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Here it is…the long awaited Carrot Cake Cupcake and Cupcake Pen Review.
I recently spent wayyyyyyy too much time browsing Amazon’s cooking tool’s section. I eventually decided there were two items I could not let pass me by. The Cupcake Pen and a Gnocchi Board. I had every intention of trying out the gnocchi board tonight, but my sweet potato gnocchi turned into, well, just sweet potatoes. I will, at some point, get around to trying out my other new found cannot live with out cooking utensil.
Back to the cupcake pen. While this might be the very definition of a faddy one use item, if you are trying to bake of 200+ cupcakes for competition, I am here to say you can’t live without the cupcake pen. The pen, as it shall be referred to from here on out, is most useful for avoiding drips on the pans from spooning out each individual cup by hand. I have use mini ice cream scoops in the past, but have had a lot of trouble with the spring coming loose and becoming unusable, this time I decided to go another route. In order to really put the pen through its paces I use the chunkiest batter I know, Carrot Cake, to test its batter distribution capabilities.
Personally, if I am eating carrot cake I need it to be moist, full of texture, and have great multi-dimensional flavor profiles. When it came time for me to create my carrot cake recipe my secret weapon was mixed fruit bits rehydrated with rum. If one is in need of a secret weapon, may I recommend alcoholic fruit in tiny cubed form.
Once the fruit plumped up full of flavor I drained off the rum and tossed the bits into a food chopper with the pre-shredded carrots to ensure that everything is brought down to about the same size for consistency purposes.
Once you pulse and scrape down the sides several times you should end up with a lovely concoction of tiny fruit and veggie bits.
In the mean time, I mixed my wet ingredients on a med-high speed until well mixed and creamy.
Off to the side I combined the dry ingredients in a bowl. The dry ingredients include the flour, baking powder, and multitudinous spices
Slowly the dry ingredients were combined with the wet until the batter became a lovely off white color with flecks of brown spices.
Once the batter is well mixed and free of clumps its time to add the tasty bits of fruit, carrots and toasted walnuts to the mix.
With the filling fully mixed it was time to pour into the pen. Surprisingly, only a little bit dribbled over the side, as you can see below.
For the most part the pen worked great and filled the cups up evenly. I did have a bit of an issue when large chunks of walnut would block the filling from getting out, but it never clogged. All in all I think it stood up to the test, and I am looking forward to using it with a normal, less chunky batter.
Once the batter was distributed I threw them into the oven and let bake for just around 10, or until they turned a delightful brown.
While the cupcakes were cooking I whipped up what I was hoping to be a nice light and fluffy pineapple cream cheese frosting. Instead, what I got was a equally delightful pineapple cream cheese glaze that let the wonderful flavors and sweetness of the shine through.
Once these cupcakes were done I was so thrilled with the results! These are now the best, by far, carrot cupcakes I have ever eaten. I might stick to a traditional frosting in the future, but the pineapple undertones of the glaze really made the cupcakes remain nice and light. I hope you enjoy!
Moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsps ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 cup chopped dried mixed fruit
3/4 cup dark rum
1 cup toasted chopped walnuts
Pineapple Cream Cheese Glaze
1/4 cup shredded pineapple
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cream cheese
Preheat oven to 325º
Soak mixed fruit bits in dark rum until pieces have plumped, at least 30 minutes.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Set aside.
In a mixer beat together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture in 1/4 cup at a time.
In a food processor chop the carrots and mixed fruit until they are well diced.
Fold in the toasted walnuts and diced fruit and carrots until fully incorporated.
Pour into a lined mini cupcake pan and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.