Eating With Erin: A Baking Adventure

Lately I’ve developed a bit of a sweet tooth. I’ve never really been the dessert girl- pastries and cakes have never been my number one choice- until very lately. I  tend to prefer the more savory indulgences, but maybe that little bit about our tastebuds changing every seven years really is true? Either way, this new sweet tooth has led me to my most recent challenge in the kitchen: carrot cake cupcakes.

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Full disclosure: I am not a good baker. I am impatient and rush through the careful measurements that are crucial to the chemistry of baking. That’s why I’ve always been partial to cooking, it doesn’t always require the same precision and in a way has more creative freedom. I know how to make cookies, brownies, and cake out of the box. I’m not to shabby at it either, but those are the basics. Anything beyond that is a challenge I would normally leave to the professionals. After Halloween sneaking pieces of candy just wasn’t satisfying my sweet tooth anymore and the colder November weather made ice cream less and less appealing (though still a solid choice for dessert if you ask me), I determined I was going to make something sweet myself.

Carrot cake is that kind of thing that isn’t ever really the number one choice when it comes to dessert, but every once and a while you think about it and it just sounds so good. Carrot cake is also one of those things that are super deceiving because it sounds like it should be healthy because it literally has carrot in the name… but really it’s still cake slathered in frosting so I’m pretty sure all the sugar negates any semblance of vegetable. Why I chose to bake carrot cake is still a mystery to me, but I was inspired and once I get an idea in my head there really is no turning back.

There was about a three to five minute window where I came extremely close to caving in to store bought cream cheese frosting. There was a sale and it seemed like the perfect decision until I looked at the ingredients and realized that this jar of cream cheese frosting barely had any actual cream cheese in it (not to mention the fact that the Pinterest recipe I had chosen was special because of the frosting). So I instead made my way to the freezing dairy aisle and found an 8 oz. block of cream cheese.

Making carrot cake cupcakes is actually pretty easy. Pretty much all the ingredients were already in my kitchen, and it didn’t take very long to get everything together. The most labor intensive part of the entire process was actually grating the carrots on the cheese grater and even that was kind of therapeutic. Once I put the cupcakes in the oven, I started making the frosting and that’s when I realized that I was missing an ingredient. In scanning the recipe I had assumed that I had the sugar needed until a closer investigation when it said I needed both cane sugar and powdered sugar.

Since I already had the cake in the oven I wasn’t about to run back to the grocery store. So I just winged it. I was worried that it would pretty much taste like straight up cream cheese on top of a yet-to-be-determined tasty cupcake, but since the recipe already called for brown sugar mixed in with the cream cheese I figured it would be okay.

At the end of this baking adventure I was left with twelve pretty-good-if-I-say-so-myself carrot cake cupcakes and some not-too-bad frosting. I would consider this endeavor a success! Until my next sweet tooth attacks, these cakes will have to do.

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As always, if you’d like to stay up to date with my eating adventures follow my Instagram @eatingwitherin

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