Monday. Sigh. Back to work. Is it just me, or does everything feel like it takes more energy on Mondays? Getting out of bed, making break-fast, getting out the door... And then you actually get to work.
Today for some reason I loaded myself up with stuff to do today. I figured that if I had everything laid out on Friday, then I might actually have a productive Monday. Of course I didn't figure in that this would mean I literally couldn't leave my lab bench for so much as a sip of water for five straight hours. Or that I wouldn't have lunch until 2pm. Baaaad planning.
Do you know what kept me working away, even when my stomach started making noises that sound like something you'd hear in a haunted house, or maybe in a zombie apocalypse movie? I had a carrot cupcake with the most amazing lime cream cheese frosting waiting for me. Keep going, keep going, think of the cupcake! Worked like a charm!
If you have read my Meal-Sized Moroccan Salad post, you know that bribery is how I motivate myself. I bribe myself with shoes to keep my work-out schedule, and I bribe myself with cupcakes to get my work done. At least I'm not bribing myself to work-out using cupcakes. That would just be...counterproductive.
Of course not just any old cupcakes would be such a good motivating factor. But these cupcakes....they get the job done. I have a thing for carrot cake. It is so moist and has the deep flavor of my favorite spices...cinnamon, cloves, and the all time winner, nutmeg.
You wouldn't know it to look at them, or to taste them, but these babies have four cups (four cups!!!!!) of shredded carrots in them. That's a lot of beta-carotene! I wonder...if I eat enough of these, do you think I could reverse my near-sightedness? That was be pretty fantastic!
The carrot cupcakes are great and everything, but what we are all here for is the frosting. I mean, really? What is carrot cake without the tangy, sweet, smooth cream cheese frosting? Nothing.
This cream cheese frosting has a zesty twist on the original. It contains both lime juice and lime zest, giving it an extra little kick to the already amazing cream cheese frosting.
This recipe is actually deja vu for me. Waaay back a long time ago (July), I made these delicious little Key Lime Whoopie Pies. Forgive the photos. I had a lot to learn! The filling, I just couldn't forget it. It had to come out again. I was biding my time for the perfect complement for this frosting. And this is it!
Carrot Cupcakes (makes around 18)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 cups carrots freshly shredded
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and baking soda. In a separate large bowl, beat eggs until bubbly. Mix in oil in one slow steady stream. Add dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Stir in carrots and walnuts.
Spoon batter into muffin tray that is lined with muffin papers, filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Cool for 5 minutes in tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Zesty Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
- 12 oz cream cheese (1 1/2 packages), at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime zest
- Juice from 2 limes (or 3 tbsp)
- 2 tsp cornstarch (optional)
With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the icing sugar, lime zest, lime juice, and cornstarch (if using) and mix until well combined and no lumps remain.
Ice cupcakes using an icing bag fitted with a star head, or using a knife.
NOTE- the cornstarch was added to help the icing hold its form. If you are using a knife to ice the cupcakes, it is not necessary to use the cornstarch.