“All right, all right, all right!” Matthew McConaughey’s famous quote came to mind yesterday when Carrot Cupcakes with “Best-in-your-life” Cream Cheese Frosting were in the oven and my home filled with the aroma of fall baking.
I wanted to know the origin of Matthew’s (yes, we are on a first-name basis) famous quote and did a little research. According to Ann Oldenburg, of USA TODAY, Matthew was listening to Jim Morrison’s album before shooting a scene for the movie Dazed.
“Before shooting the Dazed scene, McConaughey said he was listening to a “live Doors album” and found himself loving frontman Jim Morrison’s between-song rant of consecutive “all right, all right, all right, all right.” McConaughey started thinking about his character’s motivations and came up with four main categories: “his car, gettin’ high, rock & roll and pickin’ up chicks.” So then the actor connected those four motivations to the “all rights.” He counts them down: “I’m in my car; I’m high as a kite; I’m listening to rock & roll,” he says. “Action! And there’s the chick – ‘All right, all right, all right!’ Three out of four!”
Well, no wonder that quote came to mind – NOT – but, it does make me think about my three main motivations for making Carrot Cupcakes (other than the fact the Cream Cheese Frosting will make you swoon):
- They taste great – sugar-ey, cinnamon-ey, cream-cheese-ey and optionally nut-ey.
- They smell terrific – like Thanksgiving and Christmas and autumn and all things cozy.
- They are healthy – carrots are good for me, right?
So, there you go. That is 3 out of 4 motivations but, wait just a second, I just thought of the fourth and it is as simple as you get.
- I want to eat them.
“All right, all right, all right!” All right!!
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Ilustrated and Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe cookbook.
Carrot Cupcakes with Best-in-your-life-Ever! Cream Cheese Frosting
- For the Carrot Cupcakes:
- 2½ 12.5 ounces cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6-7 medium carrots – peeled and grated 3 cups grated carrots
- 1½ cups 10.5 ounces granulated sugar
- ½ cup 3.5 ounces light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups canola or vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Optional Additions: **See Notes
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 1/2 cups toasted nuts - pecan/walnuts or your favorite
- For the Best-in-your-life-Ever! Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese – softened but still cool
- 5 tablespoons butter – unsalted – softened but still cool
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups 5 ounces confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
- pinch kosher salt
- For the Carrot Cupcakes:
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle (two racks for two pans of cupcakes). *See Notes if making a cake instead of cupcakes.
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Place cupcakes liners in muffin tins. This recipe will yield 24 cupcakes so two pans are needed if making regular sized cupcakes.
- In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
- Using a box grater or food processor, shred the carrots (you will need 3 cups).
- Pat the carrots dry with a paper towel, then add them to the flour mixture, mix together and set aside.
- Using a mixer (fitted with paddle attachment), beat together both sugars and eggs on medium-high until lighter in color and smooth. Approximately 1 minute.
- Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the vanilla extract and oil. (note: when adding the oil, pour the oil against the inside of the bowl to reduce splattering).
- Increase the speed to high for 1 minute until the mixture is light and well incorporated.
- Turn off mixer and fold the flour/carrot mixture into the sugar/egg/oil mixture until no flour streaks remain.
- Scoop the batter into prepared pans.
- Place one pan on the top-middle rack and another on the bottom-middle rack.
- Bake 12 minutes then rotate the pans top-to-bottom (and vice versa) and front-to-back.
- Bake another 10-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, remove the cupcakes and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- For the Best-in-your-life-Ever! Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Place cream cheese, butter, sour cream and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
- Using a whisk attachment, mix at medium high speed until well combined and creamy. Scrape the icing down the bowl as needed.
Turn off mixer, add powdered sugar and salt and whisk on low for 15 seconds, then on medium-high 2-3 minutes or until smooth, creamy and fluffy.
If baking a cake, this recipe makes one 13x9-inch cake. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom only of the pan with parchment paper then also spray the parchment.
Bake the cake 35-40 minutes – be sure to rotate the pan halfway through baking.
Cool the cake on a cooling rack.
*If adding nuts and/or raisins, the cake will need an additional 5-10 minutes baking time in the oven.
These cupcakes freeze beautifully, but freeze without the frosting. Wrapped in plastic wrap, place in a freezer container and wrap the whole thin in aluminum foil twice. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and let warm to room temperature while still wrapped. Add the frosting once they come room temperature.
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Dan from Platter TalkI don't think these could be any more perfect! Very nicely done!!
Susie GallThat is so sweet of you, Dan. Thank you so much and thanks for sharing them "socially".
Linda SpringateThese are the best the cupcakes and incredible icing...YUM does not describe the taste - AWESOME!!
Susie GallThanks so much, Linda! Donny and you would love, love these.
Heidy @TheMccallumsShamrockPatchThank you for sharing some fantastic recipes in the past on #PureBlogLove ! I just wanted to invite you to join us tonight to share some more wonderful recipes at the party! Starts at 8 PM EST-runs through Sunday! I am excited to see what you share! XoXo Heidy
TaraAmazing photography and yummy looking cupcakes!!
BTheBakerIf you are out of ground clove and nutmeg could you just add more cinnamon? How much? Thanks! This sounds like an amazing recipe!!
HollyFirst time making carrot cupcakes from scratch and I couldn't have chosen a better recipe! Just made these today for my fiance's birthday - he, my family, and I loved them!! Soo very delicious :)
MarieHi Just tried these this morning and they didn't turn out well at all. Had to use olive oil instead of veggie but that shouldn't really matter too much. Any ideas what I did?
SandyNever use olive oil for any deserts that`s why they did not turn out.
mummaolive oil has a very strong flavour so yes it could have been the difference
Patty StuartHoly wow, these are amazing!
Roonzthis recipe made cupcakes that were perfect by my standards,i even made a cake with it and the texture was wonderful. i had to come back and give credit, not one complaint!
ReshmiHi, Tried this recipe and it turned out perfect. thank you so much.
Arthi SriramGot 3# of carrots for 1$. Didn't know what to do. A few weeks back made carrot cake so didn't want to do that. Just browsing on web found your recipe which simply turned out to be the best. Thank you so much. I took some of these to my gym where I workout. After intensive workout all the cupcakes got vanished! Thank you so much for thus wonderful recipe. If more stars could be given I will give more than 5.
Susie GallThat is great news Arthi. Thank you for letting me know and for your sweet comments. Have a great day and please visit Simply Sated again.
nancyI made this recipe sooo yummy but I struggled getting the frosting thick enough to pipe. I Followed the recipe to a "T" What do you THINk went wrong, please advise
Susie GallHello Nancy, I don't think anything went wrong. Maybe the cream cheese and/or the butter were a little too soft. You could add a little more powdered sugar to make a thicker frosting (this could make it too sweet) or refrigerate the icing until it is firm enough to pipe. I usually don't even pipe it because it so good even without piping it. I'm so glad the recipe worked well for you and I really do appreciate you taking the time to comment. Have a great week. Susie