The idea here was to make carrot cupcakes... but as you can see the plan was revised to be carrot muffins instead! Although after some reading on the exact difference between cupcakes & muffins I am genuinely left with questions about which one I made. Oh well, that’s what happens when you forget to pick up cream cheese at the store beforehand (and the store is not conveniently close, so I am not driving back to fix the mistake!). As it turns out, carrot cupcakes- errr muffins- are wonderful even without cream cheese icing, so you can skip that step and the extra sugar that comes along with it. They are the perfect cinnamon sweetness and quick to make, taking about thirty minutes. If you have a sweet tooth- like me!- check this recipe out and please let me know what you think.
Growing carrots is not easy. It took us several seasons to dial in reliable carrot beds, and will probably take several more to really perfect our methods. The most challenging part of growing a great bed of carrots is keeping the weeds at bay. Since carrots are slow to germinate, there’s plenty of time for other plants to grow up and make your carrots very hard to find. One of the most common ways to combat this is with a flame weeder, an awesome tool that we don’t have... so I won’t go into too much detail on that. The other is to just seeds your rows as straight as possible so that you can hoe the lil weeds that pop up and try to avoid hand weeding the bed. Trust me, hand weeding is not fun. We also tried seeding a row of radishes right next to each row of carrots in early spring which worked quite well and helped us see the lines of crops to weed quickly, since radishes germinate so fast. Currently we seed three rows per bed and usually grow two to three beds per succession. Successions are ideally timed to be seeded every three weeks beginning in early spring. All of this was a very long winded way of saying that I am not an expert carrot grower, though I aspire to be one someday!
Shall we dive into this recipe? I think so! Original inspiration was from Spruce Eats, linked here: https://www.thespruceeats.com/super-moist-vegan-carrot-cake-recipe-3378191
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup vegan butter (softened)
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup soy milk (but I bet any alternative milk would do!)
1 cup carrots (grated)
1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
In a large bowl or using a mixer, combine the applesauce, vanilla, vegan butter, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, flour, and soy milk until well mixed.
Add the carrots and pecans and gently folding them in to combine well.
Bake in a lined muffin tin in an oven preheated to 325 for about 18 minutes, turning once about half way through to ensure even baking. Since mine was baked in a convection oven, be sure to keep an eye on these in the last few minutes of the bake if using a regular oven. My go to method is always to gently stick a fork in (or toothpick!) and see if it pulls out of the bake cleanly. If so, it’s done!
See, I told you this was an easy recipe!
The only modifications made from the original were using pecans instead of walnuts, because that’s my preference. Oh, and making these into cupcakes/muffins instead of a cake! It really reduces baking time and allows me to make a couple of batches of fresh sweets. I also made a frosting for these... however, since I made it with coconut oil and then promptly forgot about it in the fridge while waiting for the muffins to cool, it was too hard to spread! Was it still delicious spooned on top of the muffins? You bet! But it was definitely too ridiculous looking to photograph.
Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this recipe!