Do you have zucchini coming out your ears? Maybe you shredded a bunch and now it is taking up space in your freezer. Then stuff gets piled on it and it gets lost, possibly forever. Until your freezer dies and you have to clean it out and then you find ten frost-bitten bags of zucchini.
Don’t let this happen to you (or your zucchini). Get that wondrous vegetable out right now and make these Zucchini Carrot Cake Cupcakes!
Don’t you just love it when you can use not one, but TWO vegetables in a dessert? Makes you feel so much better about eating it! Because, you know, it’s “healthy.”
I adapted this recipe from My Favorite Carrot Cake Recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction. I added zucchini and adjusted the amount of sugar, carrots and ginger. She uses toasted pecans in her recipe, but I have some sad, sad people at my house who don’t like nuts. So instead of stirring in the pecans, I just sprinkled some walnuts on top at the end. That way, people were free to pick them off (or scrape off the frosting, heaven forbid!)
I also have my own method when it comes to baking. Almost all recipes say to mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add them to the wet ingredients. Two dirty bowls=no bueno. (Excuse my blatantly grammatically incorrect Spanish). So I just add part of the flour to the wet ingredients, along with the salt, baking soda and powder, and the spices. I mix all that in, then add the rest of the flour. I have never had anything but stellar results with this method.
So save your zucchini from a depressing, forgotten death. Glorify it instead in these cupcakes. And be sure to grab my kitchen toolbox below!
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp. milk
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Put 24 cupcake liners in muffin tins.
- In a large bowl, mix the sugars, oil, eggs, applesauce and vanilla together until well combined and there are no lumps of brown sugar.
- Add 1/2 cup of the flour along with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Stir until well incorporated.
- Add the remaining two cups of flour and mix until just combined (but there should be no lumps).
- Fold in the carrots and zucchini.
- Spoon into the cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 18 minutes.
- Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. milk. Beat for 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and more milk if needed to thin. Beat on high for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.