1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
1 tbsp. finely grated orange zest
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
7 tbsp. fresh orange juice, warmed
1 tsp. baking soda
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
4 oz. cold mascarpone or low-fat cream cheese
10 walnut halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Line 10 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter, granulated sugar, maple syrup and orange zest until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the grated carrots.
In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. In another small bowl, stir together the orange juice and baking soda. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture in two additions, alternating with the orange juice mixture in two additions until smooth. Do not overbeat or the cupcakes will be tough.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the cupcakes are risen and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a baking sheet and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the lemon zest and mascarpone (or low-fat cream cheese, if using) until blended.
Frost cupcakes when cool. If desired, garnish each cupcake with a walnut half. Cupcakes may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Makes 10 cupcakes.
Date: May 29, 2007