Carrot Cupcakes for A Crowd (or a few)

Today I am making Carrot Cupcakes. For 100 (if you're in VT and at Boyden's for a Harvest Dinner taste one!). With no advance notice and no planning I went to my cupboard to see what I had and this recipe was expanded on from a muffin. I mean a carrot cupcake is just a muffin with frosting right? These are super light and fluffy so they are the perfect dessert. So often parents end up making large scale recipes for bake sales, parties, and practices and this recipe is affordable and easy to do. It can be halved or quartered for smaller groups. I don't use nuts because they're expensive and most kids aren't fans. This recipe is already egg free so just switching milk to soy milk will make them vegan. They taste delicious and you may as well please everyone! The best way to make these cupcakes? Invite another mom over with a bottle of wine. Put in minimal work to make these, drink wine while each batch is baking and bring them to school talking about how you spent "all night in the kitchen" (drinking). We frosted these with a Coffee Buttercream Frosting (it was an adult event & they were being served at a coffee roaster's table) and they were a huge hit! A plain buttercream would also be great on these.

Carrot Cupcakes for A Crowd
(makes 120- a few extra for your family & to "quality test")

I mix this in 5 separate batches to ensure that everything is mixed well & because my bowl isn't big enough for all of it!

Make sure you have this on hand:

5 lbs of carrots, peeled
5 cups of vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups of buttermilk (If making them vegan, substitute soy milk.)
5 cups of sugar
5 cups of raisins
5 cups of drained canned pineapple, chunked or shredded- your choice (I was casual about measuring this and I snuck a few pieces for myself. I ended up using 3 20oz cans)
15 TBS of apple cider vinegar
20 tsp of baking soda
10 tsp of baking powder
5 tsp of kosher salt (reduce if using table salt)
10 tsp cinnamon
5 tsp cardamom (I use this a lot in Persian cooking and love it- it gives a very subtle flavor. You could substitute ginger or a bit of nutmeg and cloves instead.)
15 cups of flour

(Each of the 5 batches that make up this larger ingredient list uses: 1 pound of carrots, 1 cup of vegetable oil, 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of raisins, 1 cup of pineapple, 3 TBS apple cider vinegar, 4 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp kosher salt, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cardamom, and 3 cups of flour.)

1. Peel all the carrots. Gather your other ingredients and prepare your battle station. Set up a cooling rack for the cupcakes. Make sure you have a container on hand to pack them into once cool. (Hint: A toy storage sterilite container w/ posterboard between the layers works amazingly!) Preheat the oven to 350. Make sure you have 2 12 muffin tins. You can bake 24 at a time with this recipe.

My battle station.

The only thing I don't premeasure out is the flour (because I have a giant bag of it at my feet). I measure the oil, buttermilk & vinegar into one Pyrex, the raisins and pineapple into another, the sugar into a 1 cup (that I then use for flour), and the remaining dry spices & ingredients into another cup. Carrots stay shredded in the processor until I'm ready for them. 

Yup, I am the person who buys the 50 lb bag of flour.

2. Weigh out a pound of carrots. If you don't have a scale just divide the carrots up into 5 piles that look similar and grab one of the piles. Shred the carrots.

3. In the bowl of the mixer mix the carrots, oil, sugar, buttermilk, cider vinegar, raisins, and pineapples. When the ingredients are integrated add in all remaining ingredients. Mix until incorporated.

4. Dose out the batter into muffin tins (using liners if you'd like, or spraying if you don't). I find that a 1/4 cup scoop is the perfect size for filling muffin tins. Go over the tops of the batter with a spoon looking for and pressing down any random carrot strands that are sticking up. This keeps them from looking like tentacles and makes the cakes easier to frost. (Sidenote: I call these muffins and feed them to my family. I mean they're only cupcakes if they're frosted right?)

5. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Repeat the process. It takes about 3 minutes to grate the carrots in a food processor and mix the batter so you have 17 minutes left to hang out between batches.

Eat some, bring the rest to the team, party, school, your belly.... whatever makes you happy!

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