Park Slope is dreary with rain today and life feels heavy with memories and reflection. After experiencing such a crazy winter, a recent and untimely bout of strep throat, and the latest news of our kitten’s degenerative sight disorder (she’s going blind and there is nothing we can do about it) I decided it was time to whip out a recipe that would make pretty much anybody forget their woes.

I made these little gems awhile back for two lovely couples, two separate occasions, in hopes of perfecting a carrot ginger cupcake recipe of my own! I must say, I do love me some cupcakes and boy can they cure the blues.

These were tricky and kind of sticky with the use of candied ginger, but well worth the effort. The frosting comes to you courtesy of none other than Magnolia Bakery- and I decided to forgo the candied carrot sprinkles for the sake of time. However, I did add some lovely orange sprinkles to keep things festive. Check out the link at the bottom of the page for an excellent tutorial on how to frost a cupcake.

So in an effort to stay positive, here are lots of smiley smiles sent to you straight from Park Slope Kitchen, with love.

Carrot Ginger Cupcakes

adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop

1 cup pecans
1 pound carrots
3 large eggs
1/2 cup 1% fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup candied ginger (purchased at Fairway Market. Mine came in cubes, so I coursely chopped them)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toast pecans in oven for 5 minutes, remove from the oven, let them cool, then chop coarsely. Set aside. Keep oven at 350 for cupcakes.

Peel, rinse, and then grate carrots coarsely.

In a large bowl, combine carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil, fresh ginger, and candied ginger.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold flour mixture into the carrot mixture. Fold in pecans.

Scoop out into cupcake pans and bake at 350 degree oven for ~20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes and then cool on wire rack completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

From Magnolia Cookbook

One pound (two 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

5 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar

In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Gradually add the sugar, one cup at a time, beating continuously until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate icing for 2-3 hours, but no longer, to thicken before using.

To smooth frosting onto cupcake: I found this amazing article and video that pretty much changed the entire way I frost cupcakes. Genius! Check it out: How to Frost A Cupcake