Twice a year I have a feature on this blog about recipes inspired by musicals. Today I’m writing about a musical very dear to my heart – the one my youngest daughter’s youth choir performed in church.
The musical was called Once Upon a Parable, and my daughter played the role of Judas Iscariot. (For those of you who don’t know the story, that’s not the good guy role.) But she was the sweetest, prettiest Judas ever, and my heart burst with pride as I watched her and her friends perform. From the Pharisees dressed in red choir gowns to the embrace of the prodigal daughter and her mother, from the irrepressible Simon to the lively Palm Sunday crowd, it was a show full of energy, beauty and depth.
A successful musical calls for a celebration, and I can’t think of any better way to celebrate than with these carrot cupcakes. I must admit, I’ve never really fallen for the cupcake craze of the last few years. I enjoy the occasional cupcake, but they wouldn’t be my first choice to bake or to eat. I often find them too sweet – yes, even for my notorious sweet tooth.
These cupcakes are the exception to my stance. Carrot cake is unbeatable, and served in miniature format they’re just a delight. I can’t think of a better way to honour a young actress!
Carrot Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
(adapted from smitten kitchen)
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated peeled carrots
3/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line twelve cupcake molds with papers, or butter and flour them.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well-blended. Whisk in eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots and raisins. Divide batter among cupcake molds, filling each 3/4 full.
Bake cupcakes 20 to 22 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the centre of one comes out clean. Let cool in pans for about five minutes, then remove from tray. Let cool completely before frosting them.
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
One 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ (icing) sugar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
Beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 5 to 10 minutes, if necessary to spread smoothly. Frost cupcakes and enjoy.