Even though I’m heading out to dinner, I’m making my own cake. When I turned thirty a few years ago, I decided to create a variation on the theme of “life is uncertain, eat dessert first”. Specifically, it is “life is uncertain, bake your own birthday cake”.
I highly recommend this tradition for everyone old enough to bake; it makes birthdays extra special, and planning and making the cake is almost as fun as eating it.
I used to limit my birthday cake option to cheesecake (I’m a huge fan). But if I’m not inviting a crowd over, an entire cheesecake is too much, even for cheesecake-loving me. So I’ve branched out, and this year it’s short and sweet: carrot cake cupcakes.
These aren’t any carrot cake cupcakes. I’ve made them with a new type of flour I am enjoying, almond flour. I am loving it! Plus, rather than the usual cream cheese frosting, I made a snowy, coconut cream frosting that is naturally dairy-free, vegan, and oh-so-incredibly delicious (and easy!)
It was a little wild getting these in the oven; I had arranged a babysitter for the afternoon, and she cancelled last minute. So Nick was in the middle of the action (on the breakfast nook side). The upside is that, in addition to the cakes getting made, Kevin making me a cappuccino as I baked, and the house now smelling like a stop on the spice route, I discovered that Nick, who has eschewed plain carrots in every form up until now, loves raw shredded carrots. I would have never known in years past that a carrot-eating victory could be such a sweet birthday present.
As you’ll discover in this and future posts (and, come to think of it, a few past posts), I am crazy for cardamom. It has a lush, exotic fragrance that adds an extra-special spark to these little cupcakes. YUM!
The absence of a nutritional analysis for the cupcakes is no accident. I know that they are filled with all sorts of good things (including those perfect carrots). And besides, eating beautiful, healthy food is on my agenda this weekend, but calorie and fat counts are not.
Happy Birthday to Me (and fingers crossed that my evening babysitter won’t cancel)!Print
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour/meal
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs (preferably room temp)
- 1/3 cup well-stirred coconut milk (important: full-fat variety!)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 1–1/3 cups peeled, shredded carrots
- 2 14-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated at least 24 hours
- 1–2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- pinch of fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line 10 cups of standard muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, cardamom, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Whisk in the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla until blended.
- Add egg mixture and oil to flour mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in the carrots. Divide batter among prepared cups.
- Bake in preheated oven for 19 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out. Cool completely on wire rack. Remove cupcakes from tin.
- Just before whipping the coconut cream, place a medium bowl (preferably metal) and the beaters from an electric mixer in the freezer for 5 minutes.
- Remove cans from refrigerator and flip upside down. Open can and pour off liquid (store liquid in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use). Scoop thick coconut cream into chilled bowl.
- Whip the coconut cream with the electric mixer on high until soft peaks form. Add maple syrup and salt, mixing on low until just combined. Use immediately.