Zucchini Carrot Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

This has been the summer of the zucchini. For the first time, I decided to add zucchini to my tiny (three plant) garden. Do you think I did research on how a zucchini plant grows? HA! No. And thus, I’ve ended up with a monster plant that took over everything and has produced approximately 20 of these beauties over the past three months.

  zucchini

What do you do when life hands you 20 alien zucchinis? You make zucchini bread, cupcakes, pizzas, chips. You put it in chili, salads, pastas, etc. I’ve eaten so much zucchini I’m afraid I’m going to turn into one at this point. I googled health benefits and apparently I should be loaded up on vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, phosphorus,omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, protein and b-complex.

ANYWAY…I’m getting off topic. Yesterday was my father-in-law’s birthday and he chose zucchini carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting as his birthday treat. Excellent choice…as I made these once before and they were a huge hit.

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The version I made are gluten-free – which I was really nervous about the first time, given that GF flour can have trouble rising like regular flour – but these are amazing. These turn out slightly dense, so regular flour may give you a lighter cupcake. Again, I only make a half-batch to eliminate a lot of leftovers. This recipe will produce about 12 small cupcakes.

WARNING – this batter is so delicious that you’ll lick the whole bowl clean. Guilty. Also, I don’t think you can ever truly go wrong with cream cheese icing. You could spread it on a plain slice of raw zucchini and it would taste like dessert.

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Ingredients
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and place cupcake holders in your pan. I spray just a light dusting of non-stick spray in them as well.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl in your stand mixer.
  3. Add in the oil, eggs, and vanilla and blend on medium speed.
  4. Add in zucchini and carrots. Stop the mixer and use your spoon to blend more. Make sure that the zucchini and carrots are evenly distributed and mixed in well.
  5. Pour into cupcake holders.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let the cupcakes cool completely, then top with frosting.
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Frosting Ingredients
  • 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • ¾ stick of unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin spice and/or nutmeg, if desired.
Instructions
  1. With a handheld mixer, blend the cream cheese and butter together.
  2. Add the vanilla extract to the mix.
  3. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time.
  4. Adjust powdered sugar based on consistency and how you like your frosting.
  5. If it is on the thicker side, like mine was, you can add a splash of milk to thin it out a little. I use almond milk.
  6. If you have time, let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to chill for easier piping onto the cupcakes.
  7. Use a frosting gun (listed in the Baking Essentials tab on my page) to pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.
  8. Try not to eat them all!

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Cupcake recipe adapted from Eat At Home.

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