Another dreary day here in the Valley. I think what makes it so hard is that we get little glimpses of Spring in between the icky days. Oh well - at least Spring is on the way - even if it's being a bit fickle.
So, with the dreary weather, I'm still in my winter baking mode. Tonight I was scouring the fridge when I came across a few carrots that were on their last legs. I figured carrot cake was in order - with cream cheese frosting, of course. I only had about 1 cup of carrots after they were shredded, so I made small carrot cakes (or carrot cupcakes, if you prefer).
Mini Carrot Cakes
(Makes 4 servings)
3 Tbsp. applesauce
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. shredded carrots
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 oz. neufchatel cheese, softened
1 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 4 medium ramekins (or large cupcake tins).
Mix egg, applesauce, oil, sugar and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and powder, salt and cinnamon. Beat into egg mixture until well combined. Stir in carrots.
Fill ramekins 2/3 full of batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
Cool cakes for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and carefully tap cakes out onto a plate to finish cooling.
To make frosting, combine butter, neufchatel cheese, confectioner's sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth. (The ingredients will "liquefy" with enough beating - no need to add more liquid.)
Frost each cake with 1/4 of the frosting.