Sunday, October 20, 2013

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

As some of you may know (and most do not), I am a veterinary technician. I have been a vet tech for the past 4 years, and although it can be very stressful (as a recent 13 hour shift reminded me), it can also be very rewarding! The way I explain what a vet tech is to people is to say that it is basically a nurse for animals, but in reality it is so much more. Yes, like nurses we take care of the patients needs, take vital signs, etc, but we also do things that in human medicine there are other specialized fields for, such as taking x-rays, cleaning teeth, drawing blood and monitoring during anesthesia. And this past week was National Veterinary Technician Week, in order to honor all of those hard working vet techs out there! To do my share, I made some yummy fall-flavored carrot cake cupcakes decorated as dogs and cats (although where I work we see more than that!) to share with my coworkers!

To be completely honest, I did not plan my decorating very well in advance and ran out of frosting 3/4 of the way through (hence the plainly frosted ones you can see below), but I made the best of what I had!

The cake turned out extremely moist and delicious, as expected with carrot cake, and the cream cheese frosting was a perfect compliment!

If you're wondering what I used to decorate each animal, I can explain. For the cats, I used mini M&M's for the eyes and tongue, and then a sugar heart candy (kind of like Runts) for the nose. I cut marshmallows into triangles for the ears. Next time I would melt some chocolate and pipe it into triangles on waxed paper and use that for the ears. My brain was just not working properly that night.

For the dogs, I used chocolate covered raisins for the noses and mini M&M's for the eyes.

I did make mini cupcakes so if making regular-sized cupcakes you may need to use normal M&M's vs mini M&M's for decorating purposes.

I hope you find this recipe as delicious as I did and Happy Vet Tech Week to all the vet techs out there!

carrot cake cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
{recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour}

for the cupcake:


  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two standard muffin pans or cupcake pans; or line with paper liners and grease the papers (I used foil liners and did not need to grease them).
  2. Beat the oil, sugar, salt, eggs and spices together.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the flour with the baking soda, then stir into egg mixture.
  4. Add the carrots and nuts, and mix until just blended. Pour into prepared pans.
  5. Bake cupcakes for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and after about 10 minutes transfer them to wire rack to cool completely.

for the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • milk or cream to adjust consistency of frosting, if necessary
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  2. Beat in vanilla, then sugar. Add a teaspoon of milk or cream if frosting is too stiff to spread. Add additional sugar if it's too thin. Frost cupcakes, as desired.

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