Mini Carrot Cake Muffins

Chef Erin McKook from Start makes mini carrot cake muffins with reduced-fat cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake Muffins

1 1/8 cups Whole Wheat Flour        
1 tsp Baking Powder            
1 1/8 tsp Cinnamon, ground        
1/2 tsp Baking Soda            
1/4 tsp Nutmeg                
1/4 tsp Salt                
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar        
1/3 cup Raisins                
1 cup Carrots, grated            
1/2 cup Applesauce, unsweetened    
1/3 cup Pineapple, crushed        
1/8 cup Buttermilk            
1/8 cup Honey                
scant 1/4 cup Oil (canola or sunflower)    
1/2 tsp Vanilla                
2 Eggs, large        

Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Do not overmix!

Spray muffin pan with oil or use mini cupcake wrappers. Fill each hole almost to the top. Bake at 350 for approximately 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

If desired, top with cream cheese frosting!

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup reduced-fat cream cheese frosting
¾ cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the following ingredients together, and once blended, beat on high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Zucchini Cupcake Variation

Replace carrots with grated, towel-dried zucchini.

Eliminate raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Add 1 TBL lemon zest and 1 TBL poppy seeds.

For a different frosting, replace cream cheese with marscapone cheese and replace vanilla extract with 1 TBL of lemon juice and 1 TBL lemon zest.

Sprinkle poppy seeds on top of frosted cakes!

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