Happy New Year! For our first Monday Meal of 2015, I’m sharing our newest recipe for muffins that we’re calling Carrot Cake Muffins with Very Vanilla Frosting. This recipe was one of Eliana’s picks since we made it together as part of #WeCookWednesday. It’s been really fun to let her take control and explore cooking the items she’s interested in cooking. Wait! You don’t know about #WeCookWednesday? In short, on Wednesdays, Eliana and I cook any recipe that she wants to cook. Learn more about it here. Anyway, back to this recipe, I love that even though she wanted to make a recipe for muffins, she chose to make them with carrots. I added the vanilla frosting because how would we replicate carrot cake without adding frosting, right?
During our cooking adventures, Eliana has been taking over more and more tasks in the teeny tiny foodie kitchen. She loves to do things independently, aka: “All. By. My. Self”. I’m doing my best to stand back and let her take the lead within reason and with my support when needed. I’m not letting her use any sharp knives and I still can’t help but hover when she has raw eggs in her hands, but I’m letting her go at it with new tools and new tasks. But, even though I’m easing up a little (SO HARD for this O.C.D. control freak) her teeny tiny body works against her sometimes. At 3½ years old and a petite child at that, her hands are not incredibly big and her arm strength isn’t that great, so sometimes even using tools “made for children” is still a bit of a challenge. When her frustration level starts to rise, we take a break and talk for a few minutes. To try to help her understand that a new skill takes times to master, I explain that when we are doing something that is new, we don’t always do it well right away. We have to keep doing it to get better and better. And some more arm strength won’t hurt either, right? 😉
While making the muffins and frosting, Eliana helped by:
1. Scrubbing the carrots.
2. Measuring and pouring dry ingredients.
3. Whisking ingredients together.
4. Grating the carrots and nutmeg.
5. Helping me hold the electric mixer to whip the frosting.
6. Putting frosting on the muffins.
But, I think her favorite way of “helping” was licking the beaters!
- Carrot Cake Muffins with Very Vanilla Frosting
- Yields 12 regular-sized muffins
- -1 cup whole wheat flour
- -½ cup dark brown sugar
- -½ teaspoon salt
- -2 teaspoons baking powder
- -½ teaspoon cinnamon
- -¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- -⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- -1 cup milk
- -2 large eggs
- -½ cup virgin coconut oil, warmed so it is in liquid form
- -2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- -1 cup grated carrots (A little less than ½ pound of carrots)
Heat your oven to 350°F and line or grease your muffin tins.
Peel and grate the carrot(s) and set them aside.
Sift together the dry ingredients by blending them in a mini food processor or whisking them. Be sure to break up the clumps of dark brown sugar. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk the mixture well until the eggs are evenly distributed.
Add the liquefied coconut oil to the wet ingredients while whisking vigorously. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the bowl, just until they are all combined. Don’t over-stir.
Stir in the carrots.
Pour into muffin tins, filling ¾ full. I like to use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin tins with batter. Bake 33-37 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry. Remove muffins from oven and leave them in the pan for an additional 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
Allow muffins to cool for at least 30 minutes before topping with Very Vanilla Frosting. Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Very Vanilla Frosting
- Lightly tops 12 muffins or cupcakes
- -3 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- -3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- -1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- -1 cup powdered sugar
- -Finely chopped pecans
- -Unsweetened coconut flakes
Place butter and cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix together until smooth. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar and mix on low until smooth.
The frosting can stay in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an air-tight container. Before using it, take it out of the fridge around 30 minutes before frosting muffins.