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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Drunk with Power Rum Raisin Carrot Cupcakes (not really drunk with power, but it's so fun to say!)

I've had these raisins in my refrigerator for some time and had been looking for something to use them in. I know there's nothing extraordinary about raisins sitting in a refrigerator...but these raisins are special, they've been sitting in the refrigerator in rum since early January. These are powerfully drunken raisins (not drunk with power) that need to be used in something that would benefit from their strong presence. Now, I've been wanting to make cupcakes for some time and I've also been wanting to make carrot cake with drool inducing cream cheese I've decided to make rum raisin carrot cupcakes. I've always found rum to be a nice addition to carrot cake and these raisins should ooze rum throughout. I've also been itching to try out some recipes from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Some of you may remember me mentioning that I won this book in the Menu for Hope raffle from Meeta of What's for Lunch Honey?. I've followed the recipe as is with the exception of having the raisins soaked a ridiculously long time in the rum, adding vanilla, adding extra cinnamon and making cupcakes instead of one big cake.

Drunken Raisin Carrot Cupcakes (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's "Bill's Big Carrot Cake" recipe)

for the cuppy cakes: (yields about 2 dozen cupcakes, or 3 9x2" cake rounds)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups grated carrots (9 carrots or so....Dorie says she grates them with her food processor shredding blade, I had to resort to risking my knuckles with my box grater)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (I had unsweetened on hand, the recipe calls for either sweetened or unsweetened)
3/4 cup rum raisins (you can get yours drunk by soaking them in about 1/3 cup rum overnight)
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract (add it right into the oil)
4 large eggs

-Preheat the oven to 325f. Prepare muffin tins with paper or foil or silicon cupcake cups.
-Sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt
and cinnamon, set aside.
-In another bowl, mix together the carrots, coconut, nuts and drunken
raisins, set aside.
-In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar until smooth, add
the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk
until smooth.
-Add the flour mixture and mix in until it just disappears, gently
fold in the carrot mixture.
-Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full.
-Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched.
-Cool on a rack to room temperature.
I must warn you the smell of these as they are baking is gorgeous and will have you may want to have a mop handy.

And now for the icing. I swear if I ever meet the person who decided
to put cream cheese into their icing, I will run up to them and give
them a huge hug (I may even go so far as to kiss them on the cheek).

Cream Cheese Icing:

8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces, 8 Tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 pound (3 3/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded coconut (this is optional, and more likely if you are
going to make this as a cake instead of cup cakes, as it would be
added to half the icing and used to fill the cake)
finely chopped toasted nuts or toasted coconut to garnish the top if
you so desire
-Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
-Add the powdered sugar and lemon juice and continue to beat until
smooth. If you want to add coconut to the icing, stir it in (or if
making this a cake, stir into half the icing and use to fill it....I'm
repetitive today).
-Ice the cooled cupcakes, sprinkle with the garnish of your choice,
pour yourself a tall cool glass of milk (or some hot tea or whatever
beverage you choose) and savor!

These really hit the spot after a long time without carrot cake. Yum!

Happy baking!

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Brilynn said...

I made the big version of this cake, rum raisins would have been an excellent addition!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Ooooh Brilynn, I'm going to go check that out now. It's a very good carrot cake. I definitely recommend the rum raisins, they added a nice little punch of flavor without overwhelming :D

yuko said...

We always get excited here in the office when Geoff sends out emails about delicious yummy goodness in the kitchen. These cupcakes are sooooo good! The rum raisins give it a nice kick and I like that there's coconut in them too. Thank you thank you! :)

Ron said...

I was lucky enough to try one of these delicious cupcakes and I can say they are heavenly.

Lisa said...

Jen, these cupcakes are awesome!!! I've never really liked carrot cake but I knew that your cupcakes must be good... and sure enough, they were to die for. I savored every last crumb! Now I'm a carrot-rum-and-raisin cake convert! Thanks for sending Geoff to work with such wonderful goodies! :-)

Jen the Bread Freak said...

Yuko, Ron and Lisa: Thank you so much! I seem to be picturing Geoff threatening to withold cupcakes if you don't post a comment here. Fear not! I will still bake things to send with him even if you do not comment. I am glad you are enjoying them :D.

David Shoemaker said...

I just ate one of these cupcakes and I'm still recovering from the whack of deliciousness they gave me. Good job, Jen!

Jen the Bread Freak said...

David: Thank you so much for the compliment! It's nice to know that you all enjoy what I send in to work with Geoff. Also enjoyed the "whack of deliciousness" bit. :)

revmum645 said...

These cupcakes were very popular at the church coffee hour. Yes, they had the rum raisins in them. Their moistness was something many folks commented on. While mine turned out a little flatter than they should have been, I cleverly disguised this defect with the wonderful frosting. I think that's what frosting is for.
Barmy's Mom