Carrot Cupcakes for #SundaySupper

Carrot Cupcakes
The theme of this week’s #SundaySupper is Kids in the Kitchen. Since I don’t have any kids in the house and my nephews are five hours away, I decided to draft a 9-year-old cooking buddy from the neighborhood. The first time Evan and I cooked together, we made Homemade Corn Tortillas. I showed her how to use the tortilla press and she was off and running! This time we decided to go in a sweeter direction and make some relatively-healthy Carrot Cupcakes.

My favorite moment of the day happened when I was showing Evan how to use a box grater to shred the carrots. She got through about half a carrot, then pointed to my food processor and said “Can’t we use THAT?” It was a brilliant idea!

Without further ado, allow me to introduce today’s guest blogger: Evan A. from Avon, NC, a rising fourth grader at Cape Hatteras Elementary School. Not only is Evan a terrific cook – she catered her own birthday party! – but she also helped us plant the Three Sisters Garden at the Hatteras Island Community Garden.

Carrot Cupcakes

My Day with Ms Shelby

by Evan A., Avon NC (age 9)

When I first got to Ms Shelby’s house, I had to get all of the stuff ready, like the flour, eggs, carrots, that kind of stuff. And then, Me and Ms Shelby made the carrots for the topping by shredding carrots. After we shredded them we put them in a pot with this syrupy stuff and cooked them in the pan.

I made the batter. Ms Shelby did the dry stuff and I did the wet stuff. For the wet stuff, I put the other shredded carrots, vanilla extract, eggs, oil and water in the bowl and mixed it up. Then we put the batter in the muffin tins, the big ones. We put the leftovers in the little muffin tins.

When the carrots got out of the oven, we got them and swirled them around using my hands and tongs. This was for the topping. It was hard at first but when I got the hang of it, it was easy. Then we put the cupcakes in the oven.

When they were done we took them out to cool and then we went to the community garden and out to lunch at angelo’s. After we got back, we tried one of them and they were pretty ready and cool, and they tasted good!

Ms Shelby asked me what I wanted to put on top with the carrots and I picked coconut, because coconut is my favorite! We iced the cupcakes with our homemade icing of cream cheese and vanilla extract. We frosted all of them and then I put the coconut on the big ones and then I did the carrots on the big ones and then I did the little ones the same way.

Then we took pictures of them and I felt like a model after all of those pictures. Then we got to try the little ones with the icing. They tasted rich and delicious! I learned how to use some new carrot shredders that I had never seen before and twisting them was new too. It was really fun!

Carrot Cupcakes

Adapted from Diabetic Living and Food Network Magazine

The original recipe says it makes 15 full-sized cupcakes. We had the exact amount of batter to fill one full-sized muffin pan (12 cupcakes) plus one mini-sized muffin tin (24 mini cupcakes). One or two of the little ones were a perfect sweet bite that didn’t wreck my meal plan for the day.
Carrot Cupcakes
1 medium carrot, peeled
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups peeled and shredded carrots (4 medium)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (neufchatel), at room temperature
3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
flaked coconut (optional)

Make the garnish: Peel long ribbons from the carrot with a vegetable peeler, then slice each ribbon in half lengthwise. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Bring the water and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool until easy to handle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using tongs to swirl, arrange the carrots in 15 piles on the baking sheet. (You want the swirls to be small enough to fit on top of a cupcake.) Bake until dry, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.

Carrot Cupcakes
Make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 15 muffin cups with paper baking liners. Lightly coat liners with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon and ginger.

In a separate bowl, mix eggs, carrots, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine. (We used a muffin whisk.)

Using a small dry measuring cup (1/4 cup or 1/3 cup), scoop batter into muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, combine cream cheese and agave/honey and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread on cupcakes and garnish with the carrot swirls and coconut, if desired. (If you use coconut, put it on the cupcake first, then top with a carrot swirl.) Slightly press swirls into icing so they stay put.

Makes 15 servings
Per serving (cupcake plus icing): 208 calories, 8g fat (2g sat), 36mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium, 31g carb, 2g fiber, 17g sugar, 4g protein
Per serving (carrot swirls): 40 calories, 0g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 3mg sodium, 10g carb, 0g fiber, 10g sugar, 0g protein

Nutritional Analysis: These cupcakes are a good source of Manganese and a very good source of Vitamin A (source: The sugar content of the carrot swirls is misleading since some of the sugar gets poured off when you drain them. If you don’t want to include the swirls due to their sugar content, you can garnish with shredded carrots instead.

The #SundaySupper gang will be sharing recipes from our collective Kids in the Kitchen experiences all afternoon on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram on Sunday, July 8, 2012. We will also have a live chat at 3 p.m. EST on Twitter and will be using the hashtag #SundaySupper. We look forward to answering questions, giving tips and inspiring you to spend more time Around the Family Table with those you love! Thanks to Brenda of Meal Planning Magic for hosting this special event.

Start your day:

Healthy Snackers:

Main Squeeze:

Sweet Treats:


  1. says

    Your post made me smile from ear to ear! What a lucky girl to come and cook with you in your kitchen. Can I come next time? I love carrot cake so I can only imagine how delicious this carrot cupcakes must be. Thank you for all your #SundaySupper inspiration! Your recipes are always fabulous!

  2. says

    seriously healthy treat with all the carrot, whole grain etc. High fiber too ! Yumm ! Love that you used fresh carrot to decorate the cutie cakes !! Thanks for sharing ! Am pinning this to make sometime soon !

  3. says

    LOVE your guest blogger! Evan, you are a future food blogger! Carrot cake is one of my top 3 favorite cakes…and the mini versions are just perfect for those cravings :) Of course, I’d have to stop at one!!!!

  4. says

    oh these look delish…plus it helps that carrots are my FAVORITE veggie!

    Aarean (come on over and follow along…I think you’ll enjoy the colorful inspiration!)

  5. says

    Evan- You did an amazing job with these. I love that you used coconut. It’s one of my faves too. I love buying fresh ones and cracking them open. Thanks for helping out with Sunday Supper. I think it’s great you love to cook and hope to see more from you in the future.

    Ms Shelby- Thanks for inviting Evan to join in the fun. This was such a treat to read.

  6. says

    How fun to read Evan’s side of the experience. Those cupcakes are delightful…and perfect for the kid in all of us!

  7. TeeTee says

    Evan,I can’t wait for you to bake for us when you visit TeeTee and PopPop! Carrot and Coconut muffins..Yummy.Great Job Ms. Shelby and Evan!

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