Oh my. Oh Fall. You temptress. I love your clothes. I love your pumpkin goodies. I want to climb up your apple trees. Dress up my house. A bale of hay! It’s harvest time. In the ‘burbs. Best I can do is bake.
And if you squint, it’s, like, totally healthy. 2 cups shredded carrots? Healthy. 7 1/2 ounces pure pumpkin puree? Major health craze. And I didn’t make these with extra-virgin coconut oil, but I could have. Hypothetical health. I’ll take it. It’s even more than I bargained for.
My general rule? Salads should be healthy. Main dishes must help my kids grow up big & strong. Eggs for breakfast, even though my little one complains every single day of her life? You betcha. Fruit every day. Brown rice. Whole grain pasta. Veggies every night — even though I detect my oldest plots my “accidental” death? Sorry, Charlie. Not gonna budge.
You get 3 squares around here. Few exceptions. Food should be enjoyed. Celebrated! Loved, even, when possible. It should unite us. Inspire. Good eating habits will be formed! Even if it kills me. I’m fighting the good fight! Everything begins and ends with food. School performance. Mood. Health. Manners. Discipline. Energy. Everything. You’re hungry for a meal? We sit to eat. Together, whenever possible. Not willing to sit? You must not be very hungry. Better luck next mealtime. I’m still bigger than you! I’m not afraid. And I’m not following you around the house with food, begging you to eat. You must have me confused with someone else. No well child in a house with food with starve.
Best case, they grow up loving it. Worst? They don’t bore their eventual therapists to death. No regrets here.
But a cupcake? Come on. Accidental health is as good as it gets. They’re not a crutch. They’re not a multivitamin. They’re sweets. Glorious indulgences.
The sweet side of life. The smell. The pumpkin puree. Smoooooth. The brown sugar. Deep. What the heck are those shredded carrots doing in there? Some texture. Some noise. Raise the roof for shredded carrots! Chewy raisins – not too many now. Throw in a few white chocolate chips. In my mouth! Layers of flavor.
Did I mention it’s Fall? Let the baking … begin.
|Pumpkin Carrot Cupcakes|
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter) + 1 extra teaspoon
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups shredded carrots (about 4 or 5 carrots peeled and shredded)
- 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
- 7 1/2 ounces pure packed pumpkin (one-half a 15 ounce can)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins (can substitute another small dried fruit, like chopped prunes, or flaked or shredded coconut)
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (can substitute semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin well with unsalted butter and set it aside. You will have enough extra for 2 more muffins. I’m sorry. It’s annoying. But then again, not terribly.
- In a large bowl, place 1 1/2 cups flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and whisk to combine well (making sure you get out all the lumps in the brown sugar). Add the unsalted butter and the vegetable oil, and mix to combine well. The batter will be pretty dry still. Add the carrots, and stir to combine. Add the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla, and mix to combine well. The mixture should be thick and moist.
- In a separate small bowl, toss the raisins and white chocolate chips together with the remaining 1 teaspoon flour to coat the raisins and chips in flour. Dump the raisins and chips into the large bowl of batter, and stir to combine until the raisins and chips are evenly distributed throughout.
- Divide most of the batter evenly between the 12 greased muffin cups, and smooth the tops with wet fingers. Bake the remaining batter in either another muffin tin, or a two single stand-alone muffin cups (if you have ’em). You really don’t want to try to stuff the remaining batter into the 12 standard cups. You’ll have some exploding cupcake tops on your hands. And in your oven.
- Place the muffin tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a middle muffin comes out clean. Rotate once during baking. Allow to cool about 10 minutes in the pan, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve at room temperature.