt and uncle’s farm. Back then, they had cattle, chickens, turkeys, and pigs, along with a multitude of dogs and random cats. We loved the pigs though – they were so cute. I was always so jealous that my cousins got to grow up there, and to this day, I still want to own my own small farm.
There is something about a picture of a child on a horse that I love. Oh, and those cupcakes look delicious – I never would have thought to add the caramel! But I will now.

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18 Heather May 1, 2012 at 11:54 am

Dang! I need to make friends with someone with a ranch. Everyone I’ve met so far has been really nice, but we are SOOOOOO in the suburbs. I’m ready for a real Texas experience already!!!!!!!

Also, if I hear that you took a trip up to Dallas without sending me a note then I will be utterly offended. Likewise, I hope to venture down to Austin for some exploring and I hope we can see you when we do! :-)

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19 Lauren May 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Oooh I bet you could cut a hole in the center of the cake and fill it with caramel instead of pouring on top! Might be less messy? Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!!

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20 My lovely life May 2, 2012 at 6:41 am

Oh my god, such a beautiful pictures!!!!
Thios blog is super! i am gonna order that pattern for the beach-robe…

Katrien.

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21 Cindy May 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Wow. wow on the ranch and those cupcakes. Those photos give me a nice warm fuzzy feeling of somewhere I’d rather be.
:)

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